Irish dancing through illness or injury


by ERIN CONCANNON, Feis America Magazine contributor

There are certain things you can’t control in life, disease/illness being one of them. In terms of coping with these conditions, and learning how to not let it disrupt your dance routine, check out these “healthy” tips!

Asthma, keep on breathing: As a fellow asthmatic, I can attest that not letting asthma take over your dance life is very hard to do—especially when you have to miss a dance class or recital because you are to wheezy to even walk.

Don’t let this illness, which you can’t control, rule your life! If anything, let it motivate you to be even more invested in being No. 1. Whether it’s a feis or a regular dance class, always be sure to have your inhaler in your dance bag's pocket. It’s essential you let your TCRG know you are asthmatic and if you ever feel the slightest bit wheezy, they are aware. Communication is always key.

Sugar, sugar and more sugar, please: Diabetes is an unfortunate disease many people must face head on each day. And if you’re a dancer dealing with this, don’t let it deter you from working—and dancing—hard. Just make sure you always have your glucose tablets with you, along with your tester. Keep your pump (if you use one) in your bloomers, or if your teacher lets you, wear a pair of workout shorts with pockets under your dress.

Think about it this way: Judges like a little different flavor in each girl/boy dancing up on stage. That’s why there are different dance styles and dress color combinations. Consider this disease something that makes you unique against many other competitors. You can do it!

My knee! My back! My toenails!: Ask any champion dancer and they’ll tell you, the more pain you get from dancing, the better you are doing on the dance floor. Want to prevent losing a toenail? Go to a ballet store and buy the toe covers ballerinas use for protection, which can help yours against things like hard shoe damage.

A back brace is your saving grace when it comes to flexed back posture. Put it on under your shirt and stretch before you dance (or even on your own free time to help with the pain). It makes all the difference, trust me!

Feel your knees starting to act up? To fight lengthy damage like tendentious from occurring, consider buying a knee brace. Wear it while practicing, lounging at home, or even hanging with your friends.

Have you danced through an illness? Share what has helped you.

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