As dancers, our bodies are constantly tired, sore, and pained. The movements dancers endure are not natural for the human body and can cause some painful effects. These are generally signs of us getting stronger and more advanced, which is what we crave in order to perfect our craft. To relieve these symptoms, stretching and foam rolling typically do the trick. However, sometimes it can be difficult, especially for younger dancers, to differentiate between these pains and actual injuries. Dancing while sore may feel uncomfortable, but it will not do any damage to the body; dancing with an injury, though, can harm the body several ways and affect the body as it ages. There are a few ways to address an injury and determine the scale of it.
1. Take Note of How You Feel
When you first begin to feel some discomfort, take note. Recognize which part of the body is in pain, which movements cause the issue, and how troublesome it is. This information will be helpful if the problem does turn into an injury in the future. If this pain only lasts a couple days, it is not an injury, rather just muscle soreness. However, if the pain continues for more than a week and gets increasingly worse while dancing, an injury may be developing.
2. Talk to An Adult
After about a week with the increasing pain, talk to one of your teachers. All our Allegro teachers are extremely knowledgeable and can help you modify exercises until professional help is obtained. This is also important so your teachers understand what is going on and can be considerate of your abilities that day.
3. Go to a Doctor or Physical Therapist
This is the final step and a very important one. These people are trained to work with the body and help their patients. Your job is to make sure that you are bringing these doctors a valid problem and their job is to help you feel better and find a solution.
These steps are very general for dancers and a good outline for self- diagnosing an injury. Please remember that every body is extremely unique and the problems that one dancer faces are going to be different from the next. Try to keep a positive mentality when dealing with these; dancers easily get frustrated when they’re not able to do their best in class. Even the most talented dancers endure injuries, the key is to just stay optimistic about the outcome. Thanks for reading!
**Disclosure: I am not a doctor or physical therapist or certified in this field. This is just the information I have gathered from my personal foot injury, months of physical therapy, and my own research. 😊