ance is demanding, which means that life as a dancer is, too. It takes energy and organization, not to mention a few smart moves, to help your days as a dancer go more smoothly. From repairing snagged tights with nail polish to having a relaxing bedtime ritual, put your best foot forward with these eight life hacks every dancer needs to know:
Sip water through a straw. Staying hydrated while dancing is super important—your body depends on it! Sipping through a straw will help you drink more water in a shorter period of time so that you can sail through long days of dance class or rehearsal.
Make your own ice pack. Soak a sponge, put it in a zipper storage bag, then freeze it for those times when you need to put an injury on ice. When your homemade ice pack starts to melt, it’s less drippy because the sponge absorbs the water.
Amplify your music. We use our phones for everything, including dance playlists. When you’re stuck rehearsing without a good speaker, just slide the bottom of your phone into a cup to amplify the sound coming from the device’s own speaker. It works amazingly well.
Pack your bag the night before. Your dance bag needs to carry all your must-haves, but if you’re just randomly throwing things inside at the last minute, there’s a good chance you’ll leave something behind or end up weighed down by a 20-pound duffle. Always pack your bag the night before a big day and only take what you need.
Have a relaxing bedtime ritual. Rest is important for your muscles and your mind. If you’re having trouble lulling yourself to dreamland, try simple relaxation techniques—like breathing exercises and guided imagery—to help quiet your mind and calm your body.
Repair snagged dance tights with nail polish. Dabbing a snag with clear nail polish won’t repair the run, but it will stop it from getting bigger. For added snag prevention you can spray it with hair spray, which will harden the tights in the area surrounding the hole.
Schedule everything. A dancer’s schedule changes a lot, so you may be used to penciling or saving time commitments in a calendar. If you really want to get ahead, plan your day by starting at its end and working backward, filling in the big stuff, then the small and scheduling every task, including rest and relaxation, like you would any other appointment.
Minimize time-suck. Less distraction in your life means more time for dancing. Find an app that blocks or limits your access to things like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.