These past couple of weeks have been a little on the hectic side. Not only have I increased my own training in preparation for the Australian Dancesport Championships (a big competition in Australia for those of you not in the dance scene!) but I’ve also been helping students in their prep also. Throw in a couple of Christmas floorshows and a quick TV appearance on top of that and it’s no wonder why I’m sitting here post competition absolutely knackered and putting off unpacking! So this is why I wanted to post a little blog on recovery and it’s importance, but also I thought it seemed appropriate considering the stressful times that have been the last few days! I shall explain..

Let’s rewind back to last Wednesday morning. The Aussie Championships were 3 days away, we were flying down to Melbourne for the comp the following day, all was well and we felt fit and ready! That was up until Steve got out of bed and couldn’t put any weight on his right foot without being in 7/10 pain. Slight Drama.. talk about throwing a spanner in the works!! Being a head strong male he decided to still head to work for 3 hours of teaching to see if it would “go away” (I know, don’t even get me started!). After about an hour and a half he couldn’t hack the pain anymore and so he cancelled the rest of his day of work and went home. Now let me say at this point that cancelling work and going home is a big deal for Steve, so I knew immediately it wasn’t looking good. He rested a few hours and thought it felt a bit better so after a big fight I finally gave in and decided to let him see if doing some practice with me would “stretch it out”. BIG FAIL. All our practice did was make it worse and ended up leaving him with a limp when he walked. I thought there was no chance we were going to be dancing that weekend.

With our sports masseuse having no time available we spoke to a few people and figured it might be plantar fasciitis which is stemmed from tight calves and hamstrings and overuse of the feet, common in dancers and marathoners. What we also found was that there is nothing that can be done to make it go away, you just have to deal with the pain, stretch that bad boy out and rest. Rest wasn’t really an option in the short-term so we did everything we knew of in terms of active recovery to make it bearable for the coming weekend. In the end we ended up being able to dance at the competition with most people probably not even knowing that there was a problem so it just goes to show how much this stuff works and can really help! So here are a few of the things I swear by:

  • Rest: This one is pretty obvious I know and isn’t always an option but I feel it’s the most important! People dont prioritise rest enough when it comes to a training regime and can easily end up burning out or creating an injury. If you rest well you can come back the following time you train so much stronger and clearer and it’s less likely you will lose determination. So keep that in mind when you aren’t feeling 100%.
  • Stretching: This is something I never really did when I was younger as I never had it drilled into me nor was I ever sore! But.. after you hit 22/23 I think that’s when you really start to feel sore and old haha! Well that’s when I did anyway. What helped me was getting into Ballet Beautiful because it made me realise how much better my body felt after a good stretch. Also if I go into the studio feeling tight (every day!) then I always try to stretch and warm up my muscles before going head first into it! Tight muscles can pull on other muscles which can then lead to injury. As Steve said to me this weekend after learning he really needs to start stretching “I’m really not getting any younger am I!!”. I definitely feel the older we get the more important stretching becomes 🙂
  • Foam roller: If you are a semi active person and you don’t have a foam roller then its time to invest in one! If you’ve never heard of foam rolling then click here! They are the best for rolling out any excess lactic acid in the muscles and releasing tight muscles in your legs, butt, back and shoulders. I love rolling out my ITB’s on the foam roller and always look for it when I’m feeling stiff and sore. Probably should be rolling on it right now rather than typing this to be honest!
  • Massage Ball: The massage ball/trigger ball is one of my favourite travel essentials. I use one with spiky ends but you can use any type of ball really. You can try using a tennis ball, rubber ball or even a golf ball if you’re game! It’s the best at getting into those tricky spots and working on those knots and twinges. So just find the points that are aggravating you and literally roll that on the ball. I like to lay down on some carpet and get the ball into my hips and psoas muscle. It’s also great to roll your feet on after a long day of standing. This was actually one of the things that got Steve through the competition this weekend, rolling his foot out on the spiky ball!
  • Ice Baths: Ok, so I have to admit I’m still a bit of a newbie when it comes to ice baths and at the moment I’ve only tried it on my feet. I know that a lot of athletes use ice baths for their whole body for fast recovery and it was actually suggested to me from my Sports massage therapist. All you need to do is fill up a bucket (or wheelie bin for full body!) with cold water and chuck in around 20-30% ice. You don’t want too much ice that you get freeze burn but you also don’t want just a couple of cubes floating around there either. Then try to stay submerged for roughly 8-10 minutes. Like I said I’ve only attempted feet and its pretty darn painful the first time but once you get used to it it’s not so bad. Also the benefits you reap afterwards are addictive! You will feel like a new you I’m not joking!
  • Anti-inflammatories/gels: This isn’t really active recovery but they are more so a when all else fails type of thing. I love gels as I can apply the product directly to the area I need it and it gets to work almost immediately. Also taking Nurofen isn’t my favourite thing in the world but like I said when you have no other option they do work. I always try to have some form of gel and tablet on hand just incase!

