May Dance Health Month Continues Free Programs

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In Partnership with Chicago Dancers United With health and wellness a constant priority in the dance community-particularly given the current circumstances surrounding the spread of COVID-19-See Chicago Dance (SCD), the dance industry's nonprofit service organization, is presenting Dance Health Month, a series of free programs and articles, in May.

SCD is partnering on these programs with Chicago Dancers United, which works to improve the lives of dance professionals through holistic wellness programs and provide financial support in times of diagnosed critical health need through The Dancers' Fund.

Video of the two earlier presentations is available at the links below:

• Taking Care of Your Mental Health During a Pandemic: Erica Hornthal, a board-certified dance/movement therapist and founder and CEO of Chicago Dance Therapy, led a discussion on mental health for dancers during the pandemic. She commented, "Movement is crucial for managing anxiety and stress. As dancers, it is even more important that we learn to use our bodies for self-expression." Video of this presentation is available here.

• Dancing Through Quarantine: Athletico physical therapist Chelsea Root offered health tips, management strategy, and effective exercises to stay performance-ready during this virtual world. Root provides on-site rehearsal and performance coverage for Visceral Dance Chicago and Steppenwolf Theatre Company and is a member of Athletico's Performing Arts and Pediatrics specialty programs. Video of this presentation is available here.

The remaining programs, available via Zoom and captioned, include:

• Strategies for Managing Your Finances and Career During the Pandemic, Tuesday, May 19, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Rebecca Selkowe, who runs the Financial Wellness Program at The Actors Fund in New York, and Patricia Schwadron, career counselor supervisor of The Career Center at The Actors Fund, share information about programs and resources to support members of the dance community in the current environment. Registration is available here.

• Keep Calm and Dance On (Even During Quarantine), Tuesday, May 26, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Daria Zajac, a dietetic intern at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), and Kirsten Straughan MS, RD, CSSD, LDN and director of the Nutrition Science Program and clinical assistant professor of kinesiology at UIC, offer tips on nutrition and aim to ease anxieties regarding physical and mental health during this uncertain time. Registration is available here.

Dance Health Month concludes with Get Off the Couch: Dance for Your Health, Friday, May 29, 5-7 p.m.: See Chicago Dance, LOUD BODIES Dance, and Bollywood Groove host a happy hour Zoom dance party, featuring music by DJ Drew Jensen of Fun House Entertainment. Registration is available here.

To complement the virtual gatherings, SCD has been publishing a series of articles on its website and social media pages since May 1; past articles remain available at the links below and on Topics include:

• May 1: Dance movement therapy
• May 4: Five ways to connect without going online
• May 11: Five ways to up your cross-training game at home-or not
• May 18: Pantry-salvaged recipes: comfort, waste-nothing meals you can totally make
• May 25: Five ways to chill with at-home restorative bodywork
• May 27: SCD Summer Reading List

For updates and more information, visit

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