An Unexpected Time for Enrichment with Julie Ferrell-Olson – Apolla Performance Wear

An Unexpected Time for Enrichment with Julie Ferrell-Olson

Dance Enrichment at Home

An Unexpected Time for Enrichment

by Julie Ferrell-Olson

This month I was hoping to continue my series on cross-training, but with studios, theaters, and businesses closing across the globe, it doesn’t feel fully appropriate. Daily life is interrupted as we enter a period of uncertainty and caution as misinformation and fear spreads. As dancers and artists find themselves out of work, we find ourselves thinking… now what?

Teachers are scrambling to get classes online, hoping to maintain some level of engagement during what’s normally one of the busiest times, especially for competition dancers. The priority at this time should be rest and recovery. High levels of stress (marked by the hormone, cortisol) leave us susceptible to injury and illness. Cortisol levels can be raised by life-events (home life, global pandemic, etc.) and high amounts of exercise. Dancers of all levels should be taking this time as an opportunity to maintain health for the benefit of everyone, even if that means taking a step back from studio work.

As an alternative, I challenge you to broaden your dance education outside of technique class and outside of your genre. Take this time to read up on dance science, history, or pedagogy and share those resources with your connections. While we are physically isolated, we live in an incredible time where our community can still connect on social media and stay engaged in our artform. I invite you to reach out to me or any other dance artist and share what you’ve learned, what you’ve created, and what you have questions on. Although things seem dire, this can be an incredible opportunity to enrich ourselves as educated and thoughtful artists. With the help of other dance scientists, I compiled a list of resources that are accessible to help further your education while you’re away from the studio, whether you’re a teacher or a student:

 To read:

IADMS Resource Papers

To listen to:


To watch:

Dance Knowledge*

 Certificate Programs*:

Harkness Center for Dance Injuries CME/CEU Course

Youth Protection Advocates in Dance

Safe in Dance International

 *Requires subscription

This list is far from exhaustive, but it is a good jumping-off point. We as artists are good at adapting and responding to the world around us, let’s find this unique circumstance as an opportunity to grow!

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