Avoiding injury after a break from dance

With Christmas fast approaching, it is important for dancers – both professional and amateur – to be mindful of their festive break, and work towards minimising their risk of injury after a holiday. Returning after a break can be hard for anyone but for dancers it is important to make the transition as easy as possible. The body must be brought back into action, and it must be remembered that the first few weeks back are high risk when it comes to injury.

Dancers are lucky they can rely on muscle memory a lot in the field, but in terms of their training, it is not always that easy. Dance training is continuous and cumulative, so after a break the body is not in the same place physically, even though the mind is refreshed. As a result, this makes injuries more common, if the body is not at its peak as it was before the break. Some dancers prefer to keep active throughout the break, both mentally and physically, to maintain their body and mindset.

Other dancers have a complete break and aim to start easing themselves back into training during the last week of their break, to ensure they are physically and mentally prepared to return to dance. The holiday/off season can tempt dancers to do absolutely nothing, relax, and indulge in the foods or activities they might not usually indulge in, however for most, they use the time to catch up with family and friends, maintain the fitness and facility they have worked on during the year, and switching off to rest.

A break is very important as it recharges the body – otherwise the monotony and intensity of dance training can cause burnout. Dancers must listen to their bodies and make intelligent decisions when easing back into dancing.