Why Won't My Sprained Ankle Heal?
It's been a year since I sprained my ankle and it continues to hurt, even with physical therapy. I've had to skip class, and I worry that my injury could ruin any chance of landing a job when I start auditioning. It hurts the most when I do grand pliés. Is there something wrong with me?
—Lame Broadway Dancer, New York, NY
Foot and ankle specialists tell me that when sprained ankles don't heal, there's often an underlying problem that may have been missed or misdiagnosed. Weak peroneal tendons (which run down the side of your ankle) or torn ligaments could account for your pain. However, these are easily diagnosed. The most common reason for residual pain after a sprained ankle is sinus tarsi syndrome. Due to inflammation in the sinus tarsi, you may experience pain in this hollow area on the outside of the ankle, especially when you do grand pliés.
Your situation requires a dance medicine orthopedist with in-depth knowledge of how the foot and ankle function. Diagnosis and treatment for sinus tarsi syndrome typically involve an ultrasound-guided therapeutic injection to find the injury and reduce inflammation. Afterward, you should rest for a week and avoid vigorous ankle movements—the less you do, the more effective the injection will be, although swimming and Pilates can be done to maintain conditioning. You may then resume physical therapy. Later, strengthening activities, such as ankle exercises on a wobble board, can help enhance any lost proprioception and coordination. Stretching your calf muscles will also help the biomechanics of the ankle since an overly tight Achilles tendon can place extra stress on the joints below it. All of this will make reinjury less likely as you return to class and start auditioning.
Send your questions to Dr. Linda Hamilton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More than once, when I'm sporting my faded, well-loved ballet hoodie, some slight variation of this conversation ensues:
"Is your daughter the dancer?"
"Actually," I say, "I am."
"Wow!" they enthuse. "Who do you dance with? Or have you retired...?"
"I don't dance with a company. I'm not a professional. I just take classes."
Insert mic drop/record scratch/quizzical looks.
You nominated your favorite dance moments so far in 2019, and we narrowed them down to this list. Now it's time to cast your vote to help decide who will be deemed our Readers' Choice picks for the year!
Voting is open until September 17th. Only one vote per person will be counted.
Just four years ago, the University of Southern California's Glorya Kaufman School of Dance welcomed its first class of BFA students. The program—which boasts world-class faculty and a revolutionary approach to training focused on collaboration and hybridity—immediately established itself as one of the country's most prestigious and most innovative.
Now, the first graduating class is entering the dance field. Here, six of the 33 graduates share what they're doing post-grad, what made their experience at USC Kaufman so meaningful and how it prepared them for their next steps:
The 2019–20 season is here, and with it more performances than any one person could reasonably catch. But fear not: We polled our writers and editors and selected the 31 most promising tickets, adding up to one endlessly intriguing year of dance.