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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Past Links 2012

Danielle DeVor

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Love this story! I am a cardiac electrophysiology nurse and worked on the development of the defibrillators that can be found in schools, airplanes, malls and other public places now. These are designed to be used by everyday people and are highly effective. It is true that a small percentage of young athletes (dancers included here) may have life-threatening arryhthmias associated with exercise and this young man was truly lucky to have a physician in the audience. I am a huge proponent of having these defibrillators anywhere there are young athletes doing strenuous work. (No, darn it... I didn't purchase stock or have my name on the patent!) The good news is that most of the time, these arrythmias can be treated!

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Wonderful story! Swanchat, how neat that you worked on the development of the AEDs. I was taught to use one in a first aid course, and they truly are almost foolproof.

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It was certainly not this young man's time to go. So amazing he happened to be in the audience, and was willing to go to the hospital as well. This doctor obviously believes in the Hippocratic Oath.

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He is a very lucky young man. While he was lucky to have a doctor there to assist we should all be prepared to respond. The ability to perform CPR and the prevalence of defibrillators in public places can save a life!

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So interesting! Thank you for posting the link!

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  • 2 weeks later...

What a story! It's very frightening to hear that the paramedics described the dancer as having had a seizure, though. :( Swanchat, as you have the background to possibly answer this, do you think it's possible for a regular pediatrician to miss a susceptibility to a heart arryhthmia as a young person is growing? Or is a routine annual checkup enough for detection? The dancer was described in the article as being otherwise very healthy.

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A person suffering cardiac arrest may well look they are having a seizure. Your other questions are beyond the scope of this board, I think. If the moderators would like for me to answer, I can give general answers regarding arrythmias and screening in young people but as always, it's best to contact your own physician for individual concerns.

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Mel Johnson

As there was such a rapid response from an M.D., and a successful recovery for the patient, I think we can let the story speak for itself. All those who contributed to a succesful outcome in this case deserve praise on the highest order. The instruction to consult the family physician is well taken.

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Yes, of course they all deserve praise! Just hearing about how close it was to a different outcome is scary and makes me wonder how common it is in dancers and other athletes and if it's impossible to predict. Thanks for posting this, Momof3.

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How Exciting! Great article- thank you for sharing it with us.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thank you to Lightsey Darst for her followup/rebuttal article: The Poorest Art: Dance and Money 2


The original article is here: The Price of staying en pointe


*edited to add: Dancemaven has provided the link to the first part of the article in her post 3 below in case anyone wants to read in order Darst's posts.

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Yes, thank you! That article is much more accurate than the first one.

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But what I saw was shocking: all the talent and hard work of these dancers given over to the performance of vacant schlock -- not ballet classics, which, with their icy strangeness, can offer their own sort of challenge to audiences, but modern junk, new work for people who think they know better but in fact only know less. It was heart-breaking, disgraceful, a tonier So You Think You Can Dance.


That was my experience the last time I saw Complexions perform in person. I was sooooo sad and disappointed.


[And here's Part I of Lightsey Darst's segments: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lightsey-darst/dancer-income-wages-lifestyle-_b_1556794.html?ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false]

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