Ballet and Dance Injuries – When and How to Rest

After a dance injury – when do you stop dancing. Right away! I shudder and wince when I talk to a ballet dancer who has injured her/himself and then continued a stretch of performances. Where is the understudy? Where is the teacher? Parent? Who is going to say “stop right now”? It is not brave, “being reliable”, or “being mature” to keep on keeping on in this situation. Sports coaches are adamant about stopping activity with an injured team member.

How about letting an injury heal right away so you can be a reliable dancer for the next twenty years?

Learning how to stretch properly can increase muscle tone and help prevent dance injuries.

Learning about nutrition Ballettschule München and muscle/soft tissue requirements can help prevent ballet/sports/fitness/cheer leading injuries, and help recovery after an injury.

While the world of dance does not apply recovery times to muscle use, understanding that aching, pulsing, stinging muscles need extra care with daily icing (maybe several times) and as much rest as possible, will also be beneficial to those in intense training.

If you cannot find fabric covered ice packs in your local stores, call a chiropractic or physical therapy clinic and ask if they sell those. The convenience of being able to grab an ice pack to wrap around an aching joint, or sit against for 15-20 minutes when you are recovering from a hard class, will prompt you to be responsible in caring for yourself.

If you have plastic ice packs, wrap them with a thin fabric so that you don’t freeze your skin.

Don’t fall asleep with in ice pack under your neck or back, or wrapped a round a joint. In fact, don’t even lie down that way.

A hot pack should always be moist, and should be followed by icing. Heat will increase inflammation, so while it feels good, you need to then ice.

These are general suggestions, and pain that does not go away with rest should be investigated by a health practitioner for more specific treatment.

When you are training, rehearsing or performing, and you slip, skid, fall, twist, trip – whatever – and you feel a sharp pain, or hear any kind of click, or snap from your body, just STOP. Hopefully there will be an ice pack in the dance studio to use right away.

Do not ever pressure yourself to complete a series of performances if you get injured. It is your studio’s responsibility to have an understudy to replace you.

It’s horrible to lose the opportunity to perform after so much hard work on your ballet technique and your art. But it’s devastating to lose your next twenty years of dancing because you don’t understand how to treat ballet and dance injuries, or when and how to rest.

A Professional Attitude For Ballet and Dance Students

Teachers in any kind of child, teen, adult education or college classes need their students to have basic good manners. Listening, not disrupting the class in any way, are skills that teachers hope every child has before they come to kindergarten. If only.

In ballet and dance classes progress depends on quick understanding by the students, as the physical doing and repetition of a correct movement is what creates good technique. And good technique is the basic ability, then talent, style and other aspects of presentation follow.

So what is a professional attitude that would help ballet and dance students who do not even have professional aspirations? Should they care?

Many inherent factors in the performing arts trainings can bring out the bad attitude in many of us, naturally. Some teachers are drawn to teach and correct to the physically gifted and more charismatic students, even if they are not good workers. This can raise the resentment of other students. I understand this. However, the professional attitude of everyone is to just keep working hard. It is also alright to ask your ballet teacher, at least every few weeks, “what should I be focusing on the most right now to improve?” If you have to demand attention, you do, in a polite way.

Of course if this is a real problem in your ballet studio, go somewhere else.

Casting for performance roles is naturally an issue. Everyone hopes that she or he is ready for the lead or solo roles, or realistically knows that they are not. On the management end, it is true that those teachers doing the casting sometimes do consider students whose families support the school, or who have financial influence. Occasionally it is painfully obvious.

However you get cast, fairly or not, rehearse and dance every role like it is the most important role in the ballet. Because it is. It is YOUR role. That doesn’t mean you demand any extra attention with superfluous smiling or any other kind of exaggeration. Do not distract yourself with envy (though it is a natural reaction to feel it, keep it under control), grief, or moping. You can cry on the right shoulder away from the studio, but in the studio you act with quiet pride in all that you do.

You come prepared for every class and rehearsal. You do the minimal socializing, and do not join in the complaining committee of the other unhappily cast ballet students. Just go about your business.

If your ballet studio is presenting excerpts from classical choreography rent the ballets, different companies if possible, and see how the professional dancers do the parts you are rehearsing. Different dancers have different interpretations, Kindertanz München musicality and style. You can always learn something to adapt in your way to improve your presentation.

A professional attitude is largely about self-containment. Get advice outside of the studio from family or friends, even other teachers. Release your emotional disappointment somewhere safe. But in the studio, just work. Be helpful to others when needed, as long as it doesn’t take away from your work.

Get an edge on your competition as well by studying the expert dance manuals that are available. Improve on your own, take care of aches and pains, eat well and sleep well. Everyone respects that, whether they say so or not. Become your own expert and be a pro, whatever you do.