Are you aware of the signs of concussion? Dancers get concussions, too. You do not have to hit your head to get a concussion. A concussion is a brain injury. Signs can include headaches, irritability, sleep disturbances, and difficulty thinking clearly. Consider baseline testing before you get a concussion and be sure to follow all your health provider’s instructions if you get one.
Are you getting enough sleep to perform at your best?
ESTABLISH SLEEP HYGIENE
"Dancers are artistic athletes and require more sleep than non-athletes, particularly during adolescence. An athlete’s sleep needs change over the course of a lifetime. Inadequate sleep and sleep disorders have been linked to the following:
Learn more about the sleep needs of athletes in Sport for Life's resource, Sleep, Recovery, and Human Performance, by Charles Samuels and Brent Alexander.
Looking to improve your turnout? Enhancing turnout involves gaining the necessary strength and flexibility of muscles associated with turnout, as well as attending to alignment and using imagery to facilitate effective neuromuscular patterns. Minimize turnout compensations by addressing alignment and movement patterns at the spine, pelvis, hip, knee and foot. Maximize hip external rotation by learning to recruit and organize, strengthen and stretch, the many muscles associated with producing and inhibiting turnout.
- Andrea Downie
Learn more about turnout in International Association for Dance Medicine and Science's resource paper, Turnout for Dancers: Supplemental Training, by Donna Krasnow and Virginia Wilmerding.
Looking for an advantage when it comes to turning? To improve balance control, mentally focus on alignment and do proprioceptive training, such as balancing exercises with the eyes closed. Imagine the vertical axis lengthening—simultaneously stretching up through the crown of the head and down through the supporting foot—during balancing exercises and during turns to enhance both static and dynamic alignment.
- Andrea Downie