Your Best Body: The Secret Performance Enhancer

Caffeine is everywhere. There are Red Bull energy drinks, 5-hour Energy shots, Foosh energy mints, Sheets energy strips that dissolve on the tongue, even AeroShot “breathable caffeine” that gets sucked in like an inhaler. Most of us assume we should feel guilty about our caffeine habit. But the stimulant is actually loaded with benefits. ProfessionalMore »

Your Best Body: Port de Bras Tune-Up

Ballet naturally creates strong legs. Arms, however, are another story. Many dancers are relatively weak in their upper bodies. They struggle with messy, floppy or stiff port de bras—or the dreaded “chicken wings.”  The good news? Targeted cross-training exercises can build strength in your upper body without adding bulk, and open your chest, upper backMore »

Your Best Body: The Audition Day Diet

Alexandra Hughes remembers she was too nervous to eat before one of her first company auditions. She entered the studio on an empty stomach—and quickly realized she’d made a mistake. “I felt like my brain was telling me what it wanted me to do, but my body couldn’t keep up,” she says. The experience wasMore »

Your Best Body: Beyond the Hype

Kathi Martuza has legs to die for. On pointe in an impossibly high développé, her standing leg is so extended that it bows slightly backwards. The Oregon Ballet Theatre principal admits that she enjoys the advantages of hyperextended knees. “My legs always look straight,” she says, “and it creates a really nice line.” But MartuzaMore »

Your Best Body: Creams, Lotions and Potions

Every dancer has some tube of pain-relieving gel or cream stashed inside her dance bag. It’s a quick, easy way to soothe sore muscles and achy joints. In fact, the simple act of massaging the products in helps to increase blood flow, which aids healing and relaxes overused muscles, says Craig Westin, orthopedic surgeon atMore »