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Preventing Injury at Performance Time

Posted Aug 26 2008 11:43am
Lisa Howell, dance medicine specialist, wrote the following. I heartily agree with every point. All the best for your performance season!

"Warm Up! While you may only be 'marking' steps, always make sure

you do a full warm up before class, and this is NOT just sitting in

side splits! Aim to get all of your muscles warm and the heart

pumping a bit!

Make Sure You Stay Warm! Lots of injuries happen in rehearsals,

as we are moving around, then sit and rest for a bit, and then

suddenly get up and move again! Make sure that you wrap up warm if

you are going to be not dancing for more than 5 - 10 minutes.

Keep Hydrated. We sweat a lot more than we realize in dancing, so

make sure that you keep sipping water at regular intervals. Room

temperature water is better than ice cold, and while it is good to

keep your electrolytes up, sports drinks tend to have a little too

much sugar in them. Dilute them if you simply must have them.

Keep Your Energy Levels High. Make sure that you have good "Slow

Release" carbohydrate snacks to keep your energy going through long

rehearsals. This is not chocolate! A little every now and then is

okay, but not as your main source of energy!

Get Lots Of Sleep! Healing happens when we sleep, so give your

body the best chance by getting to bed early.

Ice Your Feet! Especially when doing a lot of pointe work, your

feet are sustaining micro injuries every day. Put them in a bucket

of ice water for 15 minutes after stopping dancing for the day

(make sure your feet are flat on the bottom) to help settle any

little bits of inflammation. This is horrible in the beginning but

you get used to it, and it really does make a huge difference! Then

pop them up a wall or on the end of the couch to further reduce any

inflammation in the joints.

Keep Up With Your Exercises! While lots of dancers struggle with

having the time, it is REALLY important that you keep up with any

strengthening exercises while you are in performance mode. Make the


Go here for Lisa's incredible technical manual "The Perfect Pointe Book"!
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