Whether it’s called Winter Break, Holiday Break, or Christmas Break, most dance studios close for a few weeks starting from just before Christmas until shortly after the New Year in January. Although some studios will have special choreography classes for groups or solos/duos, this is usually a time that regular class schedules are halted while dancers, their families, and staff enjoy their own Holiday activities and time off.
What do you do during your Winter Break? It goes by quickly, so we’ve compiled 10 ideas that are a mix of relaxing and also fitting in those things that schedules don’t always allow so you can return in January feeling rested and happy with memories made and time well spent during your break.
1. Go Outside!
Life can get pretty busy between school, dance, other activities and homework; it’s likely most of that time is spent indoors. Take advantage of these stretches of unscheduled time and get some fresh air! Whether it’s going for a morning walk and marveling at frosty trees, sledding with friends, building a snowman or just helping to shovel a sidewalk, getting outside can do wonders for lifting your spirit and energizing you.
2. Get Extra Sleep
Treat your body and mind to a few hours of extra sleep when you are able, or catch a quick nap on a few afternoons. Especially after a hectic, focused schedule, or strenuous physical activity, your body will thank you for a bit of extra rest to recover and refuel.
3. Connect with family
You pack a lot into your schedule and between your schedule, your siblings schedules, and your parents schedules, there might not be a lot of room for you to all spend time together. Use your winter break to connect with your family. Every family has a different schedules, but a few ideas that you could participate in might be:
- Hang out with your siblings and make time to talk and dream and laugh and just be there together.
- Do you have cousins you don’t get to see often that you could organize an activity with over break?
- Visit or call grandparents or other special family members while things aren’t as hectic – they’ll love to hear from you and know you took time for them, even its only for a short time.
- Do you have little ones in your family? Teach them some moves, or play a game of their choice. What you do isn’t as important as simply making them a priority for an afternoon.
- Take a turn making dinner for the family – or turn it into a bake-off!
4. Connect with friends
Do you have friends you don’t get to see very often because your schedules don’t work out? Compare your calendars and get at least one good chunk of time where you can hang out and catch up!
5. Stretch for a bit every day
Winter break goes by pretty fast, and once your regular classes resume, you’ll want your splits flat and your muscles stretched to prevent injury and perform your best. It only takes a short time each day to do some warm ups and stretch while watching videos, tv, or listening to music.
6. Choreograph new combinations
Can’t live without dancing for the few weeks of Winter Break? We understand =) Use your creativity and choreograph a few combinations or even whole dances. Grab a friend and collaborate together on them!
7. Does your studio have a buddy or mentor program?
If so, get in touch once or twice over break with a surprise message or call and let them know you are thinking of them. Young dancers love to know the older dancers they look up to notice and are thinking of them. Older dancers enjoy knowing the positive influence they can have on a younger dancer. If your studio doesn’t have a mentor program, surprise someone with a cheery hello anyway!
8. Clean Out Your Dance Bag
When was the last time you completely emptied your dance bag, shook it out and let it breath a bit? Take time over break to empty it all out, see what you discover, get everything washed and freshened up to start back after break with a clean bag =)
9. Try Something New
Try something you’ve been interested in but haven’t had the time to explore. Maybe it’s a yoga or pilates class at a gym, a few kickboxing lessons, weight training, or ice skating. It’s good to use your muscles in new ways, and you just may find your new favorite off-season activity!
It’s hard to completely relax, rest your mind and ‘do nothing’ when you are staring at a screen or scrolling through social accounts, liking, commenting, observing. Give yourself the gift of some screen-free time when you can be present and completely tune in to the other things you want to do over your winter break.