I’ve been dancing since I was eight years old. I started, like many dancers do, dancing and competing with a studio. Eventually, I went on to get my BFA in dance and performed professionally, across the country as well as internationally, with a variety of companies. Even today, I am still heavily involved in the arts in some way or another. All that is to say, I’ve been doing this for over 22 years and that’s given me a lot of time to get injured and to seek care in hopes of speeding up my recovery.
The problem is, it’s really hard to find a good healthcare provider if you’re a dancer. Over the years I have seen just about every kind of healthcare provider for one injury or another. This includes; Medical Doctors, Physical Therapists, Acupuncturists, Massage Therapists, Orthopedists and of course Chiropractors. While each of these providers were able to help me at least a little, the issue was that they rarely got me back to 100% with the care they offered. It was always a matter of time, more than anything, that got me totally back to where I was before the injury.
Now don’t get me wrong, often with injuries and athletics, time is a component that needs to be taken into account. But still, it was time, more than the care I was receiving, that I felt did most of the good. As a performer, that always bothered me. After all, I always had a competition, a production or an audition that was right around the corner and I couldn’t afford to wait for my injuries to get better before dancing again. So for me, that begged the question, why is it so hard for dancers to find a good healthcare provider?
The answer, as it turns out, is a lot simpler AND a lot more complex than either you or your healthcare providers are recognizing. First and foremost, there is no other athlete on the planet that functions anything like a dancer! I can’t emphasize this point enough, dancers are an entire world unto themselves.
You may have heard that swimmers and dancers share some commonalities. After all, both sports utilize the entire body at all times. In that way, swimming is a lot like dancing. However, the amount of body being used is exactly where the comparison ends. Although swimmers and dancers use their entire bodies at all times, there is absolutely no real similarity in HOW they are using their body. And this is where the real difference between dancers and all other athletes is brought front and center. It’s all about biomechanics!
Now, this blog is already getting a little long winded so I’m actually going to be turning this into a two parter! So please join me in part two where I highlight a key biomechanical difference that separates dancers from every other kind of athlete out there.