Finally, a Moment to Myself
Nicole Decsey on what she does on her days off.
What would my perfect day off be??
Sometimes I think there is no such thing as a perfect day off. I am the type of person who constantly needs to be doing something, so there always seems to be something else to do or something that has to get done. However, there are those rare moments where I am drained after a long week of dancing, and I can take a nice hot shower and just sit and do nothing and be happy about it. Those are perfect pristine moments.
Here is my recipe to take advantage of those moments when you find them:
Comfy is the key! Personally, downtime is not really downtime if I am trapped in a sports bra like I am every day of the week for classes and rehearsals and teaching. So, the bra comes off and instead of wearing a dance shirt and tight leggings everything is baggy. I wear pants that are loose and big fuzzy socks, warmth is just as important to me as comfort, and I wear a big oversized sweater. Do not forget this part of the recipe as it is the most important part of the ensemble. I always feel much more relaxed when I am swimming in a sweater. Then with my wet hair (from the shower I just took) and my insanely comfy outfit, which is always a nice change of pace from my usual attire, I wrap myself up in one of my five fuzzy blankets. Yes, I have five.
One of the most important parts of my time off, be it a full day or a couple of hours, is the tea. And if I have the time, I am going to go all out with some loose-leaf tea. Because why not?
Tea is great because it is warm and soothing and just all around wonderful and there is a different flavour to fit every mood. Trust me, I would know. I have a whole drawer full of different types of tea. The next part of my day off bag of treats includes anything from Cobs Bread, such as their baguettes, but especially their cinnamon scones. They just make me happy.
I could go on forever, but there are some particularly good movies with great dance vibes that I like to save for my days off. And I will try to keep this list short and sweet, but I make no promises!
Number one is the original Step Up. You can’t go wrong with any of the Step Up movies, especially if you like a little cheese. But the first one is a classic, no cheese necessary. It has everything you need: a great story, great dancing and some great eye candy!
The original Step Up is available on almost any pay per view service. Step Up All In is the only Step Up movie available on Netflix and Step Up Revolution is the only one available on Prime.
Number two is Dirty Dancing. Not only does this movie have an incredible story, but it also features a classically trained Julliard graduate; Patrick Swayze. There are other trained dancers cast in this movie as well and the dance scenes are incredible. “No one puts Baby in a corner” this day off.
Dirty Dancing is available on Netflix and Amazon Prime! The universe is telling you to watch this movie…
Number three is White Nights. If you are a dancer, an artist or you just like good movies this is an absolute must! White Nights featuring Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gregory Hines puts a tap dancer and ballet dancer side by side in a film that is both dramatic and visually stunning. This is what happens when you get two masters of their crafts to work together: complete magic.
White Nights is available on most pay per view services.
Number four is Bring It On. Now I know this is not technically a dance movie, but it comes pretty close. And with all the cheese and crazy flips this movie offers you won’t be disappointed that you watched it. There are multiple sequels to this movie but as always, the original is by far the best.
Bring It On is available to rent from the Cineplex Store, Apple, Google Play, Microsoft and Youtube.
Number five is Save The Last Dance. This is a great movie that mixes hip hop dance with a little bit of ballet. Unfortunately, we don’t get professionally trained dancers in this one, except for one scene which you will have to watch the movie to find. This movie is all about dance yes, but it also deals with some serious issues.
Save The Last Dance is available on Netflix.
Number six is Black Swan. This movie showed how intensely serious our art form can be, and it was a great movie that kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. If you’re in the mood for some ballet horror, then cuddle up in those fuzzy blankets, sit back and enjoy the show.
Black Swan is available to stream on Disney Plus, Crave Starz and Hollywood Suite.
I promised to be short and sweet so here are my last four in quick succession...
Footloose (1984, the original) shows how dance can bring a community together. Stream on Amazon Prime.
Flash Dance is just an absolute classic. Available to rent from the Cineplex Store, Apple, Google Play, Microsoft, Youtube and Amazon.
Silver Linings Playbook which beautifully shows the incredible healing powers of dance. Stream on Netflix or Crave Starz.
Grease, this one just speaks for itself. Stream on Netflix or Prime Video.
When I get some time off all I want is to be warm, comfortable and a little lazy. Because as dancers we are always busy, always on the go and always moving. Let’s face it, we are the happiest when we are moving but it is also important to rest. Even if you can only catch an evening of down time, take advantage of it. Enjoy the feeling of doing nothing every once in a while. Because our mental health is just as important as our physical health.