7 Ways to Keep Dancers Busy at Home
So... You bored yet?
It's funny- so many times I have said: "If I could just get a few days at home to get everything done and rest..." and now we are home and - getting nothing done other than keeping my kids from killing one another! As one who has been described as a "busy body" all my life - this is torture... and I can only imagine many of you feel the same. So - here are some ideas to keep you moving (and SANE) until our life can get back to normal.
1. Take a Class!
We have worked with CLI Studios since the beginning of 2019. They offer amazing online courses always, and we definitely recommend becoming a full-time CLI member. But better yet - right now they are offering them FREE OF CHARGE! We're talking combos from Teddy Forance, Misha Gabriel, Chloe Arnold and dozens more - totally free, and from the comfort of your living room! Move out the furniture - you're gonna love this! (Bonus: if you sign up for CLI Studios you will get a year-long discount code from Tiger Friday!)
Shop our STAYSTRONG 30% off sale!
2. Stretch and Strengthen!
Our Tiger Friday Instagram page has started an IGTV series dedicated to keeping you strong and flexible while stuck at home. Conditioning and stretching is one thing that really must be done daily in order to maintain what you have worked so hard for! We will keep populating this series, so keep on the lookout and make sure you are following our Instagram page.
3. Set Goals and Make an Official "Dance Bucket List"
When I was 16, I sat down and made my "Dance Bucket List" - and guess what! "Start my own Dancewear Line" was totally on that list! Also on it was "Dance Professionally" - "Teach and Choreograph Internationally" and "Audition for So You Think You Can Dance" - all of which I was actually able to accomplish thanks to that little bucket list staring back from my bathroom mirror each day! Would I have done all those things without having them written down as actual goals? Who knows... but one thing is for sure: having your goals written down and staring at you every day makes it much more likely that you won’t forget about them!
Goals should be three things:
-Achievable: Don't set a goal that is impossible to achieve or outside of your power to accomplish. For example - my goal was "AUDITION for So You Think You Can Dance" - not "WIN So You Think You Can Dance." To actually win the show, there are too many variables and factors outside my control. I can't force the judges to want me - they may need a redhead to round out their top 10 finalists - who knows? Even if I do make the top 10, I can't force the public to vote for me. But - I can have the courage to audition, and train hard in order to do my best - that's a box I can check off no matter what the outcome of the audition may be.
-Quantifiable: This means, it has to be measurable. A goal such as "get better at pirouettes" - what does that actually mean? When can you check off the box exactly? A better goal would be "nail a triple pirouette consistently" or "get through 32 fouettes with no supporting-leg-traveling". That way you know when it's achieved, and you can check that box with pride!
-Timelined: A bucket list may not need a timeline, but most goals are much more likely to be achieved if there is an expiration date. Think of it this way - you could say "nail triple pirouettes consistently" - which is something you could slowly work on for 20 years! Instead, something like "nail triple pirouettes consistently by nationals" will give you the drive and determination to keep practicing daily and getting that goal achieved in time!
4. Organize your dance bag, dancewear, and shoes:
We all know the smell... That one that smacks you between the nostrils when you unzip your dance bag. It happens to the best of us - and nobody is immune! Here are the steps for a pristine (and stench-free) dance bag:
-Empty it out entirely.
This includes the cracker crumbs at the bottom. Shake it out, wipe it out, even machine wash it if it's compatible. Spray the inside with a little Febreze and leave it out in the sun for an afternoon.
-Organize the contents into "keep" - "give" - and "trash".
The keep pile should ONLY be dance shoes that are in good condition and currently fit. Spritz the inside with a little baby powder and leave them out for a few hours. The keep pile can also have things like - dynabands, tennis balls, corrections journal, insulated lunchbox and hydroflask. The keep pile should not have dirty leos and tights (those should be in the laundry basket or in your dresser drawers). If you want to keep a CLEAN set of tights and a black leo - fold it up and place it in a gallon-sized Ziplock bag inside your dance bag. If you need to fall back on that pair, place a new clean set back into the Ziplock after dance that day. Also, do not keep any food in your dance bag unless it's secured in the lunchbox. Then clean it out after dance so you don't end up with a rotten banana fumigating your pointe shoes.
The give pile should be dance shoes and dancewear that are still in good condition, but no longer fit. Ship those off right away to a sweet dancer friend at your studio who is smaller than you. Think of how that will make her quarantined day so much brighter! Add a little note letting her know you miss her and can't wait to dance together again!
The trash pile should be all things that are too worn out to function properly. If they have sentimental value - place them on your bookshelf or dresser with a photo of the memory they are attached to. For years one of my students has had her first pair of pointe shoes on her shelf next to a photo of her performing her first pointe variation. It's a sweet way to commemorate things that no longer belong in your dance bag - but that you can't let go of.
In the trash category would also be- stretched out bobby pins, empty rosin bottles, tights with runs or holes, used-up deodorant and lipstick, and tampons which have just been in there too long to be healthy. You get the idea. When the quarantine is over - you'll want to stay as clean and sanitary as possible, even in your dance bag!
-Fill it up with the good stuff!
When you're ready to re-populate your bag, compartmentalize everything the best you can. If your bag doesn't have many pockets and separate compartments, look around for different bags to separate things. Old makeup bags or zippered coin purses work wonders. Even Ziplock bags or small Tupperware will work to keep things organized. Keep all hair supplies enclosed in one area, all shoes in another, tights/leos in their own spot, toiletries in their own bag, lunchbox in its own spot, and other items such as your tennis ball or dynaband in its own place. The more organized it is, the less likely it will begin to stink, and the more likely you'll be able to actually find what you need!
5. Online Shop!
Quarantine may not be fun - but online shopping is! Nearly every large dancewear brand is discounting prices right now to help brighten your spirits and ease the financial burden on our fragile economy. Chances are - when things get back to normal, prices will too! If you have been eyeing something - now is the time to buy it. Shop our STAYSTRONG sale for 30% off EVERY.THING.SITE.WIDE!
6. Get Creative!
That dream of choreographing your own solo, or a combo to teach your dance friends? There's not going to be a better time to explore your creativity than now! Video your choreographic creations and save them for the right time, or post them on social media for the world to see your talent! I know when my students ask in advance, I will allow them to teach a combo they choreographed to the class - ask your teacher if they would do the same. Maybe you dream of fashion designing but never have the time to sit and do it... well - I bet you have time now! ;) Maybe you like to paint or sketch - truly, any outlet of creativity can only enhance your value and artistry as a dancer.
7. Do Something for Someone Else:
Last but most definitely not least - now is the time to show love and compassion for the human race! All your dance friends are just as bored and cooped up as you are. Maybe now is the best time to write a letter (no, not a text... a real letter!) to tell them how amazing they are. It's a great time to check in with the teacher who has influenced you throughout your life - tell them that without their inspiration, you wouldn't be the dancer you are today. Facetime your grandparents and show them what you have been working on. See if your elderly neighbor needs any yard work done. Something I know to be true - if we focus on helping others, suddenly our own pity party seems a little less pitiful. ;)
We are here for you and we want you to STAY STRONG. If there's anything we, at Tiger Friday, can do to help you through this, never hesitate to ask. Oh - and you better take some good before and after photos of your dance bag and tag us! ;)
Bree Hafen, founder Tiger Friday