As a Dance Teacher, you have a busy life, but it is important to make time for yourself every day. Here are some teacher self care ideas that you can use to make sure you stay healthy, strong, and focused. These tips will also help dance teachers to avoid the burnout that happens all too often in this profession.
Dance Teacher Self Care Ideas
Warm Up And Cool Down
This is something that dance teachers tend to neglect when it comes to self care, but it is very important.
If you don’t warm up before you start teaching, at least participate in the warm-up during the first class of the day to get yourself warmed up for the day.
Micro-movements of the joints are very effective and ensure good distribution of the synovial fluid for healthy joints long term.
Prepare your feet for the day by rolling them on a tennis ball.
Manipulate your feet manually with your hands to ensure functional pronation and supination. Circle your ankles a few times in each direction.
Once your day is done you also need to cool down.
You can even do this with your last class of the day if you don’t have time to do it on your own.
Try lying down with your legs up the wall for 15 minutes to drain any fluid and inflammation.
Do some stretches, especially the calves, legs, and hips if you don’t have energy for anything else.
Your body will thank you the next day.
Keep Yourself Hydrated
Keep your water bottle handy all day and make sure it is filled with clear and filtered water with no flavorings. Try and aim to drink about 2 liters of water a day.
If you don’t like the taste of plain water, spice it up with some slices of cucumber or a squirt of orange juice, but keep it pure.
Eat Balanced Snacks
Your snacks should be a combination of fat, protein, and carbs. This will ensure that you keep your energy levels up, as it is no fun running out of steam before the last class of the day.
Examples of good snacks for class:
- Fruit cut into pieces – don’t eat too much fruit at once or you get a sugar spike.
- Cracker with Peanut Butter
- Peeled carrots
Demonstrate On Both Sides Equally
Make sure you keep alternating your demonstration side, especially when doing barre work. Avoid the dangers of asymmetry and muscle imbalances that you will get over time if you only use one side of your body and don’t balance it out with the other.
Look After Your Voice
Teachers often have problems with their voices eventually, and here are some tips to help your voice to stay strong and clear and avoid the growth of vocal nodes.
Support your voice from your diaphragm in order to project, rather than screaming or shouting above the music from your throat. A singing coach will be able to help you develop these muscles.
When speaking, relax your neck, chin, watch the position of your head. Don’t let your chin jut in or out. Speaking with tension, stress and poor alignment will burn out your voice.
Keep Your Brain Sharp
Keep your brain sharp by using a brain gym app. You can also regularly do things like sudoku, crosswords, or building puzzles to help in this regard.
Never Work Harder Than Your Students
This is a mistake a lot of young teachers make at the beginning of their careers. You don’t need to dance everything flat out with your students. They will never learn to do anything on their own if they have you in front to copy the entire time.
Try and video your students and have them self-assess themselves and each other instead of relying solely on their teacher for feedback.
Treat Yourself To The Theatre
Nothing inspires one more than a visit to see a live show. Take advantage of this opportunity when it arises and soak up as much of the experience as you can. This is one of my favorite dance teacher self care ideas.
This is a great way to get your inspiration going again and those creative juices flowing. Seeing other people perform instead of you students is like taking a mini-break that will leave you feeling refreshed again, especially if you feel you are suffering from a bit of burnout.
Don’t Isolate Yourself
Keep in contact with other dance teachers, as they can be a great support, and it’s great to talk to somebody who is going through the same thing as you are.
Having a support system in place is a really good idea, especially if you are working on your own, and this is another great way to avoid burnout. If it isn’t someone in your area, there are also a lot of groups online you can join where teachers can vent together.
Remember Your Why
Why do you love to teach, and what are your personal and professional goals. Keep your personal inspiration flowing.
Remember that as a dance teacher, you are responsible for improving the lives of every student you come into contact with and what you do is important. Your job is about playing the long game because change and progress take a lot of time. You cannot do all the work for your students, you are there to guide, lead, facilitate and inspire them.
Please comment below if you have any other dance teacher self care ideas or tips to add.