Life of a Ballroom Dancer

Recently someone told me – “The world will always try to say who you are, but it’s only up to you to decide”

The truth is that everyone decides their own future, which is define by their own actions. Every action has a consequences, some are good and some not so much…

My very first step into the world of dancing was about 24 years ago and that was definitely not my choice, but my parents were the one to make it. I have to say that this was the very best thing that they have done for me and will be forever grateful.

My love for dancing was, is and will always be so hard to describe… Dancing has given me so much, that I can say that I am who I am because of that incredible sport/art/love

Life of a professional dancer is an absolutely beautiful adventure and I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to experience it.   From the moment you meet your partner, through the long hours of practices, travelling for coachings to the moment on the competitive dance floor…. Every single moment is so precious and beautiful.

The beginning…

While searching for a dance partner, usually people try out dancing with different dancers and discuss goals (usually professional). If they feel that they are the right match, then they start working together. In my case, I had the opportunity to partner with a few magnificent bulgarian ladies while competing in Europe. After coming to U.S. ,  7 years ago, my main focus was to teach people and share my passion for dancing, leaving behind my professional development.

December 22nd. 2017 I met with a girl from Easter Europe for a “try out” and the magic happened…. Honestly it felt like words are not needed  and then it begin…

As a professional dancers we often have to sacrifice time,money and much more to proceed the ultimate goal – improvement. Injuries and a constant pain are just normal day to day thing.

Bottom line is that personally I love my life, have made a clear choice and excited about dancing more then ever.

Aleksandar Bonev

Co-Owner of North Shore Dance Society – Glencoe

#dance #nsdsbonev #dancing #ballroomdance #salsa #bachata #socialdance #competitivedance #dancegroupclass #glencoedance #glencoedancestudio #northshoredance #chicagodance #danceforeover

Happy Thanksgiving to all dancers!!!

Dear dance friends,

The trees I see through the dance studio windows are changing their colors. It takes my breath away when the sun shines through those trees. Love teaching dance lessons and seeing the beauty of the weather outside. I am thankful…

In this grateful season between raking leaves and preparing our students for some upcoming dance events, as well as working on our professional dancing, I want to invite you to spend some time in prayerful reflection of all the things that we can be thankful for in our dance world.

 For myself, some things I am most grateful for include my fantastic dance students and friends, the beautiful studio that I am part of, the fantastic ukrainian person that share the same passion and love, the dance events that I was able to attend and of course most importantly the health that God gave’s me.

Besides dancing, I am also thankful for the frustration that offer me a chance to develop patience, for the challenges that encourage personal growth, and most of all, for the moments where my heart is open and my mind is quiet enough, that I can see the glimpses of grace that God is sending into my life.

It is this moments that we need to intentionally stop to give thanks to God, to acknowledge that we have all that we need, most of what we want, and an abundant piece of the promised peace of God – all of which exceeds well beyond anything we can ask for or imagine.

May your Thanksgiving be a time filled with giving thanks, of delighting in love, and of dancing with a big smile.

Blessings to everyone!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Aleksandar Bonev

#nsdsbonev #glencoeillinois #dancestudio #danceclasses #lovetodance #alwaysdance #groupclasses #groupactivities #dance #ballroomdance #americansmoothdance #socialdancing #salsa #bachata #rumba #waltz #tango

Dance Students

Dancing…Blood, sweat, tears, time, commitment, passion, love, hard work, dedication, time, money…

In about seven days, it will be my 24th dance anniversary, anniversary with the love of my life…

But it was that long ago (only twelve years) since I started teaching people the art of dance and sharing my passion for what I consider “The most difficult yet so beautiful ” art that you can imagine.

Throughout the years I had the opportunity to work with wonderful (and not so much…) people with great personalities. Many of my students, extremely accomplished in personal and business level had thought me so much and help me developed the person I am today.

