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Ballet Talk for Dancers

How to handle taking time off with studio


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First a bit of background info..... I am currently training full time at an amazing pre pro school. Unfortunately after running on a treadmill I have started to have shin issues which I worked through it as I hadn't been at my new school long and I hate to sit out and watch class:( Now about 5 weeks later I sought out treatment as the pain was getting worse and jumping and pointe work was getting to painful to do which lead to me not really doing full classes and sitting down with ice halfway through :ermm: I went to a physio today who was concerned that it might be a stress fracture but did tests and said that it was compartment stress syndrome and recommended taking at least a week or two completely off and then building back slowly into my schedule.


There lies my problem..... I think that for my shin to heel and not have any recurring problems I need to take the time now to prevent problems that would cause me to take more time off and hinder my future:( Problem is taking time off isn't really approved of and I don't want to get a reputation for being weak or not being a hard worker (which I am!!!) Also I have major school exams starting next week so mum would like me to take at least this week completely off dance and use it to study for my exams :nixweiss: When dancers are injured they are generally expected to attend all classes and watch and take notes or do floor barre in the back of the room.


Sorry this is all a bit jumbled but I guess the main thing that I am asking is how should I communicate with studio- Should I do what mum wants be to do and rest and study at home? Or go and watch classes (All 35 hours of them)? I just really don't want to look like a lazy person and get a bad reputation but at the same time these school exams are very important and if I don't do well in them then my parents will not be as supportive of my ballet training for next year.... Either way I really do need to rest my shin:)


Thank you and I'm sorry for such a long post that has rambled on but I hope you get the gist!!!


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  • Administrators

35 hours? And academic school? Okay, let's think about a compromise here. Talk to the director at the studio and explain that you need study time for exams but would like to watch and take notes on one technique class a day, and maybe also a pointe class.


I have questions for you, but will just ask this one for now....why, with 35 hours of dance a week, were you running on a treadmill???

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Yes 35 hours a week and academic school is an awful lot!!! I don't attend normal school instead I study by distance education as it would be impossible to attend school with this heavy schedule. I will talk to the director about a comprise and what would be the most important classes to watch and take notes on- one side issue I do have with this director is that she isn't that supportive of schoolwork (she isn't unsupportive it just isn't something that she really cares about at all :nixweiss: ) which I know isn't something that is part of her job but when you set such a big schedule that means that students can't attend face to face school it kind of involves her I guess...... So anyway to answer your question I was running on that treadmill (for the first and last time ever in my life!!!) as it was a hospitable stress test on my heart so I didn't really have a choice in the matter :ermm:

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So I talked to the director and it didn't go down to well:( Not to sure what to do next as I felt that she didn't really get that I was injured and physically can't do the body conditioning that I would be expected to do if I went in (injured dancers are meant to do a body conditioning workout in the back of the studio). I guess to being a studio that I've only been there since July they don't know me as well as my old studio and don't care as much which is fine but I guess that I have never felt pressure to work through an injury before :ermm:


All good lessons to learn as I move forward on this crazy journey anyway!!!!

Thanks for your help:)

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  • Administrators

Monbro, if you really have compartment stress syndrome, it is NOT going to heal if you keep dancing. Get to your doctor and get a written letter that states what you are able to do, and what you are not able to do. There may be some conditioning you can do, as long as it is not weight bearing, however, you need to ask the doctor to be specificl Get your parents involved here. The director needs to know that you are injured, and what you are capable of doing and what you are not, and for how long. This is not an injury that you "work through".

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I went to the doctor and got a letter that outlined what I was allowed to do or not allowed to do which helped although there were some repercussion with some teachers which although a bit upsetting it is good to learn how to cope with while I'm still at home with the support of my parents:) Next step if it doesn't improve with rest is to get a referral to a specialist who will hopefully be able to do give us some straight answers of what it causing the pain :ermm: All good lessons, I will certainly never be running on a treadmill in the near future anyway!!! I don't think that I'm being a wimp this pain is a bit different from when I've had other injuries before it doesn't feel right to push through it so good to work out what it is and also when I'm allowed to start back in class to address technique issues that I am guilty of such as over crossing my 5ths which could contribute to shin issues :nixweiss:


Many thanks for your help :)

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  • Administrators

I'm glad to hear you are taking the time off to heal, Monbro. Good luck, and please keep us updated on your progress. :)

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