Listening to your body...

As an adult dancer, I hear a lot from teachers, "Listen to your body." And I say it to my students as well when I teach.

10 years ago I would talk the talk but wouldn't walk the walk. Oh there's that niggle in the calf or the ankle, but yes I'm hardworking, yes I'm reliable, I don't want to miss that course / performance / class, I'll just push on. 10 years ago I might be able to recover quick. But I notice through the years, my body takes longer to recover. And injury on top of injury takes longer time to heal, and I end up missing more than I would have if I had taken a step back initially.

I think the advice "listen to your body" needs some "get to know your body" time beforehand. Know what kind of pain is a you-had-a-good-class-two-days-ago type "pain", but also what kind of pain is you-really-damaged-something type pain.

And once you think you've got a damaged-something type pain, SEEK MEDICAL ADVICE. As much as I think the NHS is wonderful, your GP is probably not very well versed in dance related injuries. Try to find a physiotherapist / osteopath / massage therapist who are familiar with dancers. I once had ankle / calf issues and was treated by an osteopath who used to be a professional ballet dancer. She was able to pinpoint that I don't just have "tight calves". It was because my weight was always too far back in ballet, so my calves were tightening to prevent me from falling over, instead of being used for its purpose of pointing and flexing my feet.

So 10+ years of dancing and 2 pregnancies later, I really have to listen to my body. In my last post I started doing EBAS daily, and my body was starting to feel lighter, shoulders less stressed, I felt good. I also went back to class, and boy the rest of the week I had the you-had-a-good-class type ache in my abs and glutes. Which is pointing me to the direction that it's time to add some strengthening work to my schedule.

So I'm going to alternate EBAS work with PBT work. EBAS is wonderful for alignment and getting things in the right place. Now I need the muscles to work! I shall report back after I have my next class.