The right tools can keep your body in peak shape. Photo courtesy Hugger Mugger
Dancers will do just about anything to increase their odds of staying injury-free. And there are plenty of products out there claiming that they can help you do just that. But which actually work?
We asked for recommendations from four experts: Martt Lawrence, who teaches Pilates to dancers in San Francisco; Lisa-Marie Lewis, who teaches yoga at The Ailey Extension in New York City; physical therapist Alexis Sams, who treats dancers at her clinic in Phoenix; and stretch training coach Vicente Hernandez, who teaches at The School of Pennsylvania Ballet.
Proper care can help you avoid blisters. Photo by Quinn Wharton for Pointe
Blisters are a reality of dance life, but sometimes with early care they can be avoided. Blisters happen as the result of repeated friction and moisture: Pressure causes layers of skin right below the surface to tear, generating a serum-like fluid that creates the blister to protect the damaged skin below.
Dancers often get blisters when they wear new dance shoes, or suddenly increase the amount they're dancing, like during a period of intense rehearsal. An untreated blister can pop and become infected, turning a distracting problem into a serious one.