Hey there! My name is Leah and I’m the new communications intern for Ballet on Wheels! I’ve been dancing since I was 3 and I have a lot of information floating around in my head about the subject. I’m not too sure about how to start a blog post so I’ll just get right in to it.
We all know that injuries in general are no fun. Injuries in dance, though, always seem to be so much worse. That is because we use muscles and body parts that most “normal” people don’t use. We get injuries that most people don’t even know about! Being a dancer is a special thing which is why you want to keep doing it as long as possible. In order to do that, you have to learn how to avoid (major) injuries.
- Stretching: First things first, you absolutely 100% must stretch before doing any sort of movement or class or anything! No matter how you may feel about it, stretching and warming up your body is important. If you dance cold you may pull muscles or sprain something or any number of things. I’m not saying that each time you dance you have to do some elaborate 30-minute warm up. You just need to do something to stretch your muscles out and get your heart rate going a little bit. Ease yourself into dancing instead of doing things at top speed!
- Cooling Down: Another important thing is doing a cool down after you dance. You’ve just done a class that lasted an hour, maybe two. You need something to bring you down from the hard work you’ve done. Otherwise, your body will just collapse on itself! It needs time to calm itself down. Again, nothing too long or elaborate. Just something to assure your body that it’s going to be okay!
- Listening to your body: Your body is a funny thing because it talks to you! It lets you know when it has fever or when it has an injury or when it is tired. You have to listen to the signals your body is sending you. If something is hurting, chances are you shouldn’t be dancing on it. If something doesn’t feel right when you do a certain move, chances are you shouldn’t be doing it. I know we all want to dance every single day no matter what’s going on BUT YOU CAN’T DO THAT. You have to listen to what your body is telling you and make good choices regarding what you’ve heard your body say!
- Rest: If you’re injured, resting is the best thing for you. If you’re not injured, resting is also a good thing. Your body needs time to catch up with your busy schedule! I’m not saying sleeping all the time is what you need to do, but you need to rest and relax. Sit and watch your favorite show or movie. Go to the park. Do something that isn’t as active as dancing to let your body rest for a second. It’ll help!
I’ve seen too many dancers suffer from bad injuries because they didn’t do one or more of these things. Injuries are no joke in the dance world! You just have to be careful and make sure you do the things I’ve listed. Dancing is the best feeling in the world and if you injure yourself you won’t be able to enjoy it.
Stretch, cool down, listen to your body, and rest.
Got it? Good!
Thanks for reading!