12 Ways to Honor Yourself

Whether you’re immersed in your annual Nutcracker, holiday showcase or family holiday plans, I hope you’re taking some time over the season to honor yourself. We know how hard you work, so we’ve dreamed up some ideas to get you started. Here are suggestions from editors Rachel Caldwell, Andrea Marks and Rachel Rizzuto about ways to refresh and revitalize during the coming year—one for each month.

January. Make a list of your successes this past year: student breakthroughs, business or career goals achieved, celebratory moments, growth experiences. Focus on the positive and pat yourself on the back.

February. Sit down with a good dance book. Gelsey Kirkland’s The Shape of Love, Misty Copeland’s Life in Motion, Jennifer Homans’ Apollo’s Angels. Wendy Perron’s Through the Eyes of a Dancer is recommended in this issue.

March. Switch up your routine by co-teaching a class with another teacher. How does it change your perspective and strategies?

April. Reverse the roles and have students teach a combination in class. What new ideas and information does this bring up?

May. Clear out the clutter from your desk, your office and your prop closet. Be liberal with what you toss. You don’t need 12 boxes of old recital programs!

June. Make a regular date with yourself. Schedule downtime just for you each week/month, and be sure to keep that appointment sacred.

July. Enroll in a continuing education course or workshop.

August. Treat yourself to a weekend yoga or meditation retreat. Try doing it in silence.

September. Go see a live dance concert. Try something outside your comfort zone. A modern dance company? A musical with lots of choreography? Professional ballet?

October. Teach a babies’ class. Going back to younger-level classes may remind you why you started teaching or opened a studio in the first place.

November. Take dance class. Register for a master class in your area in your favorite genre or, if you’re feeling adventurous, try a style that’s new or challenging for you.

December. Give yourself a gift. We like the idea of a monthly subscription box like Try the World (curated food products from global cities) or Hammock Pack (products to make you feel like you’re on vacation). Every month a surprise package is delivered to your door.


Photo by Matthew Murphy

Betty Jones in The Moor's Pavane, shot for Dance Magazine's "Dancers You Should Know" series in 1955. Zachary Freyman, Courtesy Jacob's Pillow

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