Prevention is Key at the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries

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By Jill Swenby

One of the biggest concerns for professional dancers is injury. For this reason, it is vital that professional dancers take as much care as possible to prevent injury. The Harkness Center for Dance Injuries at the NYU Medical Center, founded in 1989, is aimed at helping dancers do just that. With its innovative Injury Prevention Assessment program, Harkness is utilized by several dance companies and Broadway shows in New York.

Alison Deleget, MS, ATC is a certified athletic trainer for Harkness. (Visit for more information on athletic trainers.) Ms. Deleget works individually with dancers and also travels to studios around New York giving lectures on how to prevent injuries, the common causes of injury, and basic nutritional information. We recently talked to Ms Deleget about the Harkness Center and recommendations for dancers to prevent injury.

How does the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries work?
The Harkness Center has a one-of-a-kind Injury Prevention Assessment program, which is a free service offered to dancers. They can be seen by me for a one-hour, one-on-one assessment of their bodies to identify any muscle imbalances, weakness, tightness, alignment problems, etc. that may put them at an increased risk for injury, and are given a home exercise program to address these issues and ideally prevent injury occurrence. We also discuss nutrition, social habits, survival jobs, warm-up and cool-down practices, etc. to help the dancer get an understanding of how issues outside of their bodies may contribute to dance injuries as well.

What are some of the most common injuries for dancers?
Chronic injuries (the “itis” injuries: tendinitis, bursitis, etc) are by far the most common type of injury seen in dance. Approximately 65% of all dance injuries fall into this category.

How can these injuries be prevented?
Since dance injuries are such a multi-factorial problem, meaning there are lots of different factors that can cause injury, it is hard to say briefly how to prevent them. For chronic injuries, some of the most important things that can be done are to eat a healthy diet, get enough sleep, cross-train with exercise like Pilates or Yoga to keep the body balanced, and try to work as correctly as possible with dance technique. Also, no matter what the dance technique, it is important for dancers to know their own bodies, and accept the limitations they may have as well as the assets they have. Anyone can learn to work with their body, but they have to know and acknowledge what their body can do before they can learn to work with it.

What other tips can you give dancers for staying healthy?
One additional piece of advice would be to get help for an injury BEFORE it turns into a chronic problem that can take months or years to correct. It is important to seek out medical professionals that are familiar with dance and can provide the specific treatments and advice dancers need to recover from injury.

About what percentage of dancers are able to recover? How long does recovery take on average?
Dancers can recover from almost any injury sustained, but some more severe injuries may take a year or more to recover; whereas less severe injuries may only take a few days or weeks to recover. Also, the nature of the injury plays a huge role in the length of recovery. A dancer who has suffered from chronic tendinitis for years may take longer to recover than a dancer who is just beginning to feel the symptoms and seeks early treatment for the problem. The most time consuming injuries are typically traumatic injuries such as an ankle sprain, meniscal tear, or ACL tear. These injuries may need surgery to repair the damage sustained in the injury, and rehabilitation can last for several months. The most important thing for any dancer to know is that with proper care, they can come back from almost any injury.

Do you see many injuries recurring in the same dancer?
We see dancers who have recurring ankle sprains more often if they did not get adequate treatment after the initial injury. With chronic injuries, dancers can sometimes suffer from the same “injury” for months or years, but the severity of the pain flares up and diminishes over time. Injuries like this will flare up when the dancer comes back from an extended break, or when they begin rehearsing extremely taxing choreography that is new to their body. With proper management, these flare ups can be minimized, and ideally, eliminated.

Are there any other major factors in injury prevention?
The most important message dancers should hear about injury prevention is that it involves every aspect of their lives, not just what they do in the studio. Nutrition, rest, psychological support, cross training, survival jobs, etc. all impact dance injury occurrence. In the studio, it is important to have a set routine of warm-up exercises to target the muscles needed for dance, and a cool-down program to stretch out tight, tired muscles and allow the body to recover from dance.

For more expensive health care needs, such as surgery, physical therapy, or diagnostic tests such as an MRI, dancers can apply for the Special Assistance Fund to help cover costs. For more information visit the Harkness website at

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Hidden Clues To Your Perfect College Match

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By Johanna Orca

When it comes to picking the right college, you’ve heard it all: look for small class sizes, modern facilities and the right college population to fit your personality. However, with a dancer’s unique talents comes the need for an equally distinctive education. So put onyour thinking caps, lace up your dancing shoes and open your eyes to a few of the lesser known collegiate clues that can help you reach your perfect educational choice.

