Pain, Pain, Go Away...

Injuries: Many dancers accept them as a necessary evil, just “part of the job.” But what if they didn’t have to be? Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick, MA, has developed an injury prevention program in collaboration with doctors from Boston Children’s Hospital. Dance Spirit chatted with the school’s director of dance, Michael Owen, and director of physical therapy, Susan Kinney, about four rules of injury prevention.

Students at the Walnut Hill School for the Arts cross-train in a TRX Suspension Training class targeted at dancers. (Photo by Amanda Grazioli)

CROSS-TRAIN. “Bodies crave muscular balance,” Kinney says. But dancers tend to work the same muscle groups repeatedly and ignore others, which can lead to injuries. Through proper cross-training, you can strengthen underused muscles, while also stretching overused muscles.

Talk to your teacher at the first sign of injury. "If you catch it early, it's gone early," Owen says. (Photo by Nanette Grebe/thinkstock.com)

STUDY ANATOMY. “It’s important for dancers to be aware of which muscles they’re using, and why,” Owen says. An anatomical understanding of dance will help you internalize your teacher’s corrections, because you’ll appreciate the physical consequences (injuries!) of improper technique.

MODIFY. “There’s no shame in modifying!” Kinney stresses. Modifications to technique, such as not going on relevé due to foot pain, allow your body to heal without keeping you from the studio.

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. “The body will know when something isn’t right,” Kinney says. Early symptoms of pain and discomfort are warning signs of potentially more serious injuries.

 

(Illustration by Eastnine Inc./thinkstock.com)

Did you know?

Controlling your playlist while you exercise can have real benefits. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences found that individuals who controlled the music they listened to were able to exercise longer than those who passively listened to music playing in the background. The researchers call this effect jymmin, a mix between gym and jamming. So next time you’re feelin’ the burn, make sure you’ve got your best playlist ready to go

 

 

(Photo by Dave King/thinkstock.com)

 

Don’t pour out the liquid at the top of your yogurt cup! It’s filled with nutrients like calcium, vitamin D and probiotics. If it weirds you out, try stirring it in or saving it for a smoothie.

Today is National Dance Day! We're sure you already knew that—you learned the official NDD routines weeks ago, right? (Or at least watched Nappytabs and Baby London perform them!)

Well, now it's time to gather all your friends (dancers and non-dancers alike!) and have a giant dance party. How do you pull this off? With Dance Spirit's NDD Playlist, of course!

These gotta-get-up-and-dance songs—a mix of new and classic favorites—are bound to get the party started. Enjoy!!

  • "The Power of Love" by Celine Dion.
  • "Womanizer" by Britney Spears
  • "Run the World (Girls)" by Beyoncé
  • "The Edge of Glory" by Lady Gaga
  • "A Little Party Never Killed Nobody" from The Great Gatsby soundtrack
  • Anything and everything by Pitbull
  • "You Don't Know You're Beautiful" by One Direction
  • "You Can't Stop the Beat" from Hairspray
  • "Get On Your Feet" by Gloria Estefan
  • "Dancing Queen" by ABBA
  • "Can't Hold Us" by Macklemore/Ryan Lewis
  • "Crazy in Love" by Beyoncé
  • "I'm a Slave 4 U" by Britney Spears
  • "Please Don't Stop the Music" by Rihanna
  • "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" by Michael Jackson
  • "Boogie Shoes" by KC & the Sunshine Band
  • "No Diggity" by Blackstreet
  • "Motown Philly" by Boyz II Men
  • And of course, "I Gotta Feeling" by The Black Eyed Peas. Mazel tov!

Now you tell us: Which song would you add to the playlist? Which is your fave?

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