How to Prevent Ballet Injuries
Ballet injuries are common career ending catastrophes for dancers of all ages. What may seem like a small ache or pain could turn into a serious injury if you are not making the proper adjustments to your technique. There are a lot of solutions offered that just mask the pain. If you do not get to the bottom of the issue that is causing the injury, it could be a life long struggle.
The following are a list of steps you can take to ensure you are doing the right things to prevent career ending injuries.
1.) See a Doctor- I know this may seem like a no brainer, but going to a doctor is one of the most important things you can do if you are experiencing abnormal pain. If you are attending a good ballet school, they should be affiliated with a Sports Medicine department or physical therapist in your city.
2.) Rest- You’ve heard this one before too. If you are experiencing abnormal pain, you need to stop dancing until you have the issue identified by a physical therapist. I know, you’re afraid that you will lose your part to your understudy, but how would if feel if you kept dancing and tore or broke something? Do your career a favor and take a much needed rest.
3.) Therapy- Once you have seen a physical therapist and they have diagnosed the problem, you need to follow through with your treatments. Your physical therapist may have you doing some strange exercises, but if you don’t follow through with them the injury will come back.
4.) Investigate- After you are finished with physical therapy and your injury seems to have healed, start investigating your ballet technique. Are you rolling in on your ankles? Are you gripping your hips? You might even want to see a Ballet Strength & Conditioning Coach like myself to help you work on technical weaknesses based on your anatomy and body mechanics. (Keep in mind that these are things that most ballet teachers are not qualified to recommend)
Sometimes your Ballet instructors, though they have your best interest in mind, will continue to tell you to force your turnout, etc. so that your body looks aesthetically correct for ballet. While this may look good, it may be doing disastrous things for your body and your career.
Take these simple precautions to prevent long lasting injuries and never be afraid to ask questions. You can try out one of my Ballet Strength programs HERE.
Nikol Klein, Certified Personal Trainer/ Professional Ballet Dancer/ Certified Nutritionist
3 Secrets to Becoming a Better Dancer
We’re all looking to become the very best dancers that we can be. The truth is, there is no magic trick to improving your technique. Progress takes time, and with your dedication and hard work you will improve. Here are a 3 tips to helping you become a better dancer!
1. Focus on yourself. It is so easy to get distracted by the strengths of others. No two dancers are the same so don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Focusing on others is negative. Take that energy and put it towards working on something positive to help improve You!
2. Write down your corrections. I know this may sound silly, but it works. You should be writing down the corrections your teachers give you after class or rehearsal. That way you can think about it and work on improving. As a successful professional dancer, I even did this when I was a Principal Dancer! Writing down your corrections ensures that you are going into class the next day prepared and smart.
3. Every day is an Audition. If you walk into class with an attitude or a tired demeanor, your teacher will notice. Everyone has bad days, sure, but you need to approach each new day as an audition. If you put 100% into class, you will improve very quickly. Keep an open mind and a positive attitude! You never know who may be watching.
I hope these three tips enable you to approach your daily class routine in a more positive manner. For more secrets and tips visit balletaudition.com.
Career Transitions for Dancers
I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to go to one of the Career Transition for Dancers workshops here in San Diego last weekend. I thought it would be nice for me to share my thoughts and opinions of the ideas that they introduced for those of you who do not have the luxury of living in a city that their workshop visits.
There were about 25 dancers in the room of all kinds; Flamenco, Ballet, Hip-Hop, Ballroom, and even Vegas show dancers. Everyone was brought together in hopes of finding answers or getting suggestions as to what their next chosen career path should be.
Out of the 3 hour long meeting, which felt a bit like “Alcoholics Anonymous,” there were a few great things that happened. 1.) They talked to us about finding affordable Health Insurance 2.) They gave everyone a list of things that Dancers are good at naturally, other than dancing 3.) They helped everyone identify skills that they are most interested in learning.
Unfortunately, there were also some negative aspects to the workshop as one would expect. First off, one of the main presenters was never even a Dancer! The other main focus was Grants and Financial Aid. While this is a wonderful thing to offer to Dancers who qualify, (qualification consists of being a paid dancer for 7 years, having made at least $56k, and 100 weeks or more of paid employment as a dancer) what about those dancers out there who never had the luxury of being paid appropriately? Even more discouraging was when I learned that Dancers who qualified for the Grant would only recieve $2000!
It seemed that if anyone had questions, they were given a “technical support” number to call to speak with a Woman whom i will leave nameless. Most of us were in that meeting because we wanted to talk to a human being in person and address our concerns at that time, not over the phone. I think something valuable for them to add to their website would be a Forum where dancers can interact with eachother and talk about their experiences in transitioning from dance.
Luckily this Workshop was free…I felt sorry for some of the young dancers who were in the room that were looking for answers. Bottom line, if you were looking to be found you probably left this meeting even more lost. The good thing, having found a group of people just as lost as you!
If you are looking for someone to talk to and consult about your career transition out of Dancing this is a wonderful organization. They offer FREE unlimited phone consultations! Don’t take my word for it, find out for yourself!
Give Career Transition a call; (212)764-0172 or Visit them on the web, http://www.careertransition.org.