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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Update on Pirou's foot/Achilles tendon

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After 11 days of no dancing except for floor-barre, much icing, Celebrex-taking, wearing of nothing but pronation-support running shoes, and showering with my taped foot bound in Glad Press-n-Seal wrap, I had my follow-up visit today. The doctor said my foot is healing remarkably well and I am allowed to begin his prescribed stretching program for the Achilles tendon. We decided together that I was healing well enough to forego any additional services of a physical therapist.


As of tonight, I am also allowed and encouraged to return to dance classes, as long as I do no relevé, no jumps, no deep pliés, no turns, don't point much, and "dance" with the foot wrapped in the strapless support he gave me (packaging: "for the athelete who does not want or need the restriction of tape,") AND IN MY JAZZ SHOES which have the little heel to take even more pressure off the Achilles. Okay, that's a lot of restrictions (and especially demoralizing to see that black foot at the end of my pink tights,) but I was surprised at how much I could actually do that did not involve too much stress of the foot. I did everything flat, and was pleased to see that I could actually balance flat on that foot pretty well. I had no pain throughout or after class. After class I did all my additional stretches, and then I came home and iced and took the Celebrex, and the next thing I am going to do is the little tendon massage he instructed me to do (to break up the forming scar tissue, of which he says I did not form too much, also good.)


I have three weeks like this now and then I go back for the next follow-up appointment and see what actions I will be taking next. All in all, I'm very pleased with the way the recovery is going, and glad that I am expected to become fully rehabilitated. I am especially grateful to all here who instructed me to stop dancing at once and seek help immediately (and told me how to find the right help.) :D

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Great! Even a little dance makes me feel so much better sometimes. I'm actually encouraged he gave you all those restrictions. It shows his understanding of dance. When I sprained my ankle and had to see a walk in clinic doctor, it was all or none. Yes you can dance now, no you can't. I had to make up my own gentle program.


Take care of yourself though! The last thing you want is a re-injury. Think about how frustrating that could be.

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Thanks for that gentle reminder/warning! It would be just like me to go out and overdo it again. But I am determined to be very mindful and do everything right. I take everything very slow, taking the whole musical beat to execute the movement, even if it would normally be executed a little faster (e.g., battement tendu, where I see potential for disaster if I don't take it very slow.) My teacher is also very mindful. Tonight in class (my 2nd one back since being given the go-ahead on Tuesday) in addition to the regular barre combinations he started calling out, "and for those of you not jumping, do this." (As if there's anyone else in class not jumping.)

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My teacher did that when I hurt my ankle. I gave her a gentle "hairy eyeball" look and then took her advice (of course). I had the same thought in my head, as if there's anyone else not jumping/turning.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Today I did my first real jumps since developing my achilles tendonitis on March 1st. We did 4 changements, echappé, changement. I did it very carefully, with extra attention to making sure my heels melted into the floor with my plié one each landing and I do not seem any worse for wear.




Also, this week marks my 2-month point of returning to ballet.



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