What A Girl Wants
As muses of dance, your educational needs are very different from those of your less movement-minded classmates. Your best tool is to recognize those desires are and decide how you want to cultivate them, whether through a BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) or a BA (Bachelor of the Arts) degree.

A BFA is best suited for dancers who know exactly where they want their dancing shoes to take them. This program requires more credit hours than a BA and is more structured and training-intensive. A BFA doesn’t leave much room to explore other avenues of study outside of your dance focus and is targeted at dancers aiming to turn their art into their profession. Don’t let the stern tone of this degree fool you into thinking that a BFA will limit your career opportunities; dancers earning this degree can go on to teach, choreograph, get their MFA (Master of Fine Arts) degree and, of course, dance professionally.

Like a BFA, a BA is a precursor to a MFA. However, a BA is aimed at students who may not be ready to make the commitment that a BFA requires. A Bachelor of the Arts degree allows students more flexibility in their class schedules. It is aimed at dancers who want to pursue additional majors or minors or who desire a more well-rounded college experience. Keep in mind that while many colleges have both BFA and BA programs, some may only offer one or the other or may not have a degree program in dance at all. For extra credit, find out if your college is a member of the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD) or if any of the instructors have been DMA (Dance Masters of America) or DEA (Dance Educators of America) certified. These organizations are independent firms ensuring quality and excellence in dance education, and the NASD is recognized by the United States Department of Education.

Mission Possible
Although they may look like innocuous blocks of text, a school’s mission statement can tell a lot about its underlying philosophies. For example, the University of Michigan’s Department of Dance “draws upon the legacies of 20th century American modern dance and ballet, embracing the abundant theoretical, historical, and interdisciplinary resources available on campus and in the community,” whereas the Denison University Dance Department aims “to physically challenge students in several movement experiences ranging from traditional dance…to modern dance…to contemporary.” In short, mission statements can reveal the very different artistic objectives held by different colleges. Marshall Anderson, chair of the Theater and Dance Department at the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, recognizes that “most, if not all, prospective students never look at a department’s mission statement and don’t even know that one exists!” Knowing what a school has in mind for you can help you decide if you want to invest in its particular brand of song and dance.

Hit The Road, Jack
Picking a college dance program is one of those rare choices where you can test-drive your decision! Through summer workshops, you can get the classroom experience without the collegiate commitment. Participating in these seminars gives you a well seasoned taste of a school’s teaching methods, instructors and class structure. If the schools you are most interested in don’t offer summer workshops, touring the facilities and speaking with instructors are great ways to “test the waters,” Anderson says. He also suggests meeting teachers, sitting in on classes, and speaking to current students: “[College] websites are nice, but don’t tell the whole story – a personal visit is a must.”As dancers, you know that preparation is key, and this guideline applies to your perfect performance on not only the theatrical, but also the collegiate stage.

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Capoeira: Martial Art or Dance?

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A spectacle implies an impressive, attention-demanding act. Capoeira is a spectacle to behold. This art form has been generically referred to as a martial art or a dance. It is solely neither, nor is it a combination of the two.

A ritual born in 16th century Brazil by African slaves mixes elements of dance, martial arts and games that culminate in a fierce combat. Though the actual history of Capoeira is debated, it surely won’t be history anytime soon.

Capoeira is a philosophy that has survived years and miles to find a home here in the United States. Americans are finding truth and principles in the grace and acrobatics of Capoeira. With none of the rigidity of the martial arts, all of the grace of dance and freedom of play, this art form teaches its participants to be aware of and resist oppression. One of the stories behind the dance’s creation was that slave would hide their combat practice behind music and what appeared to be dancing.

In this way, Capoeira teaches that a participant must be strong and honest to embrace the beauty and freedom of expression offered in the battle. Current students of Capoeira seek to free themselves of worry and stress while building strong minds and bodies. When the dance first traveled to the states it was considered a practice of the poor, but has now expanded to people from all walks of life.

Competitors at every level must be baptized into Capoeira and graduate, as with other martial arts, with the ultimate goal of becoming a Mestre– or Master– of the field. Clearly this tradition offers us something we were missing, something we could engage in that allows us to be.

A Capoeira showing is referred to as a performance. Though it retains its roots in battle and can be dangerous, it carries with it the same refinement of dance, led by music.

