7 Injury Mistakes You Don't Know You're Making
It's that crazy time of year when, in the whirlwind of classes and rehearsals leading up to year-end shows and Regionals, dancers are increasingly likely to get injured. And there's nothing worse than missing out on a dream role or an amazing group routine because you've been sidelined by an injury—especially something preventable.
Cue The School at Steps' Injury Prevention Workshop. The annual event (sponsored by Dance Spirit!) brings in experts in the fields of health and fitness to help dancers figure out how to keep their bodies in tip-top shape. This year's workshop, featuring a pretty impressive panel, will take place Sunday, April 12 at 6:30 pm at The School at Steps in NYC. (You can get tickets here.)
Want a preview of the wise advice you'll get on the 12th? We asked each of this year's seven panelists to share an injury mistake they see dancers make all the time.
"Young students juggle complicated and demanding schedules, and are forced to balance intense academics with the equally intense physical demands of serious dance training. Students rush from school directly into class, often without any sustenance since lunch, sometimes missing large sections of barre work that are crucial to a proper warm-up. Solutions are difficult, but learning about the danger of erratic training is important." —Kate Thomas, director of The School at Steps
“It's so important to exercise patience while recovering from an injury. When you're back in class, you must listen to your body, and stop dancing one combination sooner than you think you should. If you push yourself too much, you can put your recovery on a backwards track." —Ashley Tuttle, former American Ballet Theatre principal and Tony Award nominee for Movin’ Out
“What you put into your body is what you get out of your body. A balanced and nutritious diet is key to a long and successful career.” —Rachel Fine, MS, RD, CDN, NYC-based registered dietitian nutritionist, clinical adjunct instructor at New York University, and founder of To The Pointe Nutrition
“Pilates mat exercises are great for injury prevention because they help dancers maintain strength and flexibility while incorporating the whole body, mind and spirit. Applying the principles of the mat exercises (breath, concentration, control, centering, precision and flow) before and during class can help you achieve a sense of strength and calm.” —Robin Powell, Pilates instructor, The School at Steps
“Injury prevention requires strategies utilized by professional athletes: proper technique and mechanics, strength and flexibility training, proper nutrition and rest.” —Andrew E. Price, M.D., associate professor of orthopedic surgery, NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases
"Cross-training with cardiovascular and resistance exercises can help improve your capacity for performance and enhance career longevity." —Leigh Heflin Ponniah, MSc, MA, Harkness Center for Dance Injuries of the NYU Langone Medical Center
"As much as we all love to dance, taking the time to heal after an injury is the fastest way to get back to doing what we love." —Lucy Panush, pre-professional dancer, The School at Steps
Kalani Hilliker made "Dance Moms" fans sit up a little straighter when she first appeared on "Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition" back in 2013. The then–12-year-old ballerina had charisma, she had sass—and, wow, did she have technique! Abby Lee Miller, the show's infamous host, saw Kalani's star potential from the start, saving her from elimination and ultimately inviting her to perform alongside Maddie Ziegler on Season 4 of "Dance Moms." "I was never supposed to be on 'Dance Moms' beyond that one performance," says Kalani, now 16, but she ended up staying on the show for the whole season—and the following three. "It was my first time, but not my last time, causing drama. And it was also the first time I got to meet the other dancers, who have become like sisters."
You may already know Apolla Shocks are able to replace your current footwear and dance shoes because of the durability, aesthetics, and traction, BUT there are many other reasons to ALWAYS keep a pair in your dance bag. BESIDES wearing them in class or onstage:
Move over, Sergei Polunin*: There's a new ballet heartthrob in town.
Well, not "new," exactly: The fabulously talented Isaac Hernández has been a lead principal with the English National Ballet since 2015, and previously danced with Dutch National Ballet and San Francisco Ballet. (He's also part of a distinguished dance family: You met his brother, SFB corps member Esteban, in our March issue roundup of up-and-coming danseurs.)
But a dreamy new video by filmmaker Ezra Hurwitz—"Despertares" [Wake Up], featuring Hernández dancing in studios and on rooftops all over NYC—makes a strong case for this beautiful dancer becoming your next ballet crush:
You probably already know the dance division at the Boston Conservatory as a top destination for contemporary dancers. But in June 2016, the Conservatory uncovered a new part of its identity when it merged with Berklee College of Music. It's a move that's opening up all kinds of new opportunities for students—especially dancers.
In an audition or onstage, knowing how to use eye contact appropriately is a total game changer. Dancers who aren't afraid to meet the eyes of judges or audience members exude a special confidence that allows them to be seen as capable, talented performers. When dancers look at the floor or around the room, though, they telegraph insecurity. Don't send your critics looking for flaws! Avoid these three no-no's and become a true master of eye contact.
Pretty much every class at L.A.'s Millennium Dance Complex features a combo set to a serious banger of a song. But not every class brings in the ACTUAL POP STAR BEHIND THE SONG to watch dancers take on that combo.
A few days ago, Demi Lovato dropped by Jojo Gomez's class at Millennium to see what Gomez had made of her hit "Sorry Not Sorry." Gomez's 🔥 choreo—and the incredible performances by some of Hollywood's best dancers/most devoted Lovatics, including Kaycee Rice—didn't disappoint.
Is there anything better than a killer dance photoshoot? OF COURSE NOT! Whether you're taking headshots, model shots, or simply images that'll slay on Instagram, dance photography makes the world a prettier place.
To make sure your next dance photoshoot is as 🔥 as you are, we asked photographer Kenneth Edwards for his dos and don'ts. Follow his advice and your dance photography future will be as bright as your "golden hour" lighting.