The chaos and excitement of touring isn’t for everyone. It can be hugely energised and fulfilling, but it does not suit every dancer. For the dancers it does suit, travelling to different places to perform means that few of your days are the same, including what you’re eating, where you’re staying and what the stage feels like. It takes a special level of effort to shape the unpredictability of tour-life into a schedule that works for you.
Although there are no absolute rules for success, there are a number of pointers which might help life on tour. Developing routines and rituals can be beneficial, and can help a lot when days are skewed by various factors. Routines can be made from any part of your day, including doing your hair and make up, the music you listen to while you do it, the rituals you go through before you go on stage and what you do before getting into bed. Often this can help to make transitions easier, no matter how hectic the day has been.
Another way of adding some control to your hectic day is by using your free time wisely. It is important to get the most out of your time, and that includes your dance training. On tour there will not be the added discipline of daily workouts or technique classes to keep you in on the straight and narrow, this is up to you. You might find it helpful to do a barre every morning, and if there is studio time available, use this to your advantage. There are many hotel-friendly workouts available, or you may prefer to run; that way you can explore your current location too. While dancing every day is a workout in itself, it can sometimes create complacency and muscular imbalances.
Your mental health is equally as important as your physical health. You cannot be a successful performer and give energy to your audience and your fellow dancers without your own energy. Finding a quiet moment can be hard on tour as you are constantly coexisting with the other members of your company, but it is important to find time for yourself and prioritise what you need that particular day. Sometimes it is a phone call home that truly lifts you, for an emotional reset and an outside perspective.
Most important of all, make the most of life on the road!