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  • Writer's pictureLynn Armsby

Dancers Life: Injury

Updated: Jul 20, 2019

Last Sunday when leaving my lovely tea dance I tripped in a cinder car park belonging to the public house where the hall key holders live. I hastily add that I had only returned the keys and did not stop for a drink! The car park was dark and had some potholes (well that’s my excuse) and I sprawled headlong, grazing my face and badly spraining my wrist. That was my tale of woe at my class on Monday night when everyone asked me what happened. I tried to say you should have seen the other guy but no one believed me.

In addition, this week I decided that now would be a good time to de-clutter. I became a convert to Marie Kondo a long time ago but somehow I still accumulate “stuff”. Perhaps because I could not lift correctly I somehow managed to twist my pelvis and have had a lot of pain and some very expensive chiropractor appointments are booked.

This whole sorry tale got me thinking this week about how easily injury changes us as teachers and as dancers. Much of the dance profession is self employed and that means that there is no sick pay available. As self employed people we have a remarkable tenacity for keeping going and working through injury assisted by Doctor Spotlight. For those who don’t know this expression it refers to the lack of pain you feel when you are “in the spotlight” and “the show must go on”. It often results in a brief spell of active health followed by a downward spiral.

There has been a wealth of research relating to professional and amateur dancers and the prevalence of injury. It is worthwhile to look at this closely as dancers suffer an extraordinary amount of injury compared to sportspeople in particular. I wonder though about the rates of injury suffered by dance teachers and the effect that this has on livelihood and the physical body?

I would suspect in one way or another the physicality of dancing has taken its toll on quite a few of us. Going back to my injuries though, I would say that despite my grace on the dance floor (insert an embarrassed laugh) I am extraordinarily clumsy in life generally and always have been.

I think this is an interesting topic for debate. Have you had an injury through dance or another injury which has affected you as a teacher/principal? Are a lot of you a bit too enthusiastic like me or does your grace transfer to everyday life?

Might be a good PHD subject. Not for me though, I am too busy recovering in time to teach!

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