A future Irish dancer helps mommy apply ice to a muscle strain.
Injuries are part of an adult dancer's life. Your body is growing older, your schedules doesn't always allow for regular practice, and as a result, you find yourselves on the sidelines with a strained muscle or broken ankle. So how do you make sure that you are back on your feet as quickly as possible? Here are a few guidelines to follow:

1. Follow all of your doctors instructions. Use all prescribed medications and support products that will help speed recovery. Don't begin dancing until your doctor gives you the go ahead--even if you feel fine. 

2. Use the down time for strength training and mental conditioning.  Stretch uninjured muscles, take a walk (doctor permitting) and research new techniques. Put on some of your favorite practice music and visualize yourself dancing a perfect step. Keep your body and mind sharp and you won't even miss a beat. 

3. Take it slow. When you go back to dance class, listen to your body. If your injury starts to feel painful or strained, lower your intensity level or sit it out and observe the lesson.

If you follow your doctors instructions, use the down time for conditioning, and take it easy coming back to dance, you will be back on your feet in no time. 

What are your experiences with injuries as a dancer?  Did it take you long to get back in the jig of things or did you have setbacks?

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