While dancers are good at making dance look effortless and easy, dance is HARD work! It takes a lot of athleticism, flexibility, and endurance. With all sports, it comes with risk of injury. Here are some ways to prevent injuries before they occur!
1. Eat well and stay hydrated before, during and after class.
2. Get enough rest and avoid overtraining.
3. Do exercises to build strength and endurance in all parts of your body.
4. Always wear proper shoes and attire.
5. Always warm up before training or performances.
6. Lead a healthy lifestyle and get to know your body.
7. When injuries happen, address them immediately and get advice from a doctor or physical therapist.
If you or your dancer ever does hurt, sprain or strain the body the best way to treat something minor is with the R.I.C.E. method. In all of these situations your doctor is going to recommend this form of treatment.
Step 1: Rest
Pain is your body’s signal that something is wrong. As soon as you’re hurt, stop your activity, and rest as much as possible for the first 2 days. Doing so with certain injuries, like a moderate to severe ankle sprain, can make the damage worse and delay your recovery.
Step 2: Ice
Ice is a tried-and-true tool for reducing pain and swelling. Apply an ice pack (covered with a light, absorbent towel) for 15-20 minutes every two to three hours during the first 24 to 48 hours after your injury. Don’t have an ice pack? A bag of frozen peas or corn will work just fine.
Step 3: Compression
This means wrapping the injured area to prevent swelling. Wrap the affected area with an elastic medical bandage (like an ACE bandage). You want it to be snug but not too tight.
Step 4: Elevation
This means raising the sore body part above the level of your heart. Doing so reduces pain, throbbing, and swelling. It’s not as tricky to do as you might think. For example, if you have an ankle sprain, you can prop your leg up on pillows while sitting on the sofa.