When you are looking at injury prevention for dance, first of all you have to be aware of your risk factors and the causes of why you may get injured. If you optimise your training, you are definitely going to be dancing in a healthier way, improve your general condition and you’ll surely benefit from it. Finally I have made some recommendations of an additional physical preparation through other sports.
Read the following points and apply it to your dance!
I) Identify the risk factors and the causes of your injuries
Reduce the risk of getting injured through:
Training under supervision and exchange with other dancers to get the right technique
Progressive adaption of the skill level, adapted to the force, balance, technique and endurance (handstand before 90’s)
Regular stretching to gain more elasticity of the muscles
Giving yourself sufficient time to regenerate after practise
Respecting the wound healing phases if you get injured, so you can get back as fast as possible
Stopping if you have pain
Training on good dance floor (wooden, spring loaded dance floor, gymnastics mat)
Getting an individual analysis of a doctor or physiotherapist (specialist in dance or sports) to get to know your personal risk factor
II) Optimise your training
What you can change easily to train in better conditions:
Adequate warm up and cool down
Optimise the loads of your training on your body: do your repetitions with adequate breaks
Varied training: change the body parts you are going to put load on to not overuse one structure
Train in both directions
Train with supervision to get the right technique
Train with your brain: try different techniques until you find the best way you can do it
Don’t train if you are tired, go home and rest
Train with the sufficient safety protection as protection of your body directly (knee pad, elbow pad, …) or indirect (gymnastics mats)
III) General state of health
What do you have to do to stay in good general condition:
Sufficient rest and sleep
Harmonised social surroundings: family, friends, work
No alcohol, no nicotine, no drugs
IV) Additional physical preparation
Train your endurance, force, balance and flexibility:
Endurance: Do other sports as additional training such as swimming, climbing, biking, running Force: you can use your own body weight (push-ups, squats, sit-ups) or with barbells or with fitness machines Balance: slack-lining, instable support area, exercises with closed eyes Flexibility: stretching
DiFiori, John / Caine, Dennis / Malina, Robert (2006). Wrist Pain, Distal Radial Physeal Injury, and Ulnar Variance in the Young Gymnast. In: American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, 34/5/2006. S. 840-849.
Goeller, Karen / GymnasticsDrills.com: The hand stand is the most important skill. In: Technique, 9/10/2005. S. 6-7.
Ojofeitimi, S. / Bronner, S. / Woo, H. (2010). Injury incidence in hip hop dance. In: Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 22/2012, 347-355.
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