Alignment: Love Your Legs

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Last time, contributor, Laurel Foley helped us take a trip around the torso. This post covers leg alignment basics to help you improve technique, dance more efficiently and prevent injury.

Dance and Weight Training: A Perfect Pas de deux?

Photo courtesy Richard Foster

Weight training. Doesn’t exactly fit into the ballerina image does it? But dancers could benefit from adding it to their fitness routine. Lauren addresses why and the common concerns dancers have about doing so.

Alignment: A Trip Around The Torso

Photo of a dancer from the back, stretching at the barre

Proper alignment of the body is at the base of all good dance technique. Take this trip around the torso as a refresher for you or your dance students on how to assess and correct placement.

How To Devise an Effective Pre-Show Warm-up

Class of dancers sitting, stretching side. Photo by Savage Rose Photography

There are three methods of warming-up in the exercise world: Passive, General, and Specific. Lauren reminds us that dancers often utilize all three before a performance but could often do so more effectively. Here’s how.

Sprains, Strains, and How To Deal…(Meet Your Feet, Part 3)

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The difference between a strain and a sprain; a ligament and a tendon. Take a closer look at injuries and how to cope throughout the recovery process.

Meet Your Feet, Part 2

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Did you know there are 4 arches of the foot? Are you aware that improper alignment of the foot can lead to two of the most common dance injuries? Lauren discusses the middle of the foot and suggests exercises to build strength in the feet.

Meet Your Feet, Part 1

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It is crucial that a dancer take good care of his or her feet. Start with these general maintenance tips to prevent and treat minor injuries. And, don’t miss Lauren’s list of dance bag essentials for healthy feet.

Is The Snap, Crackle, or Pop of Your Hips Cause For Alarm?

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Ah, the familiar sound of a snapping hip. Most dancers have experienced it at one time or another. Lauren takes us on a tour of the hip and what causes this popping sound, discusses the varieties of snapping hip, and lets you in on a ‘little secret’ that helped her get rid of the snap, crackle, and pop.

Is Cross-training A Good Idea?

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Lauren’s answer: a resounding ‘Yes!’ But don’t dancers have to be careful about getting bulky? See what Lauren has to say. Plus, learn the difference between anaerobic and aerobic activity and how intensity plays a role. And, discover how to decide if a cross-training activity is right for you.

Fatigue and Injury: Making room for rest

"Exhausted Dancer" by Edgar Degas - Wikimedia Commons

Muscle fatigue is good but not when dancers push themselves (or are pushed by directors) to injury. We’re ignoring a crucial part of the formula for increasing endurance and enhancing performance. What is that element and why is it important for dancers to learn when enough is enough?

Bowed Legs, Tibial Torsion, and Side Splits

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A reader wonders wonders how bowed legs might be affecting her second position and side split. She describes a related problem with knee and ankle alignment, leading to my response which focuses on tibial torsion. I provide a useful group of links and tips for working with this rotational deformity. Plus we talk about turn-out and side splits too!

The Achilles Tendon: Dancer Injury and Prevention

IMAGE Photograph of the statue of Death of Achilles. Taken in the Achillion Gardens, Corfu IMAGE

Achilles was infallible except for the small injury to his heel that killed him. Dancers, too, are prone to injury and stress of the Achilles tendon if they don’t do a few important things. Achilles tendonitis is the big one but it doesn’t have to be forever. Dancers must take great care and follow the proper steps to prevent flare-ups and further injury.

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