As a ballet teacher myself, I know that teacher health care normally takes a back burner. Ballet teacher health care should be an important part of your routine, and this applies not only to ballet teachers out there, but to all teachers of dance.
Tell me, does this sound familiar?
“At the end of the day I have throbbing feet, sore legs, tired bodies, painful backs and an exhausted mind.”
Being a dance teacher is not as easy as it looks, especially as you get older.
When you are young, it feels as though you have endless energy and nothing can take you down, and you can teach for longer. You tend to neglect your health, due to busyness and lack of time, but beware your health can come crashing down if you don’t take the time to look after yourself and pamper yourself with some teacher health care.
If you find yourself suffering from any of the following symptoms, then it is time to slow down and rethink that hectic schedule.
- Flu – symptoms
- Many aches and pains that don’t go away
- Exhaustion or burn out
- Lack of excitement for your job, or lack of inspiration
Beware you could be heading for a break down. Pushing through, like we all like to do can only lead to longer downtime when you finally do crash.
Here are some things you need to keep in mind in order to look after both yourself and your business.
Dance Teacher Health Care
Warm Up Warm Up Warm Up
Take Some Time To Warm Yourself Up Before You Start To Teach each day.
Just as dancers need warm up time, so do you. You have to demonstrate to your pupils, and doing this with cold muscles is not the best example you should be setting for your students. It is also not good for your own long term wellbeing.
Take at least fifteen minutes before your first lesson of the day starts and do some light stretching. Walk briskly up and down the studio, or the stairs. Don’t exhaust yourself before your day has started, simply get those muscles primed so that you don’t strain them.
I sometimes run out of time and can’t warm up. In this case be very aware of how you move, especially in the beginning of the teaching day. Don’t throw yourself into any high jumps or ackward postions.
Plan Your Meals
What you eat before you teach will go a long way to providing you with the energy to keep going throughout the day. Take some healthy snacks with you to nibble on as the day goes on. This will give you that natural boost to your energy just when you start to feel a bit drained.
Make Time To Go And See A Live Dance Show
Nothing will inspire you more than taking some time off to go and see a live show. Not even watching a show on TV or You Tube can compare to the experience of soaking up a live show.
This is the best way to keep yourself inspired and get your mind working on new ideas.
Read Dance Teaching Blogs
Now that we have the World Wide Web at our finger tips, there is nothing stopping you from reading and learning online. The internet is also a great place to connect with other teachers and share your thoughts and ideas.
Taking the time to read and learn each day will keep you motivated and loving your job. It will also keep you abreast of new happenings in the dance world.
Staying organized and on top of things goes a long way to keeping your sanity. Carry a small notebook that you can make notes about each class if you need to, as well as things you need to remember to do, like cutting the music, or making a certain track a little slower.
Have your lessons planned out so that they run smoothly.
Make sure that your music is set up in playlists for each class so you don’t waste too much time searching for music during classes.
If you are unorganized, it can only lead to stress, which is also not a good thing for your teacher health long term.
Keep Your Hands Clean
Keeping your hands clean can go a long way to avoid getting sick. It is a good idea to carry a hand sanitizer around with you. Since you will be constantly touching people and germ filled barres, it is best to clean those paws on a regular basis to avoid getting sick, especially during flue season.
Dealing with snotty nosed kids is also a major health risk which you need to protect yourself against.
Water that is. Sip on water throughout the day to keep yourself well hydrated while you are teaching.
Take the Day off
If you are sick, take the day off. Don’t push through as you will only make things worse in the long run, and you may even need to take off more days than you would have originally, as if you don’t rest your body, you will get worse instead of better.
Protect Your Vocal Strings
As a teacher you will at some time suffer from voice strain. This has happened to me on more than one occasion during my career.
Try not to scream and shout. Project your voice gently and correctly. Try turning the music down if you feel the need to shout while it is playing.
A good idea is taking a few lessons from a singing coach, as they can teach you how to throw your voice, which causes less strain for you over the long run.
Well now that I have written all this information on teacher health care down, I feel more motivated to take better care of my own health in the studio.
Please feel free to comment below if you have any other suggestions that can help dance teachers out there to cope and look after themselves better.