A member of Osteopathy Australia, the peak body representing the interests of osteopaths in Australia, Andrea shares her top tips here for women who practise Zumba, attend dancing classes and professional dancers.
Andrea’s Top Tips for Dancers of All Ages
1. Always warm up before class and always stretch and cool down after class.
2. Do additional ‘homework’ outside of class to strengthen your core and pelvic stability muscles. The perfect exercises are Pilates Clams and Single Leg extensions.
3. If you experience any aches or pains, or injury yourself during class, seek the professional advice from an osteopath as soon as possible. It can be unwise to continue to dance with an injury, so ask your osteopath about the do’s and don’ts for your specific injury. Each injury should be treated in its own way.
4. Respect your dance teacher or choreographer and learn to accept constructive criticism without complaint – you will earn much more respect from your fellow dancers and teachers/choreographers if you do this.
5. If you experience any postural imbalances such as a curvature in your spine, or hamstrings that are more tight on one side than the other, this is also a great time to visit your osteopath, as they will assess you and may be able to help prevent any future injuries.
6. Focus on a ‘clean eating’ diet with more greens and alkalising foods, more good fats such as coconut oil, and avoid foods with artificial preservatives or colours, aka ‘food with numbers’, in the ingredients list.
7. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated. Don’t smoke, and avoid too much alcohol.
8. Be prepared to put in long hours and hard work to achieve your dance dreams.
9. The last, but maybe the most important tip. Being involved in the dance world is a gift. Make the most of every opportunity that is presented to you, and learn to stay positive even in the event of a knock back. Maybe you were too tall, or too blonde when you did your last audition, but next time, it could be your turn, as perhaps that is just what the choreographers will be looking for.