As dancers, our body is our instrument, and unlike musicians we cannot simply take a break from that instrument and then return to it knowing it will perhaps only need some re-tuning before we can play it again. We are a living instrument which should always be perfectly tuned. Our own body is what we rely on throughout a career in this profession. Once damaged it can not be replaced.
Dancers in training require a break from intense daily classes to allow their body to rest and regenerate but they can’t afford to lose the top form of fitness, muscle tone and strength achieved throughout a term of good work. Doing a little something everyday during a break is also a matter of dedication and self-discipline, it retains motivation and will facilitate those first few days back at school in the new term.
I am now on my three-week holiday and so far have exercised about an hour at home each day as well as taking three ballet classes at my old dance school here in Italy, where I always love to return. After counting my way through sets of exercises there is a feeling of satisfaction – my body feels in tune. And on leaving the studio where my passion for ballet was nurtured, I am reminded of how much I still want to make it as a dancer, just like I did all those years ago.