It's typical that just before your important dance competition or show, you catch a cold. Runny nose, headache, sweat and tiredness. But they say "the show must go on". Do you know the feeling? What can you do?
In winter we all get colds, whether we catch it outside or indoors from a dancing friend. There a few things to consider in your practices when you feel like "dying" (unless you're a guy and have a man-flu in which case you may literally be dying).
1. Are you fit enough to even stand?
You will know your best whether you can have a productive practice or not. If every part of your body hurts and all you're thinking about is bed, then probably your Samba may not have the 3/4 timing you dream about.
Usually if all symptoms are above the neck i.e. blocked nose, headache, sore throat, then you will probably be OK to dance. But remember to adjust the intensity and not do "10 finals" in a row.
2. More brain, less muscles
Light practice is a good practice. Clarify your timings and directions in small parts of your choreos. These should be your priority anyway.
Just moving and dancing with low intensity may make you feel better by increasing blood circulation to muscles. When you're fit enough, do it. Not many people could spend all day in bed when deadlines are coming.
3. Bed Time
I know- resting is the last thing on your mind 2 weeks before a dance competition. I've been there too. But the earlier you start looking after yourself, the quicker you will get better.
Dancing Things to do in bed when you are ill:
Watch YouTube videos
Listen to music and visualise your choreographies whilst counting
Glue crystals onto your dress
Check what competitions and shows are coming. Put them in your dance calendar
After watching competitions on YouTube, draw some sketches of your new dress or shirt
Watch a movie about dancing for inspiration- ballet, musical etc.
Read a book about dancing (I'm now reading a fantastic book Looking At Dances)
Catch up on all latest Princeps blog articles for dancers
4. Eat. Pray. Drink.
Well, just stick with the first and third. The middle one comes when you're still ill a day before your competition.
Your body is already working hard to fight off any viruses so make sure you feed it enough energy to keep going. You may not feel hungry or thirsty when you're ill.
During illness, increase how much water you drink especially if you decide to still practice. What do you need to produce energy? Water :-)
5. Keep it to yourself
You have a passion for dance and all your dancing friends do too. The last thing they want is to get ill. Think of your dance partner and your TEACHER!
A few days of "easy" practice won't have much negative effect on your dancing. You may notice the difference, but noone else will- remember that!
Share this post with your dancing friend who always practices when they have a cold or flu.
Photo Credits: Sam's Photography