Capoeiristas battle each other one on one with adroit movements– kicks, sweeps, head butts and acrobatics– that must be precise so as to maintain integrity. The participants are as strong and adept as any martial artist or break dancer.

These performers for the most part will not make contact but there are groups of Capoeiristas who do engage in actual combat. The drumbeat and rise and fall of voices instruct the players on speed and rhythm of their movements.

Weakness or second guessing oneself could lead to injury in this sport; and like the Oleander, beautiful and ever so dangerous.

One particular institute in Chicago is Gingarte Capoeira– directed by Contra Mestre Marisa Cordeiro, the academy has been open since 1991. Mestre Marisa is one of the highest ranking Capoeiristas in the world and was trained in Brazil by some of the top instructors of the sport.

The school is a non-profit organization whose goal is to preserve the culture and tradition of Capoeira and to educate communities by making the art form accessible. They are now over 100 strong and growing.

The largest Capoeira Organization in the Midwest also offer s instruction in other arts and has two locations. The fact that the Gingarte Capoeira, under Marisa’s leadership, has grown so successfully indicates that people are thirsty for a form of expression that embraces culture and tradtion while promoting strong minds, bodies and principals.

“Let the slaves dance their silly little dance!”

However, when no one was watching, the dance became a graceful battle and the slaves transformed into formidable warriors. Capoeira is a tale of a culture and tradition that will resist oppression honestly, respectfully and with rhythm.

Gingarte Capoeira
Ruth Page Center of the Arts,
1016 North Dearborn Street
Chicago IL 60610

Gingarte Capoeira @ The University of Chicago
1212 E 59th St
Chicago IL, 60637
(Ida Noyes Hall)

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Building Self-Esteem

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Courtesy of Just For Kix “Coaches CD” ©2000
Compiled by Cindy Clough

When children dance, they have a “golden opportunity” to develop a positive self-image. But, this won’t happen if parents don’t do their part. Here are some ideas to help build your child’s self-esteem on and off the dance floor:

  • Keep it positive. When you find something to criticize, find four other things to praise.
  • Instill humor. Help kids laugh at their mistakes.
  • Develop team spirit. Help your child think “we” not “me.”
  • Step into your child’s shoes. See the sport through her eyes. Listen and understand her feelings and wants.
  • Involve yourself. Volunteer. Ask your child questions. Help her practice at home.
  • Notice any and all progress, in both skill and effort.
  • Praise specifics. Don’t say: “Mary you are a good sport.” Say “I liked the way you greeted the other team after the competition.”
  • Offer a good example. Be a good sport yourself.
  • Remember to have fun. Fun, not winning, is what’s most important to children.
  • Set reasonable expectations. Don’t under estimate what your child can do, or pressure her to do what she can’t.
  • Adapted and reprinted from Parents Make The Difference.

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Middle East to the Midwest: Belly Dancing Basics Stay the Same

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By Jill Swenby

As with many varieties of dance, belly dancing evolved from a ritual dance to become the form of cultural expression it is today. Stemming from the Middle East, it first appeared in the U.S. at the Columbia Exposition of 1893 in Chicago. Americans have been mesmerized by the beautiful dance form ever since.

Mona N’wal, a belly dancer and instructor of 30 years (, breaks the movements of belly dancing into four main components: percussive movements on tempo, circular or figure eight movements, undulations, and shimmies. She says the “fun part is layering”these movements to create a visually appealing dance.

Besides the movement, what really hooked her to belly dance was the music. Middle Eastern music is very linear and light in comparison to the very compact and heavy American music. However, it is close in style to jazz, in that it takes a main melody and riffs on it. Mona stresses that the music and the dance are incredibly intertwined.

“The dancer tries to be a visual expression of the music,” she says, “Traditionally, certain instruments call for certain movements.”

Although not all belly dancers adhere strictly to which movements correspond to which instruments, there is a basic guideline to use. That is, drums call for hip and foot work; violins call for swaying; stringed instruments call for morevibration, and flutes call for breathy movements.

With these foundations of movement and music together, choreographers can begin to combine them in ways that tell a story. Belly dance can not only express great joy but also great sorrow. It is important to try to translate lyrics of a song to accurately create a dance for it, Mona notes.

“It’s about absorbing the music and the idea and reflecting it back in movement, “she says.

The idea that Middle Eastern dance is solely a seductive dance is an inaccurate stereotype. The costumes with the bra top, pants and veil only came about in the1920’s. The veil began as a flirt with the laws of reveal and conceal in Egypt. Therefore, it is important to remember that belly dance is first and foremost a folkdance.

