There's a new must-have accessory for the dancers who've begun to venture back into the studio. Face masks are essential to protecting both teachers and dancers (not to mention their families) from coronavirus. But they definitely make dancing more complicated.
How can you prepare for—and adjust to—the new masked normal? Here's practical advice from Dr. Steven Karageanes, a primary care sports medicine specialist who's worked with the Rockettes and "So You Think You Can Dance," and Anna Dreslinski Cooke, a Chicago-based professional dancer who has experience dancing in cloth masks, disposable masks, N95 masks, and face shields.
What to Expect<p>There's no way around it: Dancing while masked is uncomfortable, especially at first. That discomfort will vary depending on how hard you're dancing and which mask you choose. Cooke recommends steering clear of the N95 style, which is restrictive (and should be reserved for frontline workers if possible). Instead, opt for a homemade cloth mask. "I knew the N95 mask would be difficult to breathe in," says Cooke. "But I'd done some indoor biking in a face mask and felt fine, so I anticipated that a homemade cotton mask wu be a little bit easier."</p>