Tips for Dancers: How to Prevent Trauma While Dancing

Hello dancers!  Here are some tips on how to prevent trauma while you’re dancing.

1. Pay maximum attention to your partner watching his/her body helps to predict what is going to happen next. Staying in your own world with closed eyes during social might be awesome and relaxing but also may cause an accident. Even if you follow – look around, help your leader to provide safety.

2. Don’t wear high heels, uncomfortable shoes, outfit, heavy or huge accessories, rings, watches.

3. Adapt to your partner and to changes in the environment, be like water. Adjust to partner’s connection, provide him/her a very clear information about your abilities in connection. If you feel leader is pulling you or follower has an extra heavy connection, is not in her own balance all the time, initiates dips by her own, moves illogically, dangerously and uncontrollably – talk to him/her or ask an instructor to talk with this person. And don’t act as crazy inattentive follower on drawing!

4. Posture. Poor posture is the reason of many injuries (shoulders, low back). You can blame your partner but more often it’s just your poor posture or frame. Overextension with disengaged muscles may be very dangerous for both partners, leaders are trying to pull even harder, use so much arm-leading. Again, you can talk about it.

5. Prepare your body. Do other activities beyond WCS – gym workouts, pilates, yoga, barre. If you want to try pro’s tricks (especially moves from showcases) – it is obvious that they work hard to prepare their bodies, to keep muscles in great shape. It’s never just given as a gift – it’s everyday work, hours in a gym or near a ballet barre. So, if you want to try Tat’s cool things like flip, cartwheel – make sure your body is trained as good as hers.

6. Techniquetechniquetechnique! It is the main secret that provides safety and helps to prevent trauma. If you did a couple of group classes where you learned just steps or patterns – please ask the instructor about technique, take some lessons about how to lead-follow properly (how to do is much more important here rather than what to do). Incorrect grip, arm tension, unexpected weight support moves, flaccid frame, too much pounding of feet without strengthening, poor posture, hitting breaks too hard – it all may cause injury not only yours but also your partner’s.

7. Warm up and cool down.15-20 minutes of slow stretching, activating each muscle group helps to prepare mentally, feel your body better, improves coordination, increases heart rate. Cooling down with slow deep breathing slows down blood circulation gradually, reduces adrenalin levels, reduces stiffness, soreness and relaxes you.

8. If injury already happened… Use RICE as first aid and then visit a doctor. RICE is Rest, Ice (very first hours, the next day it’s better to use heat), Compression and Elevation. Use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (if you don’t have contraindications). If you experience such pain, consult with a medical specialist — preferably a physical therapist or physician with experience in treating dancers.
  • Pain that wakes you up at night
  • Pain that is present at the start of an activity
  • Pain that increases with an activity
  • Pain that makes you shift your weight or otherwise compensate your movements
9. First aid kit for dance class or event
  • Instant cold pack
  • Athletic tape
  • Elastic bandages
  • Topical pain reliever
10. Much of overuse injuries and even some traumatic dance injuries can be prevented!
  • Eat well and stay hydrated before, during and after dance class, competition, social dancing
  • Get enough rest and avoid overtraining
  • Do cross-training exercises to build strength and endurance in all parts of your body
  • Always wear proper shoes and attire
  • Always warm up before training or performances.
  • Lead a healthy lifestyle and get to know your body
  • Don’t drink alcohol while dancing
And please don’t dance through pain! Stay healthy and happy! Much love, All yours Maria Bileychik

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