Sometimes students come and go, realizing how hard it is, how much work they have to put into achieving their goals (sometimes they have non and that doesn’t make the teacher’s life easy), how much it cost (YES,dancing is not the cheapest sport) or sometimes just because they find their own reason.

Besides the students that come and go, there’s also some really unique and special students that simply never give up and always find they way to keep going. Students that would do anything and everything to make their dream come true, regardless of every obstacle, regardless of what their friends or relatives think, regardless of the pain sometimes they feel (YES – dancing comes with pain sometimes), regardless…

I have the honor to know people that never give up, dancers that would do what it takes to improve, to get better and to smile when they want to cry. Some of those people are as I call them – my best friends, dance friends, students of mine, dance partners and most importantly – people that I can trust, that they will be next to me when I need them the most, and for that I Thank them…

Often teachers forget, that we are who we are, thanks to our students. Our students are the once, we should thank for everything and I fully believe in it!

When I think who should I be grateful for (it’s #Thanksgiving at the end of the day ), immediately i think of my dance students.

Thank you ALL and Happy Thanksgiving !!!!

 

Aleksandar Bonev

North Shore Dance Society – Glencoe

#dance #students #dancestudents #glencoeillinois #chicagodance #lovetodance #proamdancing #danceclass #groupclass #dancers #socialdancing #salsa #bachata #ballroomdance #ballroomdancing #danceforeover #waltz #tango #argentinetango #thanksgiving #happythanksgiving

Dance journey, passion, desire, life and so much more…

Dance journey, passion, desire, life and so much more…

Who defines the body beautiful, and how has this definition been affected by feminism, multiculturalism, mass media and new technologies? If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, what kinds of images still have the power to produce such sensory experience?

All of these questions have very simple answer – the art of dance!

For me there’s no question about beauty in life, beauty in art, beauty as existence. When I experience something that is fully what it is — when it doesn’t present itself as being something but just is — then I feel I’m witnessing beauty. Galloping horses are beautiful, but the horses are not galloping and thinking, ”Oh, we are so graceful.” If they were thinking this, then they might not be beautiful.

I think that good art is autobiographical. This is about perception. It’s personal. There is a way that both the ugly and the beautiful can coexist. But the pendulum keeps swinging back and forth — you’ve got to look like this, now you’ve got to look like that. Well, let’s talk about what is good art, how do you make good art, and what is integrity in craftsmanship.

Creating energy and motion in dancing is absolutely incredible but without passion, desire and a sip of love it simply feels dry.

What does the audience want, and what are we creating? We lose the audience when things slow down and become a little more like nature. This is connected to the state of the world now, and the destruction of nature. It’s impatience with things that take time.

Deciding to be in a position to think bigger then you could ever imagine yourself being is one of the most important things for every dancer (regardless the level). It took me a while to to give myself permission to play much bigger role in my own life then I’ve ever imagined and I blame/thank dancing for that!

Dreams exist for a reason… Dreams are things that you have not achieved yet, but you want so much, that there’s no sacrifice you are not willing to make!

Passion to be a dancer and so much more is the best thing in this world for me and I thank God for every day I can take a dance step!

Co-Owning a Dance Studio in one of the most beautiful places in Illinois and having my Annual Dance event is a privilege in my life that I cherish and feel extremely happy with!

There’s no passion without love, there’s no desire without dreams, there’s no future without goals….

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with single step” – Lao Tzu

 

#thinkbig #nsdsbonev #playbigger #goals #visionboard #yesican #inspiration #iwantthis #iamworthit #entrepreneur #millionaremindset #dance #dancer #ballroomdancing

