We’re half-way through the summer, and even though school’s out, life certainly hasn’t slowed down. Packed with vacations, summer camps, parties, and outdoor activities, summertime can be one of the busiest, most active time of the year- and also, the hottest. These elements combined have a powerful effect on the body, which makes practicing self care during this season not only paramount, but also, potentially life-saving.

This is where our new July blog series steps in: Summer Self-Care Essentials. Each week, we highlight an area of health & wellness to inspire you to connect with your physical wellbeing and ultimately, ensure that your ideal “summer bod” is one that is balanced, nourished, and healthy.

But first, let’s take a look at how the hotter temperature during summer months can affect our bodies.

As humans, its built into our biological make-up to experience physical changes alongside seasonal ones. While winter time is the more severe season on average, summer offers its own set of challenges for our physiological climate to accommodate, including changes to the functionality of the heart, lungs, gastrointestinal and nervous systems. Due to the increase in temperature, studies suggest our bodies are more vulnerable to dehydration, heat stroke, decreased lung function, and, especially, an impaired mental state with summer months usually boasting more admissions to the ER for mental healthcare services than winter.

Keeping this in mind, let’s jump into this week’s first summer self-care essential: MOVEMENT.  
No matter the time of year, implementing a physical activity into one’s self-care routine empowers one to have awareness of and take responsibility for one’s physical wellbeing. Depending on the activity, integral functions of the body, such as the cardiovascular, nervous, and respiratory systems, are engaged, leading to benefits like stronger muscles, reduced stress, increased mobility, and the release of certain brain chemicals- like endorphins- which promote positive feelings and also combat depression.


Without further ado, let’s dive into some summer movement tips for your summer self-care routine:
  • Hydrate- Before, during, and after your workout, be sure to drink water! Its our number 1 tip for a reason. As mentioned above, when the environment warms up, it makes the body more vulnerable to heat related afflictions that can take a serious, sometimes fatal toll on our bodies. Among a number of benefits, water helps regulate body temperature, maintain blood pressure, protects joints during movement, prevents dehydration, and boosts energy to stave off lethargy.*More on water and it’s benefits in our next blog post, but keep reading along for more movement related tips below!*
  • Cool off- Consider indoor/outdoor activities that will not only help you break a sweat, but will also keep you cool. Below are a few of our favorites:
    Indoor activities: dance class, barre classes, yoga, pilates, gymnastics, strength training at a gym, stationary bike, treadmill, indoor rock climbing, racquet ball, basketball, at-home workout
    Outdoor activities: swimming, surfing, hiking, walking/running, jump-roping, soccer, baseball, softball, golfing, cycling, inline skating, skateboarding
  • Slow down- No need to stack your routine with long, high intensity workouts to achieve your summer fitness goals. The one thing you DO NOT want to do is overexert yourself.
    To start, try peppering your workout routine with shorter, lower intensity exercises to accommodate both the physiological and seasonal change (see above for ideas and inspiration). It’s usually recommended to commit to 20-30 mins, 3 x a week, and practice consistency in whatever activity you choose to do.
    Also, consider dedicating 5 -10 min of your routine specifically to cooling down after exercising; this helps with easing your body back into a regulated state by decreasing the heart rate, expanding your intake of oxygen, and enhancing relaxation.
Hope you enjoyed the first of our Summer Self-Care Essentials series! Stay tuned for next week’s post, and be sure you’re signed up to receive our newsletter, so you don’t miss a beat!

Before Recital Day

  • Double check your email for your personal instructions for the day

 It contains ALL the information you need, like what to bring, theatre + ticket info, drop-off/pick-up details, etc.

  • Set aside everything you need

Gather costumes, tights, shoes, accessories, make-up, and hair styling tools, etc and put them in a place you won’t forget them.  Don’t forget your vaccination cards & masks too. That way, it’s easy to find everything you need and there will (hopefully) be no last-minute rush the day of to look for something you forgot.

  • Rest up

As dancers, it’s imperative that our bodies + minds feel rested and ready to take the stage on recital day. Set aside extra wind down time the night before to give your body the chance to relax and regulate before all the excitement! Here are our favorite ways to wind down: reading, listening to relaxing music, journaling, and meditation (see our Mindful Blog Post series)

On Recital Day

  • Do a health screening

At this point, we all know the drill, but we want to reiterate that if you’re feeling unwell or have any symptoms of being sick on the day of the recital to please stay home. There will be many more recitals to come, and we look forward to sharing the stage again when it does.

  • Hydrate and eat a healthy meal before your showtime

Eating the right foods and drinking water plays an important role in your dancer’s overall recital experience. As dancers, we know the importance of taking care of our bodies, and that certain foods will help maintain our energy level, regulate our moods, and improve our performance when it’s time to dance on stage. Dancers should avoid sugary foods & drinks that contribute to energy crashes and mood swings, and instead opt for protein-rich, nutritious foods and drinks like, eggs, meat, nuts, and your favorite fruits & veggies.

  • Arrive early

Nothing takes the magic out of recital day like a late arrival and the stress of not knowing if you’re too late to participate. Save the theatre’s address in your phone, check the ETA early on the day of, and plan to leave extra time for yourself to account for traffic, parking, dropping off you dancer, checking into the theatre, picking up bouquets (if you ordered one), not to mention socializing and saying hi to all your dance friends & families!

