Dancers are an exceptional group, as they are both artists and athletes. Dance places unique demands on the body different from any other sport. Physical Therapist education and training consists of an in-depth understanding of the body including the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems, biomechanics and kinesiology, motor control and motor learning, and balance and posture. A physical therapist’s expertise in movement along with dance experience can be applied to help dancers more move safely, effectively, and efficiently with better knowledge of their bodies and how to protect them.
When choosing a Physical Therapist, it is important to work with someone who understands dance. A Physical Therapy plan of care for a dancer is similar to other athletes and patients as it will likely consist of manual therapy, therapeutic exercise and activities, home exercises, functional training, and patient/family education. The difference is that the interventions must be tailored to address the unique aspects of dance and must effectively prepare the body for safe participation in dance.
In addition to Physical Therapy services, dance medicine can take other forms. Dance medicine applies not only to injured dancers, but dance medicine education can also benefit healthy dancers, teachers, and parents. Dance medicine programs can take different forms, and can be offered in the clinic or in your school or studio. Whether it is quarterly workshop or weekly fitness and conditioning class, a program can be tailored to meet your specific needs and schedule.
Topics can include, but are not limited to:
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Flexibility and Stretching
A program can be structured to provide:
- Dance-Specific Exercise Training
- Strength and Flexibility Exercises
- Balance Training
- Improved Technique and Performance
- Wellness and Injury Prevention