In order to be the best teacher for your students, it's important to maintain the best version of yourself. From workout regimens to favorite snacks and books, three teachers reveal what motivates them to stay on top of their game.


Kent Boyd, faculty member with the L.A.-based competition and convention Hollywood Vibe

PRE-CLASS RITUAL: "I like to wash my hands before I teach. I use essential oils, like peppermint, that keep me focused and energized."

MUST-HAVE FITNESS SUPPLIES: A softball and a small spiked ball to roll out his chest and back.

FAVORITE FOOTWEAR: Lightweight sneakers ("Nike does these well") and Converse.

FOR AN ENERGY BOOST: "Ginger is always good for an afternoon pick-me-up, and if I'm really crashing, coffee does the trick."

INSPIRATIONAL READS: The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, by Eckhart Tolle, and The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control, by Walter Mischel.


Lori Axelrod, Miss Marion's School of Dance in Spartanburg, South Carolina

TEACHING ATTIRE: Capezio leggings and a Miss Marion's T-shirt.

RECOMMENDED RESOURCE: The Tap Dance Dictionary, by Mark Knowles. "Anything you want to know about tap, you can find in this book."

FOR INSPIRATION: Germaine Salsberg, Charles Goddertz and Mike Minery tap instructional DVDs and YouTube videos of Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire.

FAVORITE FOOTWEAR: LaDuca tap shoes and Miller & Ben Tap Shoes. "They are so fun!"

SHE CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT: Strawberry smoothies.


Suzana Stankovic, Peridance Capezio Center in New York City

FAVORITE DANCEWEAR: "I have lots of leotards by Mirella (left), Natalie (right) and Wear Moi. My favorite leggings are by Danskin and Lululemon."

FAVORITE FOOTWEAR: For ballet: Bloch Grecian Sandals; for pointe: Grishko 2007 pointe shoes.

RECOMMENDED VIEWING: YouTube videos of actor/martial artist Bruce Lee talking about his approach to training. "'Be like water' is one of my favorite quotes of his."

FOR AN AFTERNOON ENERGY BOOST: Fresh fruit salad, a banana or a Kind Bar ("Almond and coconut, to be specific")

RECOMMENDED READING: Books on sports psychology and meditation. "In typical dance training, the role of the mind and emotions is neglected. Dancers are akin to elite athletes and yet, unlike athletes, we receive no mental training."

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