Dancing – Make your future self happy

In the late 2009 I had to go through one of the hardest moments in my life, when I was told to leave the dance practice floor at the place I first started dancing…. To say that was a hard breaking may not be enough, at the end of the day that was my home, my dream, my passion, my love, my everything… The reason to be ask to leave was, that I missed 2 major dance events due to surgery of my right toe (my teacher didn’t exactly care, since that created too much stress on finding a guy to dance instead of me). After feeling absolutely miserable and disappointed, I tried to pull myself back and in the next 2 months I did my best to prove to everyone how good I was, how talented and so forth. At the end I was able to get back my place into the dance school, without realizing that I was simply trying to prove something to other people, to make other people proud and happy…. At that time, I forgot what really matter to me – the art of dance, the joy of being on the floor, the pleasure of expressing myself with variety of movements. In 2010 i was selected to dance in a TV show “Bailando” with at that time, the youngest female in the Bulgarian parliament (apparently she was the star). The final price for whoever wins the show was to make your dreams come true (in my case, I was dancing for my very best friend, who was in a major accident and is disabled after that). 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That was probably the real turning point in my life, because I was able to see the other side of dance, the other side of my career in general. Since that time, I promised myself that regardless of any circumstances I will dancing, I will be happy and successful (subjective and not trying to compare). Will never stop dreaming big, never stop progressing and making MYSELF happy and proud of who I am…

Dancer, competitor, teacher, dreamer…

In the mid 2011 I won a lottery for Green Card to US and the rest… The rest is that dream that i will continue working towards, every single day…Because the best is yet to come…

My suggestion to all students is to dream big, practice your dancing every day and be happy…. Nothing else matters

Don’t ever be in a position to regret about unused opportunities…

 

Aleksandar Bonev – Co-Owner of

North Shore Dance Society Glencoe

660 Vernon Ave

#dance #love #dancepassion #dancestudio #glencoeillinois #nsdsbonev #lovetodance #danceclass #glencoe #chicago #salsa

What dancing means to me…

Dance for me is like the air. Without dancing, I wouldn’t be able to leave… If you start dancing once, it is forever. The body and the soul suffer if you deprive them of it. Dancing is love…

For me, dance is an inspiration, feeling, rhythm and way of life. By learning to understand and communicate through dance, you learn much more about the movement, as such, in all its forms, and you get a different kind of aesthetics and perception of space

For me, dancing is a total example of occupation and art, bringing happiness and completeness, because it can combine form and content directly. Only in the bosom of dance the form and the content are not distant and our effort to unite them is only a question of sincerity. It is the articulation of reality and its notion of it without intermediaries such as language, logic, culture, etc., that is, in its primacy it is expressed in a tight and sufficient way, without need of context and conditionality.

While dancing, the gesture itself is already an expression. It is the reality of this art that must make sense. As far as it is Primary Reflection of Reality (how unintelligible these two concepts combine to dance), it is absolutely necessary to have a way to work with our energy and to be happy.

Dancing is a very good thing. Movement is  everything. Even if you’re still, you’re still moving. Your heart jumps from inside and sings and you are such a high and bright, calm, because you are alive, otherwise you can not move if you die, though. Besides, it’s nice, because moving is the best…

If you move, because inside you wants to and you can not do it, then you dance because you want because you feel because you breathe. The dance comes from the inside out, not from outside – for me it is quite simple. Love = dance. The other is parliament and gymnastics. Soul is important. Without a soul there is no dance. A movement with soul makes your dancing different

Dance has excited me long before I entered the competition floor and figured out what a technique, class, stand, pace … as I was small, it was just the inspiration to mimic this energy that makes the dancers move and the audience to does not look away from them

Dance was and is an opportunity – to find yourself in front of others and at the same time to put on a mask and not to be judged. Opportunity to experiment, explore, demonstrate, be free or limited in your own fears. Ability to overcome yourself. It satisfies many needs. To me, it is very often the “tweaking” of the ego – they all look, want, explore, and thus create a particular energy field that you can experience only there “on stage, in the dark or under the spotlight

In the dance you have to feel free and then it shows a new world. I do not know if the emotion moves the dance or the dance moves the emotion, but they can not do without one another. Going through different styles, I understand that the technique is necessary for dance like the words of speech, but without “filing” you can not write a bestseller, only the lyrics of a song – all understand and sing, but never bark or tear, build a relationship, and give the performer that mystical energy. Dance is not climbing the ladder to some glory and grandeur, but opening and closing the door, collapsing and flying

The dance has always made me feel like a toddler – boldly and indiscriminately and with very poor coordination. Because the dance is immense and rebellious. You can never be good enough.

