Saturday, December 1, 2007

In Pointe Shoes - Preventing Injury at Performance Time

Get a wonderful dancer's guide by Lisa Howell, dance medicine specialist, who wrote the following about dancing in pointe shoes. I heartily agree with every point. All the best for your performance season!

"Warm Up! While you may only be 'marking' steps, always make sure
you do a full warm up before class, and this is NOT just sitting in
side splits! Aim to get all of your muscles warm and the heart
pumping a bit!

Make Sure You Stay Warm! Lots of injuries happen in rehearsals,
as we are moving around, then sit and rest for a bit, and then
suddenly get up and move again! Make sure that you wrap up warm if
you are going to be not dancing for more than 5 - 10 minutes.

Keep Hydrated. We sweat a lot more than we realize in dancing, so
make sure that you keep sipping water at regular intervals. Room
temperature water is better than ice cold, and while it is good to
keep your electrolytes up, sports drinks tend to have a little too
much sugar in them. Dilute them if you simply must have them.

Keep Your Energy Levels High. Make sure that you have good "Slow
Release" carbohydrate snacks to keep your energy going through long
rehearsals. This is not chocolate! A little every now and then is
okay, but not as your main source of energy!

Get Lots Of Sleep! Healing happens when we sleep, so give your
body the best chance by getting to bed early.

Ice Your Feet! Especially when doing a lot of pointe work, your
feet are sustaining micro injuries every day. Put them in a bucket
of ice water for 15 minutes after stopping dancing for the day
(make sure your feet are flat on the bottom) to help settle any
little bits of inflammation. This is horrible in the beginning but
you get used to it, and it really does make a huge difference! Then
pop them up a wall or on the end of the couch to further reduce any
inflammation in the joints.

Keep Up With Your Exercises! While lots of dancers struggle with
having the time, it is REALLY important that you keep up with any
strengthening exercises while you are in performance mode. Make the

Build the best foot muscles for dancing in pointe shoes
with professional guidance, and prevent dance injuries.

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