Dancing with Injury
Dancing with Injury
By Samantha Priya Wright
We all know injuries are a part of being a dancer, but the hard part isn’t the physical pain, it’s having to “take it easy” in class, or worse… SIT OUT. It’s a dancer’s worse nightmare! We have a high pain tolerance which is why when asked to sit out during class, we say, “No I’m fine! I can dance!” A good piece of advice: if you want to dance tomorrow, next week, next month, and for the rest of your life… you may as well sit out and take it easy, or at least modify the exercises in class to make sure it doesn’t make your injury worse. Why is there a stigma around injury anyway? Why is it that dancers feel like they’re not being a “good student” if they have to sit out? I know exactly how this feels. Having shin splints and being a dancer do not mix well. Sometimes I feel like I should push through the pain and finish class and yet I’ve learned the hard way that that’s not the right thing to do. Dancers are so connected to being physical, that when we have no choice but to be stationary, it can drive us insane! A dancer must know the balance between doing your best and doing too much. Sometimes it’s hard to stay motivated when you’re injured, but you must SUPPORT YOUR HEALING PROCESS. Having an injury provokes a fear in dancers which can make it difficult to even begin your healing process, this is completely normal. It can be hard to stay motivated when your routine is altered but this is where you have to make the best of the situation you’re in. Be there for your body! Eat well, strengthen, stay positive and motivated, and do not push through pain. With an injury, it can seem as though you’re unable to do anything, but we must be grateful for what we have and what we are still able to work with! Try setting new, achievable goals while you are injured. This way you still have something to work towards, rather than focusing on what you can’t do because you’re injured. Focusing on what you CAN control while you’re injured is one of the things that will definitely help you stay motivated. Things like nutrition, sleep, and even the people around you, these are all factors that can help you stay as healthy as you can be, and make your healing process a great learning experience for the future.
Samantha Priya Wright is a passionate and driven dance artist currently dancing in Catalyst and training at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver to complete her BFA in contemporary dance. READ MORE at www.catalystdance.net/catalyst-dancers/
Catalyst photo of Samantha by Brenda Kent 2015