Props used in belly dance are also reflections of Middle Eastern culture. The cane is the women’s way of poking fun at the Egyptian men using bamboo staffs for defense. (The sword is strictly an American addition.) The finger cymbals, often thought of as an accessory, are really an instrument. While the performer is
dancing, she is also playing a part in the orchestra with the cymbals. Thesesometimes go along with the movements and sometimes not. Finally, the Shamadan (candelabra) worn on the head started in the late 1800’s when a belly dancer put a candelabra on her head while leading a wedding procession.

Being a professional belly dancer in the Middle East made the woman a bit of an outsider. Everyone wanted the famous dancers to entertain at their weddings and celebrations, but no one wanted their daughter to become a belly dancer. Because of this mentality, many professional dancers often quit dancing when they got married.

As with theatre, decent women were not supposed to dance in public. So, originally young men were the professional dancers. Men also danced privately in homes and at parties. These were safe places for nonprofessional women to dance as well. The dance has since grown and modified. Even within the Middle East there are vast differences. Egyptian dance is very constricted by its modesty laws, whereas Turkey is influenced by Western culture, showing much more skin.

Although modern dancers now fuse belly dance, techno, and hip-hop, the foundational moves remain the same. Mona maintains that it is a very self-expressive dance form which takes time and patience to master.

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Dance in Musicals

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By Lindsey Huster
Edited By Angie Rentmeester

From the advent of Al Jolson in The Jazz Singer, to more recent Zac Efron moves in High School Musical, one component of the film musical genre has remained constant: dance.

“Dance provides another level of emotional expression, taking the characters beyond where they function within the traditional confines of the narrative and beyond where they sing,” said Jerome Delamater, author of Dance in the Hollywood Musical and professor of communications at Hofstra University.

With roots in cabaret, operas, vaudeville and theater, film in the 1930s began to take on a different shape, combining elements of both song and dance to create the film musical. Now, with almost a half of a century under its belt, the film musical has come a long way and has subsequently provided a few favorites to choose from.

West Side Story (1961)
Choreographed by Jerome Robins

A not-so-typical Romeo and Juliet love story strongly reflected in dance sequences marked with cultural flare. In particular, the gym scene readily displays the dualistic nature of the Jets and Sharks through their different approaches to the mambo. Other dance sequences, such as “America” reflect the perceived cultural differences between America and Puerto Rico.

“West Side Story is the perfect marriage of passionate composer Leonard Bernstein and Jerome Robbins, a choreographer grounded in classical ballet,” said Rick Heiman, artistic Director of Hollywood Ballet and Southern California Dance Company.

Singing in the Rain (1952)
Choreographed by Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly

Nothing can dampen Gene Kelly’ s opening tap dancing scene as he hangs off lamp posts and skips puddles and police officers, proving that love can dispel even bad weather.

“In the ‘ Singin’ in the Rain’ number, the character learns something about himself because he has danced those feelings and as a result of the dance….can have a meaningful relationship with his love interest,” said Delamater.

This enthusiasm is equally matched with a tap dancing sequence found in “Good Morning” as the dancing trio, Gene Kelly, Donald O’ Connor, Debbie Reynolds, trip over couches, up stairs and down.

Hairspray (1988, 2007)
Choreographed by Jerry Mitchell

With a recent musical reincarnation of the John Waters film, Hairspray’ s best moves are not just a blast from the past. With the help of plus-sized Tracy Turnblad and her best friend Penny Pingleton, songs like “You Can’ t Stop the Beat” show off the best moves of the 60s, including the Twist and the Mashed Potato. The most updated version, that stars High School Musical’ s Zac Efron’ s, has as much bubble-gum sweetness as the Broadway musical.

“Hairspray is both serious and fancy free at the same time,” said Diane White, a dancer from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. “It combines music, dance and dialog with ease making for a fun musical to watch.”

Chicago (2002)
Choreographed by Bob Fosse

The entire film musical moves with the beat of the jazz-era mixed with a fosse-flare. A favorite for most fans is the Cell block Tango, a piece that describes the unapologetic murders of fellow inmates of Roxy Hart and Velma Kelly, which mixes modern with the slinky, seductive, (and perhaps deadly) quality of the Tango. With all that jazz, (and tap too) it’ s not hard to love this film musical.

