As much as you try to prevent injuries while taking dance classes, sometimes tendonitis, sprained ankles, or stress fractures occur. Here are the answers to some of the most frequent questions dancers ask when they’re faced with an injury.
What can I do to stay in shape while I’m injured?
The aim of every dancer is to return better than you were before you were injured. This is only possible if you emphasize continued training while you rehabilitate from your injury. For instance, if you can’t jump due to a sprained ankle, continue training the strength of your entire leg, pelvis, and core, rather than merely focusing on staying off your foot.
Will I be able to recover fully from my injury?
Of course, the answer to this depends on the extent of the damage, where the injury took place, and whether you need surgery. However, the answer is usually yes! Just remember to allow yourself enough time to fully recover before you get back into dance class. Don’t rush it—even if everything feels fine, heed your doctor or physical therapist who insists that internal healing is still happening.
Are there any positives to taking a break while recovering?
This may surprise you to hear, but yes—taking time off allows you to focus on aspects of your dancing that you don’t normally have time to think about. A pause in your busy dance schedule also promotes deep resting and proper recovery for your body. You may also gain a renewed appreciation for just how much you love to dance because you are forced to sit practices out for a while. You’ll come back feeling fired up and ready to progress faster than before.
How do I avoid falling behind the rest of my dance class?
Some dancers avoid reporting injuries because they fear falling behind. However, there are other ways to train while recovering from a dance class injury. For instance, if you have a fractured bone in your foot, you can still practice holding your arms correctly. You can still research the character development of your repertoire pieces or brush up on anatomy. And you can still review choreography in your head.
What should I keep in mind when returning to dance after an injury?
First, work with your therapist to determine what led to the injury in the first place, especially if it was a chronic problem that developed slowly over time, so you can prevent it from happening again. This may involve polishing your technique and addressing any problem areas.
Then, to ensure your injury heals fully, don’t jump straight into full-scale dancing in one day. Get back into it gradually, and continue listening to your doctor’s advice. Also, refine your diet so you get the proper nutrition to stimulate complete healing at the cellular level.