(Erin Baiano)

Your Aches and Pains Addressed: Hip Issues

Your hips don't lie—especially when it comes to pain. And while temporary soreness is normal for busy dancers, constant aching and pinching definitely isn't. Dance Spirit turned to Jenni Green, PT, MS, CFMT, and president of PhysioArts, for a basic breakdown of hip pain.



What It Is

"If you're experiencing a pinching sensation when you pull your knees into your chest, that's not normal—it's called 'anterior impingement,' " Green says. On the other hand, "If you're experiencing pain when you battement or développé to the front or the side," Green says, "that could be a sign of hip flexor tendonitis."

What Causes It

"If you're experiencing a pinching sensation, you're likely overstretching or incorrectly stretching your hip flexors," Green says. "If you remain in a lunge position too forcefully for too long, you're only stretching the ligaments and not the hip flexor itself."

However, if the sensation you're feeling is more of a tense grip (like you can't relax your muscles), Green says your hamstrings may be too tight. "If you're kicking your leg and your hamstring is restricted, your hip flexor has more weight to lift. You're over-muscling instead of supporting your movements from your
center"—and overusing your hip flexor in the process.

How to Deal

If your hamstrings are tight, a combo of foam rolling, stretching and self-massage can help release the tension. If you're experiencing pinching, pay attention to your stretching positions. "The best thing you can do is stretch your hip flexors properly, in a way that completely supports your joint," Green says.

She recommends imagining how someone would kneel when they propose: "Don't lunge forward. Keep your trunk upright and behind the leg that's kneeling. Keep your pelvis tucked under and maintain that tuck as you slowly bend into your front leg." While the mobility won't be nearly as great, you'll feel a much stronger stretch.

If your pain is persistent or getting worse, Green advises seeking out a physical therapist.

Latest Posts


Viktorina Kapitonova in "Swan Lake Bath Ballet" (photo by Ryan Capstick, courtesy Corey Baker Dance)

Please Enjoy the Quarantine Genius of “Swan Lake Bath Ballet”

That old saying about limitations breeding creativity—hat tip to Orson Welles—has never felt more relevant than in these lockdown days. Here's the latest brilliant dance project born (hatched?) of quarantine restrictions: "Swan Lake Bath Ballet," a contemporary take on the classic featuring 27 A-list ballet dancers performing from their own bathtubs.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Project 21 dancers (from left) Selena Hamilton, Gracyn French, and Dyllan Blackburn (Photo by Quinn Wharton; hair and makeup throughout by Angela Huff for Mark Edward Inc.)

How Project 21 Is Shaping the Next Generation of Competition-Dance Standouts

"I wish I had a better story about the name," says Molly Long, founder of the Orange County, CA–based dance studio Project 21. In truth, it's a play on the fact that she was born on the twenty-first of August, and 21 is her favorite number. "I was away on a teaching tour, the audition announcement was going live on Instagram the next day, and I desperately needed a name. Project 21 was just the least cheesy of the options I thought of!"

The fact that fans might expect the name to have some profound meaning speaks to the near-mythic status Project 21 has achieved on the competition and convention scene since its founding in 2014. Long's dancers are all wholly individual, yet jell seamlessly as a group, and are consistently snagging top prizes everywhere on the circuit. Each season brings a slew of new accolades, high-caliber faculty, and legions of devoted followers.

The industry has taken notice of the studio's unique ethos. "Molly gets through to her dancers in a special way, and they have this incomparable level of commitment to their craft as a result," says dancer and choreographer Billy Bell, who's worked closely with Long and her dancers. "That's what sets them apart—it's like a little dose of magic."

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

contest
Enter the Cover Model Search