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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Dealing with injury (mental part of it)


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Again I'm asking you some help. I just injured my right foot again (a different spot each time) Today My foot girst get stuck to the marley while going through first doing a fouetté arabesque at the barre. It hurt just for a second everything was fine I continu through it. Then 2min before the class end pfaff whike doing a grand jeté (the last one for my manège group). I land weird and hurt it again at the same place but thus time it hurt. I didn't twist it. The teacher confirm that it didn't twist she was looking at me and didn't understand what has possibly happen and I feel kind of the tibia going down. It turned blue it a minute but didn't swell. I planned to go to the physician tomorrow (we had a nurse in the class and she told me to wait until tomorrow with the Rice protocol, there will be less people tomorrow and I will mot be taken tonigt as I'm not a real emergency, better to be home).

I'm not looking for medical advice just mental support. How you deal with it ? I'm out for at least a week (that was the first thing I though about). I'm completely submerged with bad emotion right now.. I have 4 classes/rehearsals that I'm going to miss. I'm afraid to be behind again to have to go back again to zero regarding ppinte work, just at the moment I became more confident.

How do you deal with the depressed feeling, the feared of not being able to be ready on time (the spring show is coming fast and due to my job I'm already going to miss a few rehearsals). My family do no understand and just tell me to rest and do something else but I just can't. Dancing friends are nit a good help either as they do not take it as seriously as I do.

I'm just lost right now.

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The teachers here regularly tell young dancers to go and sit and watch rehearsals if they're injured, so you can do that.



- don't push your recovery -- you need your body for the rest of your life

- it is highly likely that you'll get back to dancing, even if it's a slower process than you'd like

- don't get ahead of yourself and worry about your upcoming performance, but know that if you can't do the performance as planned, it (and you) will still be OK

- you're allowed to feel sad, but try not to dwell, because...

- remember that dance isn't everything, and enjoy the people you like to spend time with and other things you like to do (I had serious injury that kept me out of dance entirely for months when a family member was dying, far too young. Believe me, dance is really not everything.)

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It's tough, and tougher when people don't understand. We understand it here, so vent away.


I'm dealing with a pesky, painful chronic injury in my hamstring/glute that allows me to dance, but nothing more than a basic class. I'm trying to rest it, doing the exercises the physiotherapist has given me, but it's frustrating!


So I'm using it as an opportunity to focus on other areas of my fitness - I can't do too much running, but I can work on my upper body strength and so have added in some strength/weight training into my weekly routines. So maybe think what other kinds of exercise you can do which will help your dancing come back stronger after rest: Pilates? weights training? yoga?

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Guest Pas de Quoi

Lisa Howell has a program (book, DVD) titled "Will I Ever Dance Again". I have not done too much research on this program, but it looks promising. A bit pricey - for some reason I cannot post a link here, but you can find it easily online. Ms. Howell is a dance physiotherapist. I have many of her books and have also attended her workshops.


Just a thought about what one can do, while recovering from and injury, to "stay in class" ..... safely. She discusses depression - not an uncommon feeling, when one is injured and cannot dance full out. She may have some information about your ankle issues, too.

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I feel your pain (literally/figuratively). I've been dealing with a chronic/reoccurring injury in my ankle for nearly two years now, the latest bout of which started back in the middle of last August--so I've not been able to dance fully for nearly 7 months. It has been a very long, very frustrating process (I've had to change doctors, change PTs, etc.) I'm now working with a PT who has an actual dance medicine background, which is helping significantly, but I am definitely frustrated.


I read somewhere that athletes go through "stages of grief" with injuries, and for me that's accurate! Lately I've been flip-flopping between "depression" and "acceptance."


I agree with what others have posted--try to focus on other fitness goals (strength training, etc.), or if you can take class, other things in class you typically don't think about. I tend to focus a lot more on my legs than my port de bras, for example, but now that I can't jump and can only do limited releve, I have the time to really work on it! Can you still observe rehearsals/class?


When I first started seeing the dance PT, she recommended doing a floor barre, so you could try that. The exercises are not weight-bearing and help with strength :) Doing tendus lying on your back is more difficult than one would probably expect :happy:

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So I spent yesterday at different doctor offices and didn't have time to answer you all. At the ER they said that it's not broken and that's all (go to your usual physician to have more info) (NB I'm not in the US, the medical sustem is thus different). I then got at appontent to my MD who told me that is a bruised bone with maybe some packing between the ankle bone, he didn't think there is any ligament damages for him the pain is mainly due to the bruise. He made me go to the chiropractor. The bones were indeed packed, she unpacked them. Now I'm out for as long as the bruising will take to go, and apparently due to the size and placement it can be long. Interestingly both the dance teacher and chiropractor think that my injury is due to fatigue (I've had 4 crazy weeks at work before that) I'm also out of work because I cannot put a shoes on and working in a lab, work security as us to wear close shoes.

Dance is the only thing that made me stay mentally healthy during my last year of phD. I hope the bruise while go out fast. I will not last that long at work without it and being dependant for every move is not helping either.

Thank you redbookish for your ideas. I'm contacting a private pilates teacher (matwork only) that has a dance background to work while waiting. She comes directly to people home and when compare to US price it's very affordable (for a 1h private at home it's around 50$ all included). I hope it's also going to help me mentally.

I really appreciate your support here. Thank you gav to help me relativate my situation.

Morning glorie. Oh I understand I've been struggling with ankle issue for about 2years also but all different. The first one was a misdiagnosed problem that keep coming back and forth until someone find the problem (it took almost 8months). They a few months after that I twist the same ankle while in the wing of a theater. It took me a while to be confident again in this foot then this. I hurt the same ankle but in a completely different place. The only positive thing the chiropractor said that it didn't twist because my ankle and foot were really strong and well muscled. She said that soon I should be able to work on a balance board not to loose all that muscle. Of course bare footed.

Oups and sorry again that was really long

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