From a very early age, dancers are taught that pain comes with the territory. When injuries inevitably arise, dancers feel shame, social stigma and tremendous pressure to bounce back as quickly as possible. This means taking a risk by downplaying the severity, or hiding it altogether due to fear.
When I was a young dancer, a teacher once told me that a day off in dance was like a week off in any other passion. Although this is a myth that’s been debunked, those words have still haunted me every day for the past nine years.
Have you ever felt pain in the back of your ankle while pointing your foot or rising onto relevé? This could be a sign of an injury common in dancers, especially those working on pointe, called posterior ankle impingement. Don’t ignore this pain. Early treatment could mean the difference between healing and needing surgery down […]
The bad news: “There’s so much about the healing process that dancers don’t have control over,” says registered dietitian nutritionist Tiffany Mendell. One notable exception? How dancers fuel and nourish their injured bodies. To help your body recover, avoid these four common nutritional mistakes. DON’T Eat Too Little In an effort to avoid gaining weight, many […]
Explore Your Area Donation-based screenings are offered in several cities nationwide. For instance, Dr. Lauren Elson, director of dance medicine at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network in Boston, and Kester Cotton, director of dance rehabilitation at Spaulding, run a free annual Dancer Health Day through the Boston Dance Alliance. Dancers can get assessed, find ways to […]
Repeat after us: Inflammation isn’t evil. Why the 180-degree turnaround? For years, we were told that we wanted to decrease inflammation as much as possible after an injury, and icing was one of the best ways to do that. But scientists now realize that inflammation is actually a critical part of the recovery process—it’s how […]
Dealing with a dance injury? Dr. Brian Goonan, a Houston-based psychologist who works with dancers, gives advice on refocusing your emotions when you’re on the road to recovery. Reflection over criticism It’s normal for dancers to slip into a spiral of “shoulda-woulda-coulda” after an injury. “You don’t want it to happen again, so you’re trying […]
It felt like fabric ripping in my shoulder. In spring of 2019, while on tour with the Paul Taylor Dance Company in Florida, I slipped on some sweat during a solo in Esplanade and landed shoulder first. I couldn’t lift my arm for the rest of the last section, a series of catapults across the […]