and forth, around and around, to the left, to the right, then
back again. The repetitive movements of dance can contribute
to any number of injuries, including tendinitis and stress
fractures. Although ballet is considered one of the more graceful
and delicate types of dance, ballet movements and positions
can place particular stress on the foot, ankle and knee.
A survey of 22 ballet dancers (16 women and 6 men; average
age of 30 years) examined the relationship between ballet
and the incidence of knee injury. All but one of the 22 dancers
reported experiencing some type of knee injury during their
ballet training and career, with injuries occurring most frequently
to the front of the knee.
The survey also revealed that only eight of the 21 dancers
who reported a knee injury had practiced any specific preventive
exercises (i.e., stretching, strengthening, etc.); following
their injuries, almost all of the injured dancers began to
incorporate such exercises into their regular routines.
So get out on that floor and move to the rhythm! But before
you do, consider the potential for injury, especially if ballet
is your dance of choice. Donšt wait until after you get hurt
to decide to adopt preventive exercises.
Credico M, Davis A. Knee injury in ballet dancers: incidence
and the effect of preventive exercises. Journal of Sports
Chiropractic & Rehabilitation, June 1999: Vol. 13, No.