Creativity is a mysterious inner process that remains closed for connoisseurs. We can not see Michelangelo working. We can only imagine the very process of the great artists and sculptures, while in the dance we have been given the unique opportunity to witness the creation of a masterpiece, a living masterpiece that is happening in front of the audience. And I still think that dance is a state of mind and is embedded in us as the primary expression of emotion, just as the smile, just some gesture of joy or of another emotional state

Of course, I’m talking about his most primitive existence within us, not about the good and great virtuosos in the ballet, for example. The dance has developed a lot over the years in the thousands of dusty halls around the world, but I think that before going into the hall and the opera has come out of ourselves. With its therapeutic property, dance becomes a drug for dancers, dance can heal, we all know it and that’s why we dance

With love for dance…

 

Article by Aleksandar Bonev 7/15/2018

North Shore Dance Society – Glencoe, IL

660 Vernon Ave

#nsdsbonev #americansmooth #ballroomdancing #socialdancing #dancegroupclass #glencoeillinois #dance #music #privatedancelessons

When We Dance…

When we dance, we make our essence…. This is the very best way to express ourselves.

The way you move along the dance floor can reveal a lot about what kind of person you are. Your movements just seem at first glance spontaneous. Behind them are hidden features of your character. Dancing makes you more or less extrovert, closed or distant. Experts have analyzed the movements of amateur dancers, then subjected them to a psychological test. The result are categorical – the way you are on the dance floor is probably similar to the person in your normal life. Thus, the relationship between gestures, movements of body parts (pelvis, legs, neck and arms) is made with the speed of movement – fast, energetic, flexible, chaotic and bouncing. The dance recognizes the dominant features in the mores – whether you are shy or emotional, abstaining and magnetic … We offer you four types – judge who you fall.

With many movements

You curl your head and arms actively, turn your hips and shoulders – this shows that you are energetic and self-confident people. This way of dancing is typical of extrovert natures that are very mobile both on the dance floor and in life. You love being among people, having fun, being in the company and being surrounded by friends. Easily communicate with strangers and tie up new acquaintances. This coincides with the impression you create around others – you want to be in the spotlight and focus, be active. Your favorite dances are probably Jive, Swing, Mambo, Salsa, Bachata & Quick Step. This style of dancing with many movements speaks of a dynamic and social nature, a heart-seeking and active person looking for sensation and realization.

With tenderness and grace 

Flexibly twist your neck, arms and head, giving the impression that you are sliding on the dance floor. In your dance there is an idea, a thought and a state. You are open to the associations and boldly experiment. There is a lot of charm in this choreography and it speaks of an optimistic and joyful temperament, of a sincere and dedicated personality. You feel equally well with heels and sneakers because you are casual and gentle. Your loved one will spend a wonderful evening with you…

With sharp gestures

You touch your legs and arms in all directions. The feeling is that your movements are abrupt and chaotic, and this creates the feeling that you are emotionally unstable.  These mad gestures characterize you as an anxious person, a person with an independent and free-loving temper. The bad thing is that your mood is constantly changing and you are prone to stress. You need a sentimental support.

Quickly, but subtly

You move mostly your hands, and your legs move slightly, as if sliding on ice. This style of reasoning, without giving the rhythm, speaks for a lack of imagination but also for very positive qualities. In fact, you are a serious and organized nature, very precise and savvy. It’s about a conscientious person who can be relied on.

At North Shore Dance Society – Glencoe , we recognize the different personality dancers and always try to redirect and improve the experience of everyone.

