As many adolescent sports are these days, dance is typically a year-round activity. With performances and competitions scattered throughout the year, involvement in both studio and school teams, and rarely a break in classes, adolescent dancers may participate in 20-30 hours of dance per week. Some studies even show pre-professional or professional dancers may average up to 40 hours of training and performances per week.
This training schedule, combined with the high impact and highly repetitive nature of dance, can put dancers at increased risk for injury. Most dance-related injuries have been found to be a result of increased and frequent stress on bones, muscles and ligaments rather than an acute or sudden incident. Common conditions can include tendonitis, back pain, stress fractures, patellofemoral pain, muscle strains, and bursitis. Below are several tips to reduce the chance of injury.
- Wear proper shoes and take part in good foot care
- Inspect your feet regularly for any sign of excessive wear
- Take the time to warm-up and cool-down
- Listen to your body and avoid the temptation to dance through pain
- Seek medical advice with any nagging pain or concerns
- Pay attention to proper dance technique
- Stay hydrated and eat nutritiously
- Incorporate cardiovascular activity a few times per week to increase endurance
- Parents can be observant and look out for signs of overtraining, fatigue/burn-out and other nutritional or health issues
- Consider reducing training hours if injury or fatigue is becoming an issue
Have a dance injury that needs a closer look? Call us at (402) 609-1750 to arrange a complimentary injury screening.