Most dancers have excellent balance. It is an integral aspect in many different dance forms. By this I am referring to the ability to stay stable and steady on an unstable base (ie standing on one leg ). Balance can of course have a much greater meaning. For example, the phrase “balanced lifestyle” is quite common these days. But what does that entail? It means it’s important to balance the good with the bad. Obviously we'd like to have only good in our life and no bad, but realistically life is not perfect and some bad will always creeps in. The trick is not to let it get you down and take it in stride. Do what you can to eat nutritional well balanced meals, but don’t forget to let yourself have treats every once in a while. Staying physically active is important and regular physical activity is definitely something that should be part of everyone’s life, but don't overdo it. It's okay every once in a while to let yourself sit on the couch and watch the movie marathon because you've had a long week. Balancing work with play can often be very difficult in the world we live in. Jobs are demanding, stressful and often time consuming, but you should always make time in your week to do something selfish and something that is purely for your own enjoyment.
This advice could be for anybody and for dancers it really isn’t that different. Eating well balanced meals is just as important for a dancer (if not more) than any non-dancer. Obviously dancers are physically active, however, it’s important to keep non-dance physical activity in their routine as well. If all dance training is done turned out, do a workout completely in parallel. Train your muscles in a way they’re not used to working to help avoid overuse injury. Dancers are lucky because their work is their play. Their job is their passion. It’s important not to lose sight of that and especially don’t let it consume you. If all you’re doing is rehearsing, find time to go take a class completely for fun.
The wonderful thing about the concept of a balanced life is that it isn’t complex, making it available to almost anyone. One study compiled 170 qualitative research studies relating to balance and health, their focus being how do lay people understand the risk of cancer. Instead of people focusing on the risk factors and avoiding them, most people described their goal to live a “good life”. The word balance often was used to describe this “good life living” and even when it wasn’t explicitly used, researchers were often found interpreting the participants descriptions as such. Nowhere in their research was balance ever portrayed as something easy to obtain, or the end all be all, and it won't necessarily prevent or protect from all disease, but in order to live a "good life", balance is key.
Lipworth, W. L., Hooker, C., & Carter, S. M. (2011, May). Balance, balancing, and health. Qualitative health research. doi:10.1177/1049732311399781
Duane Smith Auditorium, Los Alamos, New Mexico
CarliAnn & Ella