We teach Ballroom, Latin & Night Club Dances.

 

Article by North Shore Dance Society – Glencoe,Il 660 Vernon Ave

#nsdsbonev #glencoeillinois #4thofjuly #ballroomdance #dancestudio #danceglencoe

 

Flexibility And The Splits in Ballroom and Latin Dancing

Flexibility And The Splits in Ballroom and Latin Dancing

Whatever your goal is in dancing, flexibility is critical. Without it, you are much more prone to injury. With it, you have more options for anything from cleaner looking lines to dramatic splits. Consider these 5 tips for flexibility and the splits to help you with your goals.The first thing to keep in mind is that with care and commitment, almost anyone without a medical restriction can become more flexible that they already are.  Your goal at the start may not be full splits, but having a bit more stretch than you have now. Just keep in mind, it will not happen by just dancing more. Like most things in life, you have to have a not only a goal and but also a plan.

1. Plan a specific and regular time to work on your overall flexibility

~Always warm up before stretching or you will risk injury. Ten minutes of light activity is all you need, or you can do your stretches after your dance practice as part of your cool down.
~You can start with simple extensions of every part of your body:
~Roll your neck while you think of stretching it. Do this by moving your head from side to side while drawing a half circle in the air from one shoulder to the other with your nose. If you want, you can then go a bit further by thinking of drawing as big a circle as you comfortably can with the top of your head. Just remember to keep the neck extended while doing so.
~Reach your arms in every direction as far as they will go. Keep your body still and your shoulder blades down, to isolate the stretch in your arms.
~Extend your legs in various directions while sitting on the floor or on a chair. Keep your hips in a square position with your sides at right angles to the ground, and the base of your pelvis flat, not tilted up or back. Alternate between pointing your toes and flexing your ankles.
~Stretch your sides by turning your upper body while your hips remain square and facing front, and your head remains still. Think of pointing one elbow exactly in front of you and the other exactly behind, then switching.
~Try extending your torso by thinking of lengthen your spine by an inch. Do this with your shoulder blades down and your spine flat. To make sure that your spine is flat, start by standing with your back against a wall if you need to, making sure that there are little or no spaces between your back and the wall. It is interesting how many people feel awkward with a truly straight spine, so do not be surprised if it takes a while before this feels natural to you.
~Hold each extended position for at least a minute to start, and increase the time as you can.

2. Try to get those feelings of stretch when you dance, and in your daily life

~The simple stretches noted above should feel great to you, and will make it clear to you how little we actual stretch our bodies in daily life.
~There are several easy stretches that are great. Each of the ones selected are simple enough to do anywhere and can be used as you dance, to enhance your look.
~Consistency in stretching is key. You need to focus time on this at least 10 mins everyday in addition to incorporating your stretching into your daily life. Any effort that is inconsistent, will not yield much benefit. Even starting at 5 mins every day is better than 15 mins every once in a while. The more consistent you are, the better you will feel, and the faster your flexibility will build.

3. Once the general stretches are comfortable, you can set a specific goal that is within your reach.

~Do not set you goal nor measure your progress based on what you see in someone else. Everyone is born with slightly different types of flexibility in addition to different levels. As well, just because you are flexible in one area of your body, does not necessarily mean that you will be just as flexible in another.
~If you are not sure where to start for your specific goal, ask your coach what would benefit you the most.
~Many people have goals of greater flexibility in hips and hamstrings to do high kicks, long strides and splits, so we will cover that next.