  • Pack extras

After countless recitals, there are bound to be dancers and staff in need of extra: safety pins, bobby pins, hairspray, hair ties, deodorant (for our older dancers), underwear (for younger dancers), bandaids, hand sanitizer, and face masks. Sending you dancer with these extra items in their bag will set them up to handle whatever comes their way that day!

  • Enjoy the moment
The recital is our studio’s biggest celebration of the year, and we intend on making it as memorable as ever! However, that does not mean you need to be glued to your device or watch your dancer perform through your screen. While we LOVE seeing your personal photos and videos, rest assured, our professional photographers and videographers will be capturing all the magic moments in store, both on stage and off. All you need to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!

After last week’s blog post, 3 Ways to Encourage Mindfulness in Dance Class, we figured, the more mindful, the merrier!

Here are 3 MORE ways you can infuse your class with a dose of mindfulness:

Tense + Release Exercise – Have your students lie flat on their backs and close their eyes. Encourage them to notice their breath, bringing awareness to their present senses. Working up from the toes to the face muscles, guide your dancers through gently tightening different muscle groups for 5 seconds at a time and then slowly releasing after. Your dancers should feel more relaxed, centered, and prepared to take on whatever you have planned for class!
Belly Breathing– Among many benefits, breath-work has been proven to assist in regulating the nervous system, decreasing stress, and resetting one’s mental state. Our favorite way to incorporate it into class is by imagining our bellies as balloons. Have your dancers stand or sit in a comfortable position and close their eyes. Encourage them to sit tall and elongate their spine. Then have them imagine their bellies as a big balloons they’re slowly filling up with air. When their balloon is full, have them hold it for a moment, then slowly release and let the air all the way out.
Five Senses Safari– This is a fun one, especially for your younger classes! It activates the imagination and encourages awareness. When you feel like your class needs a reset, take them on a 1 minute safari. Set your timer and ask them connect with each of their senses. If you’re going to go on safari, you need to keep your awareness and stay present in the moment. As they silently walk around the room with you, set a calming scene for them to explore, being specific about the imaginary environment’s details. What are you seeing? What are you hearing? Do you smell anything? Can you feel anything? What snack did you pack for safari and how good does it taste? Because before you know it, the timer will be up and it’ll be time to head back to class with all the mindful tools we picked up from our adventure.

Pro-tipWe recommend setting extra time for yourself to transition out of your scene and get dancers back to class mode.

May is Mental Health Awareness month. To help encourage more advocation for mental health support within the dance community, give this article a save, repost, or share to any of your favorite platforms. Follow us on Instagram @reachforthebarresla for more dance tips, tricks, and tutu cute content 🫶


Have you ever had a class where you felt you were doing more behavior management than dancing? Have you noticed shorter attention spans, hyperactive, impulsive behavior, or negative self-talk among your students? If so, it might be time to introduce the power of mindfulness to your dancers.


What is mindfulness? It is “the nonjudgmental focus of one’s attention on the experience that occurs in the present moment.” (Bernier, Thienot, Codron, & Fournier, 2009). As more research emerges on the effects of teaching mindfulness to children, evidence suggests that students who practice it show an increase in focus, decrease in stress, improved self-regulation, enhanced social-emotional development, and an overall boost to their mental health as well as their class performance.
Here are 3 ways you can infuse your class with a dose of mindfulness:


  • MEDITATION– Start class by having students sit in a comfortable position or lying down on the floor. You can encourage them to place one hand on their heart and another on their stomach. Feel free to turn off the lights. Have them close their eyes and think of a place that brings them joy. Nudge them to notice their breath and feelings in their present moment of stillness. From this place of peace, ask them to silently set an intention for their class- including how they would like to feel by the end of it. Slowly bring them back to class by turning the lights back on and increasing the volume of your music. If you feel inclined to do so, before continuing with class, you may choose to have your dancers share their intentions with one another or even share your own. This practice allows your class to start from a place of peace with each student feel more grounded within themselves and committed to upholding their intention


  • AFFIRMATIONSThis is a powerful tool to generate self-awareness, confidence, and compassion within your dancers. Use these through out your classes as needed. This could look like a structured list of affirmations your dancers repeat before and at the end of every class, or you can simply offer them to your dancers when you feel they need an extra boost-  especially when they’re struggling to feel confident in themselves and their abilities. Here’s a few of our favorites:
    I can do anything I put my mind to.
    I am more than enough.
    I am proud of how far I’ve come.
    I am determined, capable, and patient.
    Every body moves in its own beautiful, unique way.

    Feel free to come up with your own affirmations as you know your dancers best. Or  better yet- have your dancers come up with their own affirmations.


  • GRATITUDE– Practicing gratitude has been proven to support a healthy mindset and increase levels of happiness. By incorporating it into your classes, your dancers will learn the power of perspective. Over time, they will probably be grateful you for showing them this simple, yet effective life-hack. Either at the beginning or end of class, have your dancers sit in a circle and pose the question, “ What’s one thing you are grateful for when you dance?” Let them meditate for a minute and when the time comes encourage them to share their answers. Through a lens of self-reflection and appreciation, dancers will be able to transform their past dance experiences from ones that were rooted in comparison and self-deprecation to one of growth and self-love.

May is Mental Health Awareness month. To help encourage more advocation for mental health support within the dance community, give this article a save, repost, or share to any of your favorite platforms. Follow us on Instagram @reachforthebarresla for more dance tips, tricks, and tutu cute content 🫶