Staying in Shape During the COVID- 19 Shutdown

It seemed like only last month the whole country was joking about the coronavirus. Now here we are, more than half of the country is pretty much shut down and toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes, are now some of the hardest things to come by. Last week, Boston Ballet School announced it was closing until April 13, giving all of the students, including me, over a month off. A couple days later, most of the remaining ballet schools followed suit.

This came as a pleasant surprise to me. The month off meant I could go home and see family and, hopefully, see friends. But, as the situation gets worse, I’ve gotten worried that Boston will cancel the remainder of the year. This makes me realize how careful we need to be to stop the virus. So before I move onto the main part of this blog post, I’m telling you to BE CAREFUL. Sanitize EVERYTHING, wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds, avoid physical contact, and avoid social gatherings of more than ten people. I know this can be hard. I, for example, am a very social person and I hate not being able to see friends. But we need to make the pandemic get better, not worse.

That said, a month is a long time to go with no class, and without any physical training I could very easily get out of shape. Lucky for me, I have a mother who teaches ballet and gives me private lessons. I realize that not everyone has this luxury, so I am going to share some of the exercises that I do in addition to classes.

Working on my core with “reverse crunches”

The most important thing is to stay active. If you can’t take a class, do some other form of cardio. Jogging, biking, (I wouldn’t recommend swimming right now), etc. are all good ways to maintain stamina. Recently I’ve been playing a lot of tennis and pickle ball with siblings. Other sports are a good way to stay in shape, but again, avoid physical contact.

Working in my split to maximize the rotation of my front leg, making sure my hips are square

Other exercises include the basic sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups, planks. Especially for male dancers, doing these exercises regularly can make a world of difference. For maintaining ballet technique, give yourself barre. I know this can take a lot of self discipline but in the end it is totally worth it. Even if you don’t have access to a studio, doing barre in the kitchen is fine! Just make sure you challenge yourself as your teachers would challenge you.

I know these can be scary times, but we will survive. And, if you work hard to stay in shape, you could come back looking better than ever. Everyone stay safe and stay alert. This will pass, I don’t know how long it will take, but it will.

Have a happy quarantine!