With the Dazzle Awards fast approaching, our students are hard at work, preparing to make this year's ceremony the best one yet. And as any performer knows, the long days of intense rehearsals can take their toll, both physically and emotionally. It is for this reason that we recently held a comprehensive health talk with our friends at University Hospitals to prepare our students with all they need to know to stay fighting fit and show ready. The talk was so informative that we wanted to share the knowledge with any aspiring or established performers out there, that could use a few tips and tricks to stay happy and healthy during a busy show week.
It is essential to have a daily physical warm-up practice to keep you high-kicking and pirouetting for years to come.
- Start with some deep breathing and check in with your body, identify where your stiff and sore muscles are
- Foam rolling is a great tool for working out any tight areas
- Light cardio - walking at quick pace is good way to get heart rate up
- Full body movements – shoulder rolls, lunges, planks, twists, rolling down spine to ground and up again
- Avoid static stretches for warmups (anything where you are holding a pose for 30 seconds or more)
Equally as important as your warm-up is a cool down
- Static stretches can be used here
- Foam rolling
- Massage tight areas with a lacrosse ball
- Epsom salt baths
- Apply heat for tight/sore muslces
- Apply ice for overuse/swelling
Other wellness considerations
- Hydration – water not soda or energy drinks
- Nutrition – avoid sugar and “low fat” “diet” or other modified products
- Sleep – avoid electronics 1-2 hours before bed
Treating an Injury
REMEMBER TO RICE!
A comprehensive vocal warm-up will help keep you in good vocal health
- Physically warm up the muscular structure supporting the voice – neck stretch, ear to shoulder on each side, shoulder rolls, releasing jaw, tongue rolls to ease root tension
- Start with breathing exercising, inhale for 8 counts, hold for 8, exhale for 8
- Move in to hums or lip trills
- Then scales, arpeggios, warmups centered around the vowel sounds are effective
- A vocal cool down at the end of the day equally important – light hums
Vocal Wellness Considerations
- Hydration is key – water, water, water!
- Similar to your physical health it is essential to allow for vocal rest
- Stay on top of nasal hygiene
- Avoid respiratory irritants – smoking is a NO!
Signs of Vocal Injury
- Pain when voicing
- Vocal Fatigue
- Increased effort when singing
- Change to range or quality of voice
A special thanks to Anna Cerveny PT, DPT and Lex Rakowski M.S., CCC-SLP, SVS for leading the talk.
To watch the full health talk click here - Health Talk