Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Good Morning...

Our little team of bloggers got together the other day to discuss possible topics of interest for our blog-reading public. One that came up was the varied routines each of us has that gets us from bed in the morning to the barre to start class at 10 a.m. This is actually pretty interesting even for ME, since I've been noticing lately how individual each dancer's pre-class habits are and have been curious about what other people need to do for their bodies to arrive at what's ostensibly "square one"--- plies at the barre. We decided to compare ourselves in this space to give you all some ideas of what a dancer's body and mind need in the morning. Here's Steven Houser's a.m. schedule:

7 am - Hit the snooze button a couple of times. Fend off the cat trying to wake me up to feed her. I used to get up later than this, but I find that the longer I'm actually awake and moving around before class starts, the more awake and attentive I feel in class.

7:30 am - Roll out of bed and onto the foam roller. I always crack my back and then roll out my hips and legs first thing in the morning. I feel like it helps get the blood flowing and relaxes my muscles.

7:40 am - Shower, shave, etc.

8 am - Make coffee, eat breakfast. Listen to the radio. Check e-mail, the weather, news, etc.

8:30 am - Make lunch, pick out what I'm going to wear for class and rehearsal. I usually go through about 3 separate outfits a day since I sweat so much, which makes for an unbelievable amount of laundry at the end of the week.

9 am - Head to OBT. I live fairly close, so I'm able to walk to work, which I love.

9:10 am - Change into clothes for class, fill my water bottle, chat with people in the costume shop, administration, and production. I always like to know what's going on in the building, there is so much that goes into making this organization run and I think sometimes knowing what other people are working on can help me know how to be a more effective member of the company.

9:25 am - Start warming up. I've got a pretty set routine of stretches that I do before class every day. If I really need to focus and be methodical about my warm-up I'll listen to my iPod, otherwise I'll just chat with whoever is around (usually Kathi since she and I stand at barre together). I remember when I was an apprentice I could just show up, do very little warming up, and just be ready to go. But I find after every year my body needs a bit more easing into work. Also, once you discover how great it feels to be really warm before class, it's hard to settle for anything less, even if it takes a lot of work to get to that place.

10 am - Start class.

The aforementioned foam roller, an indispensible part of all our lives:

And the also indispensible coffee maker:
Thanks, Steven, for sharing your morning with us! I'll echo what he said about needing to be pretty well oiled up and loosened out before even starting to do barre, and the increase in that need as the years roll by.... oy...


  1. It sounds like Steven has a relaxed morning to start out his day at work - which I would imagine helps quite a bit. Are most of the dancers at OBT single or do very many have children that they get out the door to school? (I was just listening to my coworker and the incredible challenge she had trying to get her 6 year old son off to school today and reading Steven's blog wondered if many dancers add this part to their morning routine as well). If the dancers have small children, is there a daycare at OBT? (I've heard more and more employers are starting that)

  2. ...and thank you for the peek into your lives as well. :)


  3. We now have two mothers in the company, both of whose children are very young, so they do have to deal with the additional challenge of getting kids taken care of. OBT doesn't offer daycare, unfortunately!