So I think the best advice I can give on this topic is to listen to your body and try not to turn a blind eye to what it’s telling you! A few years ago I sprained my ankle quite badly and never got it properly checked by a doctor to see if I had done serious damage. I let it rest for only two weeks and was pressured into getting back into my dance shoes and on the floor as soon as possible. Now after getting it properly checked out it turns out I did ligament damage and because I didn’t take at least 8 weeks off and let it heal properly I now have scar tissue. Silly me and even sillier me for listening to other people’s un-expert opinions rather than listening to my gut!! My ankle is now going to be something I constantly have to manage and have looked at because if I don’t it will just turn into a club foot.. haha not what you want as a dancer! I have to crack it everyday otherwise it starts to feel stiff and it’s just a nuisance really. So my advice is look after your body, trust your instincts and put time into recovery!!

If you have any more questions please feel free to ask in the comments below! As I’ve said many times these are only my opinions and things that have worked for me so keep in mind that they may not be right for you 🙂

Love, Rachelle xx


I love dancing, it’s my life and it’s who I am. I will never regret my decision of dedicating my life to dance but sometimes it is easy to lose direction, inspiration and motivation (I am human guys hehe!) As an artist it’s so important to feel inspired or “switched on” so that the performances we give can be something to be remembered, but what do we do if we simply just don’t feel like doing it? I’ve been in that boat more than once believe me and what I’ve found is that it’s important to firstly figure out why you feel this way and then to try to find solutions to get that fire burning again! Oh and for those of you dance junkies out there that never tire of dancing or anything to do with it (my boyfriend/dance partner included) then this may not really apply to you!! You lucky things 😉

First off, figuring out why you don’t want to put your dance shoes on. Ask yourself am I tired? I don’t mean  “Oh I had a late night last night” tired, I mean like yeah I’ve done 6 comps in the last two months or I can’t remember the last time I had a day off. Sometimes the monotony of going into the studio or dancing competitions can be just as tiring mentally as it is physically. If I don’t take one full day off in at least a fortnight then I know I will start to resent the studio. This then leads to blurry practices with no real plan or path. It’s all too easy to go into auto pilot and just dance around with no purpose. Of course it isn’t always feasible to take time off but at least I am aware of it and I try my best! The older and more advanced you get in sport/art (whatever you want to call it!! haha) the more it becomes a mental game rather than something physical. Thats why it’s so important to distinguish between the two.

Love a good coffee.. ooh and some pretty flowers!

If you are just tired physically, take a day off, go get a coffee instead. You’re not going to forget everything and it will probably do you more good than going in there slogging away at something you have no desire for. However if it’s more than that and you are a full-time dancer feeling mentally weak then maybe you need to look at scheduling in some PROPER time off. After 11 months of non-stop training and competitions I took a solid week off the other week and I can’t even explain how good for my dancing it was. I came back feeling refreshed and ready to work on improving myself whereas the week before it I felt stale and exhausted. If taking time away from the floor doesn’t work or isn’t the right answer then maybe some visual inspiration is the key..

These days we are so lucky to have the magnificent internet to help us with our dancing woes. You can go on YouTube and find lectures, new routines, lessons on timing, floorshows.. you name it, it’s on there! So, something that works for me on those days before I head into practice, is to watch some dance related videos on the tube as I feel it really gets me inspired to get in there and get working! Some of my favourite ladies to watch are Anne Gleave, Loraine Barry, Charlotte Jorgensen, Alessandra Bucciarelli and Alessia Betti, but there are literally videos of anyone on there! Heck, there’s some embarrassing one’s of me on there too!! So people, if your favourite dancer cant inspire you, nothing can. So get watching!

Another option is to go and watch a live performance. One of our major teachers in the U.K used to always stress to Steve and I that we need to go and watch the Ballet. Not only to see the beauty of their lines in the flesh but also to find inspiration in what they do and bring that into our own performance. Alas, I haven’t been to an abundance of shows but I have been to the ballet a few times and have watched a couple of musicals and circus shows too. It’s a great way of making you appreciate other forms of art and can really give you a new lease on your own style. Ballroom is heavily based around ballet in my eyes so I just love watching the way they move what looks to be so effortlessly, but the dancer in me knows it takes great strength and dedication. Something else I found helpful was to take some lessons in ballet or another dance form. I did ballet for roughly a year or so and it was so interesting to try to find the correlations between the two styles. I loved learning a different form of dance and it was so much fun to try to bring some of the things I had learnt in those lessons into my ballroom practice (TRY being the optimistic word hehe).

