Dancers should make an effort to maintain good health throughout the dance season, in order to keep their bodies in the best shape possible. It is very easy for a dancer to get worn out by the end of the year, and possibly get an injury that will prevent them from performing. The following tips will help to ensure that dancers get the most out of their season.
As Soon As Something Hurts…
The minute that a dancer feels pain, especially in joints, he or she should no ignore it. Dancers should try to figure out what is causing the pain, whether it is in the ankles after landing jumps, or in the back after stretching. If the pain is severe, or has never been felt before, dancers should consult their doctors as soon as possible.
Making a cool-down part of the dancer’s day is also important. After a class or performance, dancers should stretch and cool down while their muscles are still warm from dancing. This will put balance back into the body, and prevent muscle injury from overuse.
Add an Aerobic Exercise to Daily Routine
While dancing may be seen as an aerobic activity, it does not usually raise the heart rate as much as an aerobic activity would. Much of dance class or performance involves starts and stops, and repetition of movements. Dancers should try to work in another aerobic activity into their routine, in order to build stamina for the dance season.
Good choices for dancers are swimming, cross-training, or kayaking. Dancers should try to stay away from jogging or running, at least as a daily activity, because this puts stress on knees and hips which is similar to the stress put on them during the dance class. This may add to knee or hip injury in the future if used daily.
Have an Outlet for Stress
The dance season can build up stress in a dancer’s body. It is important for dancers to have an outlet to relieve their stress. It can be through yoga or stretching, but it is also a good idea to have another hobby outside of the dance studio. Playing an instrument can be a good stress-reliever, or painting, knitting, or other creative hobbies. Scheduling time to indulge in creative outlets other than dance can relieve stress for dancers and prevent injuries caused by tension in the muscles.
Another good outlet is to talk about problems with other people. Many dancers are perfectionists, and classes or performances can be a source of frustration. Having someone they trust to talk to, whether it is a fellow dancer, family member, or trusted friend, can be a good way to relieve the stress of the season. Sometimes just knowing that the person is available to talk to is a stress reliever.
Every day, a dancer must stretch their body in new ways. It is important for dancers to remember to cool down, beware of pain, vary their exercise routines, and have outlets to relieve stress. All of these things will help dancers to avoid injury and stay healthy through the long season.