Saturday, June 8, 2013

Let's Move Like a Dancer

My back has been killing me lately.
Yeah, I know--lots of sitting during the week, plenty of walking in the cool evenings, but not enough attention to stretching, bending and standing up really straight. Many friends who are starting their gardens, spending hours crouching, are also complaining. Sore aching backs abound this time of the year.
It's time to think like dancers!
Here's how. Crank up the music (my favorites are jazz and salsa) and loosen up all your parts. Smile and stretch -- long and straight. Pretend you are the sleekest, snazziest performer on stage and show off your moves. (Oh yeah, this is best done when it's just you and the dog in the room. Your dog always thinks you are amazing.)
Classical music with slow smooth ballet moves is another option, if your taste runs more to the yoga style of dancing.

And then there are some days when nothing has gone as planned. Deadlines are shuffled, paperwork gets lost, the car breaks down and the universe is totally conspiring against us.
Then, a mellow walk--or even a brisk jog--is just not going to cut it.
It is either eat our weight in chocolate (or in my case corn chips) or put on the rock 'n' roll and DANCE, DANCE, DANCE.

Anyway, I think you get my drift. Summer is here, we are stiff as boards and it's gonna take some extra action to get our abs, back and shoulders back in the groove.

Which brings us to: What do dancers eat?
Welp, a little research found that they are big on liquid meals, like smoothies.
Dancers always need more fluids and smoothies are healthy, portable and quick to digest.  Works for me.
In that vein here's a tasty, super-easy smoothie recipe I adapted -- with milk for protein and plenty of sweetness without sugar.

Sweet Dancer's Smoothie 
1 frozen banana
1 cup of orange juice (fresh squeezed if possible) 
1/2 orange peeled
1/2 cup nonfat yogurt or 3/4 cup nonfat milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Blend everything with ice.

Swing those hips -- and enjoy!

(Photos, from top : Martha Graham Dance Company, Amarillo College, Pirouette Dance Academy)