1.) Rest and eat well starting long before performances begin. Take healthy snacks and drinks to the theater with you for a quick energy boost on a long day. Plenty of water and bananas with their high levels of potassium are a great way to keep your muscles from cramping.
2.) Take a real class not just a warm up class during the run. It is important for your body to focus on technique not just choreography and its important for your soul to go to the studio where it all began.
3.) Check your pointe shoe supply early. Sew and break in several pairs at a time so that if a ribbon or elastic breaks you have back ups.
4.) Stock up on extra supplies including tights, hair nets and pins, make up, Band-Aids, toe pads and tape.
5.) Take a laundry basket or box to the theatre. Use it in the dressing room to keep your things organized. Leave your performance shoes and extras at the theater. Take only laundry home each night.
6.) Focus on the roles that you are cast in. Once you have mastered them learn any other roles that you can. You may get an opportunity to prove yourself in an unexpected role. Understudies are invaluable!
7.) Take care of your body. Ice anything that is swollen. Use tiger balm or a heating pad to soothe sore muscles. Keep your muscles warm with extra leg warmers, slippers and a robe or fleece.
8.) Take care of your mind. Find mantras and inspiration for that moment when you are feeling low on energy during long performance days. Find something each day to be grateful for, after all you are doing what you love - dancing!
9.) Write your choreography down and go over it in your head every night before you go to sleep. Visualize yourself successfully completing difficult sections.
10.) Clear your schedule for performance weeks. Talk with your teachers and any other bosses you may have and let them know your Nutcracker schedule. Get your homework and any schoolwork that you may miss because of performances and get it done early. Do your Christmas shopping early!