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Books: Injuries & Their Prevention

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What are the best books on this topic?


These are the ones I'm familiar with:


Dance Injuries: Their Prevention and Care

by Daniel D. Arnheim


The Dancer's Foot Book

by Dr. Terry L. Spilken


The Dancer's Book of Health

by L.M. Vincent, MD


Dancing Longer, Dancing Stronger

By Andrea Watkins & Priscilla Clarkson


These books are old (circa 1990) by medical standards. What, if any, are the newer ones? Are there magazines devoted solely to dance injury prevention? Are there catalogs targeted at dancers that sell products such as Therabands, balance boards, etc.? I know of one which I received years ago in the mail titled "Arts Care: The Dancer Health Care Catalog". It was chock full of products. I lost it though - don't know how to get a new one or if it's still in business.

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I wouldn't be concerned about a ten-to-twelve year old book on dance medicine. After all, these are medical books for the nonmedical nonspecialist, and unless some information is absolutely contraindicated by recent research, the information contained in the "nearly new" book is probably still good. The most recent recall of books for medical incorrectness I can remember was the American Red Cross pulling its textbooks on first aid off the market when it became apparent that application of cold was beneficial in burn first aid. I use the Arnheim and Watkins and Clarkson frequently, and also Valerie Grieg's Inside Ballet Technique which is handy for the student. My own favorite on the topic, though, is Justin Howse's Dance Technique and Injury Prevention, the most recent edition of which was revised and printed in 2000 as the Third Edition. It's a valuable resource, and not to be overlooked.


For a list of professional periodicals devoted to dance injuries and related topics, see:




Click on the link "Research" and there is a pretty impressive list of professional journals.

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Thanks so much, Major Mel. I'm putting together a reference guide for Irish dancers. I'm on a campaign to get them to recognize that, because they're now dancing at a very high technical level, they're exposing themselves to many of the same injury possibilities as ballet dancers. They need some general knowledge.


Most importantly, I'd like to get step dance teachers to recognize this :( Our school is very conscientious but only because my daughter's a ballet dancer. Had I not been exposed to dance injury prevention through her, there's a lot I wouldn't have known.


We've had a physical therapist observe classes and then do a seminar at the school but I'd also like to be able to refer parents and teens to a list of publications.


Thanks again.

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Wow! The Harkness Dance Center certainly is impressive. Naturally I'd heard of it, living in the NY metro area, but I never knew the details on the kinds of programs they offer - really wonderful!


Mel, I also checked out that book you mentioned and, while doing so, came across another book that really caught my eye: "Physics and the Art of Dance: Understanding Movement" Kenneth

Laws, Martha Swope (Photographer) It looks extremely interesting to me. Are you, or is anyone else here, familiar with it?

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Yes, the Laws is a very well-thought-of work on ballet technique, but less about anatomy and more about the actual science of applied motion and what motivates it. It's kind of sophisticated, but a high school senior could probably understand it well enough to make a difference.

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:) Well, I am certainly way past the high school senior age, so I'll assume it's worth taking a look at! It sounds fascinating to me...if I like it and my offspring can gain some insight great...otherwise it will be a nice gift for someone I know!
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Oh, you'll have no problem with it! Even I can do the math!;) And if your daughter is anything like you, and I suppose she is, she'll probably get useful things out of it. And it's discussion-producing, so all to the good!

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