1. STRETCH DAILY - Make it a pointe to stretch every day, even if only for 30 minutes. Don't have your splits yet? You could get them over the holidays. It's really important to not go days and weeks without stretching your body, especially with the extra sleep we hope you're getting! Hours in bed can cause you feel stiff and tight. Focus on areas that you want to see more flexibility in and choose a couple regimen to repeat daily or twice a day. Repetition and consistency should produce results!
2. CROSS TRAIN - Cross training is important for all kinds of athletes. We recommend this when it comes to any kind of off season. Pilates, gyrotonics and yoga are great options for dancers. Cardio is also great, whether you go on a long brisk walk, a light jog, or use the elliptical. Swimming is also very ideal for dancers as it works your legs, lower back, core, arms, and upper body in a way that puts less stress on your joins (unlike running or other high impact activities).
3. STRENGTHEN WEAK AREAS - A break from the studio is a great time to focus on any problem areas that come to your attention. If you want a better arabesque, then focus just on that. Select a few exercises to repeat daily to strengthen and condition this movement or balance. Here's one just for arabesque.
4. EAT MINDFULLY - We know it's the holidays and that comes with much cheer :) especially in the form of food. Many people overdo it during the holidays and end up regretting it, then hasten their way into unrealistic new year's resolutions. Try finding a balance. every meal should include a healthy fat, a protein, and a complex carb (i.e. good carb). If you have certain things you enjoy and treat yourself to, do so in moderation. Continue to hydrate even though you aren't training, and love your body with what you eat.
5. AVOID CRAZY NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS - What is one thing you'd like to do differently or see change this year? Whether it's in your dance or personal life, the new year often gives vision for something we want to do differently. This isn't a bad thing, but making drastic or too many changes at once is often the cause of failure. Keep it attainable and reasonable. then give yourself some action steps to attain that goal or two. If that's getting more sleep, then great! if it's stretching almost every day or getting your splits this year, more power to you! For some people, not even having a new year's resolution is the best plan. For some interesting thoughts on this topic, check out The Whole Food Diary's post, "Why I gave up New Year's resolutions."