4. Preparing your body to do the splits.

~Generally speaking, it is easier to start with the kind of splits where one leg is in front of the other as opposed to both legs out at each side. With this, it is best to start with the front splits.
~Only try the side splits when your hip flexors and hamstrings are both extremely flexible and very strong. You will know when you are ready for this when the front splits are very easy for you, no matter which leg is in front.
~Lunges and squats are a great way to start preparing for the front splits and training you to keep your hips square and facing front as you stretch.
~It is also beneficial to stretch the quadriceps. You can do this by pointing your bent knee to the floor and holding your foot behind you.
~When you are ready to get into the split position, lower your body as far as you can without pain, while keeping your legs straight or knees slightly soft (not bent) and your hips facing forward.
~To progress, you need to push to the point of being uncomfortable, but never, ever, ever to the point of pain.
~Hold the position for at least 2 minutes. You might need to work up to this, but the 2 minute point is the point where you will get the most benefit.
~Stay completely still. Never bounce. It will not help you and you may injure yourself.

5.  Use it or lose it

~No matter what level of flexibly you have, you can keep it for a lifetime if you are in good health and you practice your flexibility consistently.
~You can also lose even great flexibility very quickly if you don’t actively do things to maintain it.
~Flexibility truly does protect your health as well as enhance your potential in dancing. With this, it is a good investment of a few minutes of time and effort every day.

 

Author: Miss P [Celebrate DanceSport]

 

North Shore Dance Society

Seven Tips On Ballroom & Smooth Dancers

Seemingly small things make a world of difference in how you look and how you feel when dancing. Perfect technique is a life long journey. Whatever path you take on that journey, these super 7 essential tips on Ballroom & American Smooth will help you along the way.

1.   Make stable and clean looking moves by controlling the path of your legs

When Dancing, Track your feet under your body, brush your thighs, however you want to say it, save ronde moves for true rondes in choreography, and never compromise your look or balance with a wayward leg.

2. Take large steps by not stepping

~Bend your knees low and forward before you move.
~Think of sliding instead of stepping, and travelling by moving your hips and torso across the floor, which will keep your legs moving in time with your body and not before.
~In heel leads, delay lifting your heel for as long as you can and you will look more powerful without looking like it is an effort.

3.  Keep your swing dances smooth by keeping your feet on the ground

Keep both feet in contact with the floor at all times for continuous elegant movement. This will reduce clunks and jerks, and will make a world of difference how refined your dancing appears.

4.  Maintain poise and posture by straightening the natural curves of your spine, which will then elongate you

~Keep your belly button pulled in, your hips up not pushed back, your shoulder blades down, and chest down, collected and flat, not puffed out.
~Add a firm core and you are good to go.

5.  Hold your partner, rather than simply attaching yourself

~In typical holds and hugs, your arms are in a rounded position to extend around another person.
~Continue to think “round” in your ballroom hold,  and never squeeze, pull or push.
~Always keep your arms in front of you.
~Your elbows should be strong and in a static position relative to your arms.
~This will keep your connection more stable and your partner much happier.

6.  Side leads will help you glide

~Objects that are designed to move well and maneuver quickly are designed to be aerodynamic, not boxy or flat.
~Think of making yourself more aerodynamic on the floor as well. With this in mind, moving with a side lead will be your only realistic option.

7. The followers’ stretch truly is a stretch, not a bend

~Shoulders are down, sides are elongated and only the top of the spine is extended back.
~This extension is amplified to a beautiful stretch by keeping your neck long, straight and positioned over your left arm, and your nose positioned in line with your left elbow.
~It is such a beautiful position, you will want to be able to do it for a lifetime. By doing it correctly,  you will do it safely, and will show this beautiful line for a long time to come.

There is so much more that can make a ballroom dance beautiful, and more that can be said about each of these points. Remembering each one of the points here will give everything else a great base.

Author: Miss P

 

North Shore Dance Society

Ballroom & Latin Dancing – Sports Massage

massage dancing ballroom latin social salsa waltz tango

Just knowing you have an appointment with your favorite massage therapist can be an incentive to get through a long day in the studio. Achy muscles and tension will soon melt away and be replaced with that lovely sense of blissful relaxation.

Luckily, a massage is more than just a guilty pleasure. It can actually increase circulation, reduce muscle tightness and relieve stress. But while massage therapy has many positive benefits, it’s not exactly the panacea some dancers wish it were. Before you skip the doctor, make sure you know both the benefits and limits of a good rubdown.

