Blog for Dance Educators and Healthcare Practitioners

It is important for dancers to have physical, mental, and environmental balance to create a healthy state of well-being. Learn how to create a healthy balance within the dancer by reading strategies used by the wellness professionals at Westside Dance Physical Therapy.

Cross Training for Dancers

We had the pleasure of having Marissa Schaeffer, a student Physical Therapist and Strength and Conditioning Specialist complete a clinical internship at Westside Dance Physical Therapy.  Her experiences as a Physical Therapy student, as a dancer herself, and working as a strength and conditioning specialist provided great insight and evidence of the many benefits cross training has in the dancer population!

Tendinopathy of the foot and ankle in dancers: A brief overview

Read about some of the more common tendon issues that dancers deal and a quick overview on important considerations for the rehabilitation and on returning to dance activity.

Rib Injuries in the Dancer Population

Check out some useful information on injuries to the rib cage in the dancer population.  While these are not common injuries, being aware of that they exist in this population is important for early detection and timely intervention.

Part 2: Exercises to Improve a Dancer’s Turn Out

There are 4 exercises listed below that the physical therapists at Westside Dance like to use to educate dancers on healthy turn out. To assess if these exercises are needed, see Part 1. Be sure that the deep external rotators are working with these movements.

Part 1: Assessment of the Hip External Rotators

Is your dancer truly using the 6 deep hip external rotators of the hip to turn out? Here are some ways to assess it.

Tips on how to prevent or rehabilitate a 5th metatarsal fracture

Fractures of the fifth metatarsal are common in dancers, and it can occur when the dancer rolls the foot into inversion. There are a few different exercises that are important to perform in order to prevent a fracture, or rehabilitate after the fracture.

Thoracic Spine Mobility Improves a Dancer’s Arabesque

A dancer complaining of low back pain with activities that require the mobility in the lumbar spine and thoracic spine, such as an arabesque, require a thorough assessment. Sufficient thoracic rotation is needed to perform an arabesque or an attitude to the back. Read here about how to assess thoracic spine mobility in your dancer.

The Perfect Plié

Does your dancer suffer from low back, hip, knee, ankle or foot pain? Assessing some of the simplest steps in ballet can give you insight into what complex motions might look like. Read here about how the hip should move in a plié.

Turn Out Reeducation in Dancers with Knee Pain

For the adolescent dancer starting or coming back to a fall program is a very exciting time and usually filled with much anticipation and eagerness to continue learning and growing as a dancer.  During this time many dancers are continuing to grow biologically and this offers new challenges for the dancer to navigate. One of the most common issues we see arise in this population is the development of knee pain. Click here to learn more about your dancer’s turn out.

MINISTM By Parasetter

Using the MINISTM will enable the proprioceptive system of the body to work more efficiently, with better motor control and improved overall posture. Your feet, ankles, and knees will thank you!

Recovery in the Dancer using the PARASETTER®

The strength, versatility, and grace of professional dancers create an art, which looks effortless to the audience, but has increased physical and mental demands on the body of the dancer. As part of a multidisciplinary approach to rehabilitation, the Parasetter has been used to target recovery from these physical and mental stresses. Click here to read more.

Attention Physical Therapists: Learn How to Create a Healthy Relevé for Your Dancer

There are many different muscles that dancers use to pointe the foot and ankle, but the triceps surae is the most important group of muscle to create this aesthetically proficient position. Click here to read more about how to educate your dancer on a proper relevé.

Balance Back From an Ankle Sprain with Parasetter Mini’s

The material and shape of the Parasetter Mini’s can provide the challenge needed to stimulate proprioception and allow the ankle to tolerate multi-planar adjustments when dancing. Click here to read more about how the Parasetter Mini can help your dancer.