Health & Body

Ask Deb: “I Have the Ideal Dancer Body, So Why Am I in So Much Pain?”

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I have, according my dance teachers, the "perfect dancer body." My legs are hyperextended and I have perfect turnout. If I have the "perfect dancer body," then why does my body hurt so much while I dance?


It is all about balance! Dancers need to have flexibility and strength. It seems that you have the flexibility, but maybe not the necessary stability and strength to support that flexibility. You gave a clue when you said that you have perfect turnout and hyperextended joints. You may even have hypermobile joints.

Remember that a well-toned muscle needs to be both flexible and strong. You need to develop more strength. There are many ways to build strength. I would encourage you to seek out a Pilates or Gyrotonic teacher to help build core strength. You would also benefit from some straight-up weight-training using free weights and/or your own body weight to build endurance. As you slowly develop more muscular strength and endurance, some of the muscle strain should ease up.

To your success,

Deborah Vogel

Director, The Body Series

Got a question for Deb? E-mail askdeb@dancemedia.com, and she may answer it in an upcoming web exclusive.

To work with Deb Vogel in person, check out her summer workshop, A Dance Teacher's Retreat to Tuscany!

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