I have been dealing with a lower back injury for a little less than four months and it has gotten in the way of my ability to move in many ways. In the past few days, my injury has become much worse after a very unfortunately timed car accident. While I understand that car accidents never occur at the right time, mine just happened to occur the week before two important performances.
We have been rehearsing for months and of course, the week that we are to be performing these pieces, I am more injured than ever before. I am getting better day by day, and I truly hope that I will be able to perform when the time comes. I can’t help but imagine how much worse this situation could have been.
I would like to take this time to advise dancers and non-dancers alike to always take care of yourselves, and most importantly, always have a plan b! Dancers are typically understanding people, but when their art is on the line things can get tricky.
Dancers: Always be open and honest when you are experiencing physical pain involved with movement that you are asked to execute. I don’t mean the usual physical wear and tear that we experience while using our bodies everyday, I mean the kind of pain that we know shouldn’t be occurring. Be aware of your body and be sure to know when something just isn’t right.
Choreographers: Don’t scare your dancers out of being comfortable confronting you about problems. Leave space for an open dialogue regarding your dancers health and well being. Otherwise, before you know it your cast of four may turn into a cast of two!
With that being said, always have a backup plan. I don’t know what I would do right now if I didn’t have a career in Public Relations to focus on. Dance has always been a huge part of my life, but after experiencing several injuries over the years, I have never felt comfortable putting all my eggs in one basket. While I think it is important that dancers do put their focus primarily in training and rehearsing, I think that it is also important for them to know that they have another career to fall back on if something goes dramatically wrong.