As dancers, our biggest fear is getting hurt. We are constantly straining and pushing our bodies to their limits. The moment we get injured, we believe our ability to grow as a dancer comes to a halt. Contrary to popular opinion, dancers can use this opportunity to grow immensely. Throughout this blog, we will give you 3 ways to use your injury as a way to become a better dancer.
DANCING IS MORE THAN BODY MOVEMENT
Your brain is the muscle you utilize the most without noticing. From memorizing choreography to learning vocabulary like tendu. Dancing boosts memory and several studies have shown that it may reduce dementia. Albert Einstein College of Medicine performed a study where they found that dancing is correlated with 76% reduced risk of dementia among the participants. We thought that our body was doing all the work but our brain is a huge part of what makes us a good dancer. Sit in class and start to study the movement, take notes. This will take you from a good dancer to a great dancer. You will start to notice parts of the movement you were missing or even help give critical feedback to your dancemates.
PERFECT YOUR MARKING SKILLS
Your injury may limit you in your mobility but depending on your injury there are many ways to mark your way through class. You may have not noticed but we can use our hands to mark movement. Pretend your hands were your feet and go through the dance with your hands, do piles or even jumps. If you are able to move around, stand in your spot for the dance, and maybe even walk through formations. This will activate your body and help you stay connected to the piece while you are recovering. Keep “dancing” through your injury.
DO NOT ISOLATE YOURSELF
Many of us, including myself, feel we no longer belong in the dance classroom when we are injured. That couldn’t be more wrong. Your presence and ability to show up means volumes. It shows to your dancemates that you are dedicated and committed. Moreover, it allows you to feel a part of the community you love. Being hurt does not mean we need to isolate ourselves. Keep going to your classes and soak up as much as you can! You won’t regret it once you are healthy again.
An injury does not mean you will stop growing as a dancer. As we discussed in this blog there are many ways to grow as a dancer. You can boost memory, become an expert at marking, and lastly showcase your commitment and dedication to your craft. Do not let an injury stop you from being a dancer. You will always be one! Keep dancing.