Jalisa Roberts

artivist | choreographer | educator using dance as a language and a means to process the world, spark conversation, and build community.

5 Ways I Care for My Dancing Body

  1. Tea: I start my day (and consistently refill throughout the day) with tea. My current favorites are ginger tea (Prince of Peace) and a mix of honey, apple cider vinegar, lemon, and cayenne.
  2. Consistent meals: I’m learning a lot about myself and my eating habit these days. My current routine is to make sure I’m eating 3 full meals a day. A full meal for me has to have a protein item and a fruit/vegetable option. I also snack throughout the day. It sounds simple, but since I’m running and teaching 5 classes a day, it’s difficult unless I’m intentional about it.
  3. Movement Practice: I am constantly moving. I teach students from K-8 throughout the day, and adult classes from time to time as well, so throughout the day I’m dancing anywhere from 3-5 hours a day with students, and maybe an hour more if I’m taking a class. 
  4. Differentiating Techniques: I try to stay flexible by continuing to study various techniques. For me, this means while I am teaching my students ballet for this semester, I’m making sure to include West African dance into my weekly movement practice. Dance is a language, and I code-switch in the dance world the same way I code-switch in the academic and professional world.
  5. Relaxation/Restorative Practices: I have to be very intentional about giving my body what it needs to run effectively. Along with the above, I am working through self-care through therapy weekly, and working with a chiropractor monthly. I am also incorporating more restorative yoga, soaking in epsom salts, and listening to my body.  

From the quote box: "I will right my wrongs."

My automatic thoughts were on the African dance class I took yesterday. I definitely need to work on my body, and getting it back to where it’s comfortable in African movement. I felt like a stiff beginner. It’s been too long. I need to make sure I’m surrounding myself in African movement, to balance the ballet/modern/contemporary that I surround myself daily. I also get stiff when I’m uncomfortable. The hope is that I can learn to let go.

I also need to work on not seeming so tall. It all goes back to my back. I keep my spine so rigid. I’m going to work more on finding flexibility in my spine, particularly in my upper back.