How Ballet Dancers Can Avoid Common Foot Injuries
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Ballet may appear effortless, but it is an extremely demanding activity that requires an immense amount of strength, flexibility, and endurance. Dancers are also more prone to foot and ankle injuries such as blisters, bunions, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and more, thanks to all the twists, turns, and points ballet involves during practices and performances. While experiencing foot injuries may be a common occurrence for ballet dancers, these issues are likely to result in serious or even permanent damage to the feet over time. So, rather than dancing through the pain, it is important to take preventative steps to avoid foot injuries and seek proper and immediate treatment if or when you get hurt. If you are new to ballet or want to learn more about how to take care of your body while performing at your very best, take some classes led by professional instructors at one of our dance academies in Edmonton or Calgary today.
4 Tips and Tricks for Avoiding Foot Injuries
Since foot injuries are frequently experienced in ballet, the temptation to ignore the pain and hope it resolves on its own is all too real. However, feet are quite a complex structure and are meant to provide both dancers and non-dancers alike with stability, balance, and movement. Thus, proper foot care for ballerinas is of the utmost importance. Here are a few simple, yet effective ways ballet dancers can avoid common foot injuries:
- Wear the Right Footwear: Wearing the right ballet shoes will help prevent injuries. Your shoes must fit properly so you can avoid pain and injury. Better yet, if you have two pairs of ballet shoes, it’s a good idea to alternate between the two pairs so that one pair is not being worn for consecutive days. In doing so, your shoes can have adequate time to dry out so that foot fungus is less likely to grow and cause infections.
- Stretch and Condition Foot Muscles: Tight muscles are susceptible to injury, so it’s important to take as much time as you need in order to properly stretch out and warm up the muscles in your feet and legs. For instance, use a tennis ball to help you stretch the arch of your foot. Additionally, using the correct techniques such as properly landing on your feet is also important for preventing injuries.
- Pay Attention to Your Big Toes: All your toes play an important role but it is extremely important to pay attention to your big toes and keep them as protected as possible when dancing, especially if you wear ballet pointe shoes. Keeping your big toes protected will prevent bruising underneath the toenails. If toenails become bruised, they will eventually turn black and fall off, causing a host of potential problems later on. Additionally, avoid wearing opaque-colored nail polish on your toes as this will make it more difficult for you to identify if your toenail has sustained bruising.
- Schedule Regular Visits with a Podiatrist: Your feet are everything when you’re a dancer, especially if dancing is something you do for a living. For this reason, it is a good idea to schedule regular visits with your podiatrist – even if you have a relatively small problem like bunions that have the potential to turn into bigger problems in the future.
Enroll in Our Dance Classes in Edmonton and Calgary
Paying attention to the health of your feet is all part of a dancer’s way of life. Ballet dancers are a special kind of athlete who has the ability to make dancing look easy when it is anything but that! At Alberta Ballet School, students from all dance backgrounds are not only trained to learn how to dance but also to gain a deeper understanding of and connection to the body. After all, knowing how certain muscles work when dancing is essential if you desire a long and injury-free career in dance. Whether you are interested in taking our open division dance classes in Calgary or Edmonton, or interested in enrolling in our professional division programming, our faculty is committed to fostering a deep sense of skill and creativity in those who share our deep love of dance.
For more information about any of our dance and training programs, please give us a call at 403-245-2274 ext. 722 or fill out our online contact form and we will be happy to assist you. Everyone is welcome at our dance academy in Edmonton or to sign up for dance classes at our Calgary location.