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)


Andrew Hidas said...

One of my most memorable New Year's Eves was at the old Cotati Cabaret. Had suffered a back incident a day or two before and was stooped & shuffling, every movement a struggle. Drinks weren't helping (darn), but then the music started and I wanted so much to be a gamer. One slight move (ouch!)led to another, and another...A few hours later, the music regrettably ended (Norton Buffalo!), but so had my back pain. Was drenched in sweat and all aglow, and felt great in the morning. That night taught me a lot.

Joan Voight said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joan Voight said...

Great story Andrew. That's what we're talking about!
(also some fond Cotati memories, BTW: the former owner of the Cabaret lives near here we see him at music in the Plaza )

Joan Voight said...

My friend Ross offers an even easier variation that uses Peanut Butter Powder. (You can find it at your nearby healthy market or on Amazon)

"I just mix a tablespoon of this powder in with a frozen banana and some ice cubes. Super peanut buttery flavor and a lot less fat. I'll squirt a bit of chocolate syrup in for my sweetie and she's in heaven."