The other day Steve and I went to watch the Russian Ballet perform Swan Lake in a theatre close to home. IT WAS AMAZING!! It’s the first time I have ever been lucky enough to watch classical ballet and it was just so breathtaking. Of course there were a few standout performers in there and that’s what I love about dancing is that everyone is so different. It’s all about finding that special something that you love to look at and then letting that inspire you to create your own interpretation/feeling. It definitely had me itching to get back in the studio to improve myself so maybe it might work for you too!?

Lastly, if none of these things work then maybe it’s best to look toward your next goal.. whether it’s a competition, medal day or a floorshow. We start our training leading up to any major comp about a month or so beforehand and I love the feeling of the build up to a big competition. It gives me a clear sight as to what I’m working toward and I can see a finish line. That way I know all this hard work is actually for something too! The body definitely starts to wake up and get excited about the task rather than just slogging away thinking it’s the everyday grind. So try to think of whatever is your next biggie and see that as your major driver everytime you can’t be bothered. Something super important for me is making sure that I am physically fit enough for the comp so that I can show my best dancing. This is why we turn up the heat on our stamina practices a month before the comp and not simply a week before! But horses for courses guys, what works for me might not necessarily be the best option for you so it’s all about being instintive and listening to your body 😉

So if you’re feeling a little blah don’t worry! Because we have all been there 🙂 Maybe give some of these ideas a go and see if they can bring your sparkle back! What are some things you like to do to find motivation/inspiration? Leave me some love below xxx

A dancer’s clock is not like most. We go to bed late and wake up late-er. Usually, I’m in the studio for 10 – 11am and then finish around the same time in the pm. That’s not to say I don’t get a few hours free here and there but it’s still a loooong day for the body. Because of this schedule I’m not really a morning person. You will definitely not see me running the streets at the crack of dawn showing Rocky Balboa how it’s really done. No, I will be asleep until my 3rd alarm goes off meaning I have 45 minutes to get my ass into gear!

Good Morning!

This love of sleep/sleeping in means that I need a nutritious brekky that I can whip up like lightning. At the mo, I’m eating a plant-based diet. (Yes, I’m Vegan.. wanna know more about it? Comment below!) This means that I need to get in a lot of nutritious foods and calories so that I don’t burn out before lunchtime and get #hangry. My favourite way of doing this of late is with my trusty little blender. Hello morning smoothie!

Now, don’t be alarmed by the sheer size of this smoothie. I’ve been downing one of these a day for about 4 months now (when I’m not travelling of course.. no gargantuan smoothies at the buffet brekky) and if anything I feel it has made me leaner. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe giving my whole diet a re-haul has helped but I’ve tried other vegan breakfast options and none leave me feeling as satisfied and energized as this smoothie. And as an added bonus, it tastes like frothy, dreamy, amazing-ness. My mum (non-vegan) tried it and she said it was so good it made her want to turn plant-based.. that’s a big deal if you don’t know my mum!



Ok so let’s get to it, my smoothie usually includes the following:

  • 3 or 4 bananas. Make sure they are as ripe as possible, the more spots the better. Nobody likes a hard, green, sour banana.. except maybe a really hungry monkey.
  • 1/2 cup of frozen mixed berries.
  • 6 or 7 dates. Don’t ask why such a random number! I started with 10 dates and gradually lowered it til I found the amount I liked 🙂
  • 1/2 cup Almond milk or any other dairy free alternative I have. I like Unsweetened Vanilla Almond milk from Almond Breeze!
  • handful of spinach
  • 1 big cup of water.. very accurate I know. Usually I just pour water in and stop pouring when it gets to the top of all the fruit..
  • sprinkle of cinnamon (optional)
  • coconut sugar to taste (optional)
Smoothie as big as my head!

I add coconut sugar because uhh.. it’s not sweet enough already with all them bananas and dates, obviously! Ha ha! No but seriously, it adds a caramel-y flavour that I love and just brings out the other flavours so much more. But, if you don’t want to add more sugar but still want a little hit of flavour you could always add vanilla essence instead.

Blend that bad boy up! I always keep the base ingredients the same but sometimes mix up the amounts if I decide to add extra/different fruits (dried cherries are the Also, if I feel like it I sometimes add a tablespoon of Peanut Butter. I say ‘sometimes’ because Peanut Butter is my weakness so I try not to eat it everyday because once the lid is off I literally have no stop button! The smoothie is a little calorific but I don’t count calories to keep them low, I count them to make sure I’m getting enough. Especially since becoming vegan, I aim for around 2500-3000 cals a day. This way I have an abundance of energy for dancing and teaching and I lower my risk of injury.

So even if you don’t eat a plant-based diet give this smoothie a go and try to start your morning with fresh fruit and veg 🙂 It will leave your tummy feeling happy and will wake you up better than a cup of coffee (this is coming from a die-hard coffee lover btw). Enjoy!