Regardless of the genre and musical styling, dance continually plays a significant component to any film musical. “Dance has become an integral part of the musical’ s storyline and creates multidimensionality in telling the story,” said Heiman.

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Becoming a Better Dance Team Coach

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By Sara Willcutt

The best thing that I have done as a coach is to study dance myself. I have found that taking ballet classes has giving me invaluable tools to teach technique to my dancers.

After I take a class I write down what I learned and work that into my practice plans.

I also take hip hop classes at both dance studios and heath clubs. It’s a great way to get choreographic inspiration and gain a handle on this very popular style of dance.

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The Fine Art of Balancing Dance and Academics

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by Johanna Handyside

As a college graduate, I can appreciate the fine art of time management. However, while my English major afforded me portable practice in the form of text books and The Canterbury Tales shoved into the deepest regions of my backpack, collegiate dancers cannot hone their skills in such tight spaces.

So how can a college dancer keep her head on straight in class and during a pirouette? Lauren Baker, president of the University of Minnesota’ s Student Dance Coalition, shares some tips on how to stay at the head of the class and ahead of the chorus.

Planning Makes Perfect

For those freshmen who think that life just isn’ t busy enough to call for a day planner, wait a year.

Baker, a Bachelor of Fine Arts Dance major with a minor in Journalism and Mass Communications, acknowledges that “since my second year [of college] and the years then after my brain can’t keep track of all of the things I need to do. If I physically see what my schedule looks like for the day, week, etc. I can plan when I can sit down and veg.”

As you progress through college your courses, course loads and an increasing list of extracurriculars will require more and more of your time.

However, having the ability to visualize your day cannot only help you plan time for homework, practice, and social life, but it can even help you be better prepared for the unexpected.

Baker brings up another important point: the importance of making time for you. “A day planner isn’ t just for assignments; it can also help you find time for yourself away from the demands of dance and school. College is a time to push yourself academically and physically, but your body and mind also need time to rest and heal,” she said.

Knowing how to manage your time effectively is a skill that will serve you well both in college and in life and can lead to a happier, healthier you.

Say “Yes” to “No”

College is an opportunity to test new waters and immerse yourself in things that you are passionate about. But while diving right in may be an effective method of experimentation for some, don’ t be afraid to gently test the waters first.

While Baker encourages students to “take any professional opportunity” because “you never know when those opportunities will come around again,” she is also realistic about the feasibility of this feat.

“It’s very important to say ‘ no’ to some things,” she states. “It’s my opinion that younger dancers who are enthusiastic about being involved (I include myself in this category) want to do as much as possible. This however, is impossible.”

Ambition is a necessary trait for collegiate dancers, but you also have to know and respect your personal boundaries. A day planner may let you know whether you have enough time to add another activity to your schedule, but only you and your body can tell whether you can physically and mentally handle one.

Have a Support Group

The continued existence of cheerleaders and pep rallies illustrate the importance of having an enthusiastic support system. Not just for athletes and big games, having strong support can make the difference between having the world on a string and feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders. Although your grades and assignments are ultimately under your control, don’ t forget that there are many other students out there with similar feelings who can easily understand where you are coming from.

“My friends are my support,” said Baker. “Most of them are fellow dance majors so they know exactly what I am going through because they are dealing with the same things.”

Friends are there for the good times and to “knock [sic] some sense into your head after a break down.”

The Fresh Prince bemoaned the fact that “Parents just don’ t understand,” but friends are friends because they can sympathize, empathize, and just as easily slap some much needed sense into you when things get tough.

So before the semester starts get your day planner, grab a towel, and call your friends because with these tips you’ re heading for the top of the class, the front of the stage, and the top of the phone list.

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From One Nervous Dancer to Another: Auditions

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by Ashley Collingwood

While at a dance audition, it is easy to become overwhelmingly nervous. Auditions I have been to in the past were disastrous, and after quite a few anxious mishaps I had to ask myself, why? Why couldn’t I stay calm and focused?

Over the years, I have managed to gather a few crucial tactics for cooling my nerves. I have become a thousand times happier and more confident going into an audition, and have had more positive outcomes because of this, and I would like to share.

First, dressing comfortably is key. If I do not feel right in my wardrobe, it is harder for me to feel comfortable with my dancing. I always make sure I am wearing the appropriate attire for each audition. Of course, some auditions require certain clothing a dancer may not be used to. In this case, I would suggest dancing in the audition clothes ahead of time. It would also be a good idea to bring all the necessary shoes, and test each pair for comfort prior to the audition. Hair and makeup are also very important, not only to look nice, but to feel good.

