AUTHOR- Dr Stephanie Klupacs

An injury is something that NO dancer wants to deal with or hear about.
I know all about it!  When I was dancing, I had a series of toe injuries that meant I couldn’t dance for nearly 2 whole months!

Who even knew that a toe could get so injured!

I suffered from continual dislocations of my little toe, and as a result the strength in my whole foot and ankle declined. When I pulled my pointe shoes back on, it felt like a big flipper on the end of my foot!

Any strength I had before felt like it had disappeared and I was back to square one. It was no fun at all – something I didn’t want to deal with ever again!
Recovering from an injury is one of the hardest parts of any dancer’s life – so why wouldn’t we try and prevent an injury in the first place?

Here are my top 4 tips to avoiding an injury:

1) Warm ups are important!

Get your heart pumping by doing some star jumps or jogging around the room.

Move the joints around –  leg swings, arm swings are all good ways to get moving before class. Don’t forget about those feet either! Ankle rolls, pointing and flexing the feet are helpful for warming up the small joints and muscles that are super important in dance.

Gentle stretching like bending down to your toes, spinal rotations and upper back stretches are good to do at the end of a warm up.

Don’t forget to breathe through the whole warm up!

2) Don’t be scared to try some other form of training!

Dancers love to dance, but doing other forms of training can really help you get strong and fit for the stage!

Exercise like pilates, yoga or even weight training can help you strengthen muscles that are essential for control and stability on stage.

Walking, running, cycling or swimming can help improve your cardiovascular fitness, which means you will be able to dance the whole 3 acts of Swan Lake without huffing and puffing too much!
3) Proper nutrition and rest are essential

A dancer needs the proper fuel to get through the rigours of training and performing. A dancer’s diet, like most people’s, should include a good balance of healthy carbs, protein, fats, vitamins and minerals.

Keeping hydrated by drinking heaps of water (2L a day) also assists in preventing illness and injury for dancers.


Taking the time to rest is also a super important part of injury prevention.

Being a dancer, it is all too easy to keep going and going until your body is at breaking point. Dancers need to listen to their bodies, and know that taking some time out will usually help

4) Always address an injury
Never wait for it to get better on its own, or until its really bad before consulting a health professional.

Come and see well trained health practitioners at Boroondara Osteopathy!

Dr Steph Klupacs is our resident Dance Injury expert.  She gives excellent advice and rehabilitation, and provides you with a realistic outlook so you can return to dancing safely.

Call 9859 5059 to book your appointment or book online at HERE

 

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