It’s every dancer’s worst nightmare – injury! The reality is that most dancers will sustain some kind of injury during their career. Today we want to share tips on injury prevention as well as some valuable advice on how to cope when your body has put you side stage.
First off, if you have an injury don’t be too hard on yourself, you are in good company. Will Sabin suffered a bulging disk, Tahlia Fowler endured broken bones in her foot and Joel Murphy recently dislocated his shoulder. Remember it’s a setback not the end of the world.
But here’s the good news, injury is preventable. Miss Erin is living evidence of this. Did you know that she has never been injured! Yes that’s right, in two decades of dancing she has not suffered one single injury! Naturally we asked her to share her secrets.
Miss Erin’s top three injury prevention tips are:
1. Nutrition, sleep and hydration.
2. Avoid overtraining and manage fatigue.
3. Follow safe dance practices – warm up and cool down.
“We want our dancers to have long sustainable careers, that’s why we teach them how to take care of their bodies and how to manage injuries properly,” says Miss Erin. “Under no circumstances do we encourage dancing whilst injured.”
Dancers are also encouraged to know their pain. There is a big difference between the pain you feel when you are told to run the routine just one more time compared to the pain you feel when there is an injury in your body, yet you continue to dance.
If you push through pain you are asking for trouble. There is a very high chance you are turning a minor problem into a long-term issue. You only get one body, don’t risk it. Miss Erin advises that the first thing you need to do is get a diagnosis as a matter of urgency. You must follow the recommendations made by your doctor or physiotherapist – this is a non-negotiable, even if it means sitting out of classes.
No-one understands this more than Chloe Baker who injured her foot last year. When it happened she thought she’d be out for 6 weeks and would be back in time for ADF. You can only imagine how shattered she was when she was told she’d need surgery! Instead of feeling defeated she accepted that her body needed to rest in order to heal. And in a remarkable demonstration of resilience for such a young girl, she dedicated the time to making the most of any other opportunities offered by DSA.
If you are injured make the most of your recovery time. Give your brain a work out. Learn a new skill. While you let your body heal take it as an opportunity to regroup, rethink and rebuild. And remember you are working on the most important muscle of all – resilience!