Just as vital to feeling good as wardrobe is nourishment. Some dancers may not eat well before an audition, but I usually enjoy something light, healthy, and satisfying like a banana and yogurt.

In addition to preparing physically, I find that mental preparation for an audition is necessary. Besides telling myself to just get in shape and go for it, I do a few things to get my mind focused. The night before an audition, I pack my bag with everything I might need. This simple task actually puts my mind at ease and helps me sleep soundly, knowing there is nothing I will rush around trying to do at the last minute. Preparing the night before actually does eliminate that extra stress (unnecessary anxiety is the LAST thing I need at that point!)

Once I know that I haven’t forgotten anything, I make sure to have plenty of rest and set my alarm clock, allowing myself plenty of time to get ready in the morning. Getting to the audition early enough for a proper warm up is also a good idea. I never go into an audition without loosening up and stretching. Even once this is done and I know I’m ready, I can sometimes still feel that show business fluttering in my stomach, but I throw in some deep breathing to help calm me a little more.

Remembering why you are there is also key. For awhile, I was so concerned about what everyone else thought about me. I felt like not only the people holding the audition, but also the other dancers were judging me. This is when another question came to mind: “Who am I dancing for?!” The answer came easily after some evaluating–ME! Now, I approach each audition with a completely new outlook. I try to impress myself and take each audition as a class. I have learned that this eases a lot of tension, and I have had much better results!

Although it is inevitable to have some jitters at an audition, these small but important tips have helped me tremendously. It took awhile to figure most of them out, so I would like to spread the love to anyone else with similar anxieties! Most importantly, stay positive and remember what this craft is really all about. Hold fast to the energy, the inspiration, and the art that is dance.

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Acupuncture for Dancers

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By Laila Hussain

A show of hands, who has ever thought of trying acupuncture? If you have your hand in the air, then perhaps you feel a little sheepish. You don’t really need to raise your hand, but maybe you do need to act on your curiosity and try some alternative therapy. There are many benefits to acupuncture, some recognized by traditional health organizations, and some not. Contrary to common belief, it is actually pretty painless and can even be deeply relaxing. The needles used in this process are not at all like syringes or sewing needles; they are very thin and flexible, gently gliding between the body’s tissues instead of tearing through them. The feeling is most often compared to that of a pinch, or a mosquito bite.

You may wonder how having a number of tiny, flexible needles stuck in you helps to treat anything. Chinese medicine is based upon the relationship of the individual, both physical tissue and spirit, function in relation to each other. In terms of the human body, mind, and spirit, the connective force that runs through it is called“qi,” or chi, as we Westerners spell it. This chi is an energy force that flows through the body along specific pathways, called meridians. When this all important chi flow is blocked by injury, stress, or disease, pain and dysfunction emerge.

Acupuncture, though still relatively new to western culture, is already being applied to various forms of sports-related injuries and is fast becoming a big part of performance medicine. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s much like sports medicine, except that it is used to treat conditions specific to performing artists instead of athletes. As a part of this performance medicine trend, acupuncture is helping performers of all kinds live healthier, happier, and more productive lives.

So what does this mean for you dancers out there? It means that if you’re suffering from chronic pain or injury – in any area of the body – acupuncture can quite possibly soothe your pain completely, help your body heal itself naturally, and shorten overall recovery time, without the use of drugs. Dancers can overcome relief from injuries such as sprains, strains, sciatica, and arthritis. It has also been known to treat many different kinds of digestive, psychological, and skin disorders. However, it is important to note that Chinese medicine heavily emphasizes the prevention of injury and illness, as opposed to solely treating an already injured and suffering body. The many artists and athletes who have experienced the benefits of acupuncture see it not only as a life-saver and secret weapon against sudden injury, illness, or pain, but as part of a complete health maintenance program. Many of the testimonials of acupuncture patients claim that it has even cured their insomnia and depression. The National Institute of Health recognizes it as effective in treating headaches, menstrual cramps, low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, asthma, addiction, nausea, and various other physical, emotional, and mental problems.

If you or someone you know is a performer who fears that their career will be delayed or cut short due to chronic pain, illness, or serious injury, acupuncture is a viable and recognized form of treatment. Whenever you are choosing a physician of any kind, whether traditional or alternative, it is important to research their training, credentials, and past track record with their patients.

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