Tech week. Two words, and everyone who has ever set foot on a stage shudders or groans. And with the late nights, anxiety about opening night, and those infuriatingly tedious rehearsals where you have to stop every two seconds for someone to write down a lighting cue, is there any wonder?
If there’s anyone who knows suffering during tech week, it’s us dancers. But as hard as it is dancing pointe from 3:30 to 8:30, we can make it to the big production or recital. Our tips for surviving tech week as a dancer will help.
Balance Outside Responsibilities
When you’re spending five hours of your afternoon locked in a darkened theater every day for a week, you don’t have much time for anything else. And if you have outside responsibilities like school and work, that can open the floodgates for stress.
The key to not feeling like you’re drowning is strategizing balance even before rehearsals start. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Communicate to your bosses or teachers about your tech week responsibilities.
- If you can take off work, do it.
- Try to avoid making plans
- See if you can get homework assignments in advance.
- Look for times to get assignments done when you’re not on stage, if possible
- Ask for help
That last one is arguably the most important. Feeling like you have to figure it out on your own will triple your stress, and that’s the last thing you need during tech week.
Take Care of Your Body
Your body is your instrument as a dancer. And with all the stress you’re putting it under, giving it a little extra TLC isn’t just recommended. It’s essential. A few tips to remember are:
- Do not skip meals
- Drink water
- Warm up and cool down every single day
- Take time to rest and do things you like too
- Avoid doing too much high-intensity physical activity outside of rehearsal
Even though you will have some late rehearsals, remember to prioritize sleep. If you’re still keyed up about making your cue when you lie down at night, you may need to diffuse some sleep-friendly essential oils or do some mindful activities like meditating or journaling.
This may seem like a weird tip for surviving tech week as a dancer, but hear us out. The week before a show, everyone is mentally and emotionally fried, and that puts everyone in prime position for the bane of every company’s existence: drama.
The pull to engage in gossip, complaining, or back-biting may be difficult to resist when you’re in this kind of mood, but trust us. Taking part will make dancing together miserable and eat away at your mental health.
Keep Your Perspective
Dance is our life, our passion, but when the pressure becomes overwhelming, it pays to stop and step back. If you miss the step, forget your cue, or even botch the entire performance, it’s not the end of the world. Be kind to yourself, and you will make it through tech week.