Don't let this be you! (photo by Erin Baiano)
It's April, which means that you are CRAZY right now: rehearsing for year-end performances, prepping for Regionals, getting ready for summer intensives. Given the stress all that insanity puts on your body, it's also the time of year when you're most likely to find yourself sidelined by—gulp—an injury.
And that's why each spring, The School at Steps mounts its fantastic Injury Prevention Workshop. Sponsored by Dance Spirit (yay!), the event features a panel of experts from the fields of health and fitness who want to help you live your best dancer life—minus things like sprains, strains and stress fractures.
This year's panel includes dancer Kurt Froman (a former New York City Ballet dancer currently performing in An American in Paris); podiatrist John Brummer; nutritionist Rachel Fine; stretch instructor Jessica Howard; and representatives from The Harkness Center for Dance Injuries and the Upper West Side Wellness Center. It is, in other words, SUPER LEGIT.
The Injury Prevention Workshop is happening this Sunday, April 10 at Steps on Broadway in NYC—so, New York peeps, buy your tickets now. Not in the area? Get in on the goodness by reading our recaps of previous years' workshops, which include great advice from people like NYCB principal Sara Mearns, psychologist Linda Hamilton and former American Ballet Theatre principal Ashley Tuttle.
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
Learn ways to prevent and recover from dance injuries with...
Rebecca Blanchard, DPT, physical therapist
Dr. Linda Hamilton, psychologist and Dance Magazine columnist
Marijeanne Liederbach, Research & Education Director, Harkness Center for Dance Injuries
Robin Powell, Pilates instructor
Dr. Andrew Price, pediatric orthopedic specialist
& special guest
Sara Mearns, NYCB principal dancer
Come early to receive free giveaways (while supplies last).
Tickets are $5 and are available for purchase online now.