How Massage Works

Massage is not just about relaxation. Massage therapists look at how to make a muscle, joint and tendon fire more effectively and even decrease spasm.

There are several types of massage therapy. Dancers most often get a Swedish massage, which helps create a relaxation response in the body, or deep-tissue massage, which helps to reshape patterns of tightness by working on fascia (the connective tissue that wraps each muscle and groups of muscles, much like the casing of a sausage).

Massage also helps to prevent injury. After dancing, massage can reduce tension in the soft tissue as well as stretching the muscles to prevent injury; massage also helps to relax the mind. Deep tissue massages are very popular amongst ballet, ballroom & latin dancers as these improve posture and relax the muscles.

 

Can Massage…

…Prevent Injury?

When a muscle is “tight,” it can be a sign of overuse or strain, and circulation can be decreased and compromised, making the fascia dehydrated and sticky, which in turn creates adhesions. These adhesions can become painful to stretch and they limit movement, reinforcing dysfunctional movement patterns. “Massage can help break up these fascia adhesions, allowing for improved circulation to the muscle and restoration of full movement.”

By allowing the muscle to work more freely, massage helps prevent imbalances that lead to injury. Massage is one part of injury prevention and rehabilitation, along with exercise, nutrition and sleep. “The massage therapist is part of the dancer’s whole physiological team.”

…Reduce Muscle Soreness?

Massage can increase your circulation, which helps improve recovery. The relaxation effects can also improve your perceived level of fatigue. If a dancer relaxes after a rehearsal while their body is being worked on, they’ve already started the body’s healing process. “That sets them up to feel better, which means they can perform better.”

…Increase Your Range of Motion?

Massage won’t make your muscles more flexible, but it can help relax them. It won’t elongate the muscle, but if you are more relaxed, you will be able to move the limb or joint more easily, and that could increase your range of motion. 15-minute session before an important rehearsal or performance if they have a tight muscle. Dancers feel they have their range back, but it all depends on how fatigued they are and what else is going on with their body.

…Flush Toxins?

If you want to get rid of toxins, you’re better off focusing on hydration than massage. Drinking water right after a massage to rid the body of lactic acid is a myth, as a massage generally does not release built-up lactic acid. “But staying hydrated will help your body function better.”

…Relieve Inflammation?

Lymphatic drainage is proven to decrease inflammation, but that work requires a very light touch. Since a dancer’s schedule is often packed, inflammation is more efficiently treated through electrical stimulation, icing and medication than massage.

…Provide Stress Relief?

Massage has been proven to help reduce both physical and mental stress. The best thing massage can do for you is to help you relax your body. It is also known to improve sleep and help decrease depression and anxiety.

The Bigger Picture

Everyone has muscle imbalances, and staying injury-free is all about maintaining balance in your body. Dancers need to remember that massage is just one possible aid. “Be careful not to rely too much on restorative therapies that only help you ‘feel better.’ Adding stretching and strengthening to correct muscle imbalances is vital to help you get better, too.”

3 Tips for Self-Massage

• Try a lacrosse ball. It’s a good size for a lot of body parts, it’s only about $2 and it’s rubber

• Remember what your therapist does and try to re-create that, making sure it is never so painful that you hold your breath.

• If an area is too sore for pressure, try massaging your face, hands or any surrounding area. That will help decrease the body’s overall muscle tension, which in turn will help decrease tension in the sore spot.

Time It Right

If you have a rehearsal or performance later in the day, massage work should be more superficial, as deep-tissue techniques can leave you feeling too relaxed, loose, a bit sore and unresponsive. A 2006 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found a decrease in muscle-force production immediately following a lower-limb massage.

#ballroomdancing #socialdancing #salsadancing #competitivedancing #ballroom #latindancing #Chicago #Evanston #Northfield