General Dance Discussion > Where to Return After Serious Injury?

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by Medira, Feb 7, 2005.

  1. Medira

    Medira New Member

    I used to dance a long time ago - ballet, tap, jazz and musical theatre. I quit when I was 19, after 17 years because of pressure with school. I've missed it terribly ever since. Around September of 2003, I decided that I was going to start again...just in time to end up in a serious car crash. Now, after a year and a half of physio and rehab, I want to start again. I have my doctor's permission, so there isn't a problem there, and I'm going to be starting back at the gym as well...however, I'm very nervous about looking into dance studios. I'm 24 now, so I'd definitely be looking into adult classes, but I don't know what discipline I should start in (I'm leaning heavily toward ballet though) and at what level. So...this is where you come in.

    The lingering damage from the accident is in the ligaments that are supposed to support the spine. They have separated from it. The only way to fix it is a massive reconstrictive spinal surgery, which I'm not willing to do at the moment, since it will mean a lot of recovery time (they're looking at probably a year) for what will end up being restricted range of motion...worse than what I have now. For the most part, I'm back to normal, with the exception of a slight constant ache in my lower back. I know where my limits are and I honestly think I could handle taking classes again. I would just appreciate any advice you have with regard to where to begin. Thoughts? Suggestions? Ideas?

    Thank you in advance,
    - M
  2. indakiss

    indakiss New Member

    Since I don't know how good of a dancer you are, I would say just start in a class you feel you can take on the will not be too hard or too easy for you. You must also think about how much of a chance you are willing to take because you may ((but I hope not)) re-damange yourself. I would take it slow right now if I were you maybe one class every week and just take up one dance instead of ballet,tap, jazz and everything else at once.
  3. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    I'd suggest discussing your injury with the teacher of any class you're considering joining. S/he might be able to point you toward a better class, if the one you're inquiring about isn't suitable for you.
  4. cocodrilo

    cocodrilo New Member

    I'd suggest discussing your injury and the idea of taking up dance with your physical therapist. Ballet is much too rigorous. Tap sounds good and some ballroom dances may be good for you as well. I would definitely consult a professional before trying something out on a whim and inflicting more pain and possibly injuring yourself.
  5. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Welcome medria. Talking to medical professionals with some dance experience would be helpful in your case. I know there are those who specialize in dealing with dancers.
  6. Medira

    Medira New Member

    My plan is to pick a single discipline to start with...which is part of my dilemma. I don't want to push too hard and end up needing surgery. Something recreational and a couple of hours a week shouldn't be too bad.

    My doctor and physiotherapist think that dancing again is a good idea because it's something I love to do, so I'll be likely to stick with it. I still see my physiotherapist twice a week, so if it ends up being a bad idea, we will be able to determine that before I get too involved again.
  7. Medira

    Medira New Member

    Fabulous idea. Thank you. :)
  8. Medira

    Medira New Member

    Actually, I'm going to be taking ballroom classes again for the first time in a long time. This is actually what spurred the desire to start dancing on my own again, as opposed to just taking beginner ballroom classes with friends who are getting ready for their wedding next May.

    My physiotherapist and doctor are both involved (I see my physiotherapist too often to not keep her informed) and they think it could be good as long as I don't push too hard too fast.

    Thanks for the tap idea. I always found it the most fun, so I'll definitely look into it.
  9. Medira

    Medira New Member

    Thanks for the welcome! :)

    I hadn't even thought of looking for a doctor who specializes in dealing with dancers. Thanks for the suggestion!
  10. Medira

    Medira New Member

    Well, I've signed up for my first ballroom class in 9 years. I go at 7:30 tonight and I'm nervous. Last time I danced at all was 5 years ago and it's been nearly a decade since I did any sort of ballroom. It's just an introductory private class though, so we'll see how it goes.

    I dug out an old pair of capezio character shoes (3") that I'll be wearing for the class, but aside from that, I'm flying pretty much blindly. Anything I should keep in mind? Any tips? Hints? Suggestions?

    I probably shouldn't be as nervous as I am, but it's been ages and I've been longing to get back to dance for so long now...
  11. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Since it is going to be a private there is absolutely no reason to do anything but relax. Have fun and let us know how it goes. :)
  12. Medira

    Medira New Member

    Well, I went for my private lesson on Friday night and it ended up being so much more than I expected!

    Stepping out on that dance floor again was like coming home, even though I had never done any sort of ballroom before. The instructor was very friendly and personable, and I managed to pick up the basics of foxtrot, samba, rumba and merengue during the 45 minute lesson.

    When that finished and the paperwork was signed in order to keep on coming back for more, I was invited to stay for the group class that was beginning when my lesson ended. I wasn't about to turn down that opportunity, so I hit the floor again for a merengue class. :D We worked through a progressive combination, switching partners throughout. I was having a blast! It was here though, that I met the instructor who would be working with me for my next class. (which happened to be yesterday) He and I hit it off right away, talking and laughing the entire time we danced and, I don't know if this is a common thing or not, he asked me if I would be interested in working on salsa so that we could perform it in spotlights and showcases! :shock: I said yes, because I was enjoying dancing with him and I hadn't developed a preference as to what dances I was working on.

    So, the group class ends and I'm putting on my boots to go back out into the icky snowy/rainy/slushy night and I get invited to stay for their Valentine's Social Dance, which was happening right after the group lesson. Of course, I stayed...and I got a crash course in mambo, chacha, waltz, swing (east coast), lindy, tango and salsa, as well as practice with the dances I had learned in the private class. It was so much fun and I was just flying when I left after 4 1/2 hours worth of dancing.

    I had my second class (my first official post-introductory lesson) last night with the instructor who wanted to work me on salsa. We started merengue and worked back into rumba before moving on to salsa. Again, we talked and laughed the whole time and generally got on extremely well. We danced the entire time and went through progressions, working our way into some fabulous combinations. It was so much fun! He mentioned showcases and spotlights again, so it is definitely something to work toward.

    My next class is Thursday night. it Thursday yet?
  13. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Wow!! :D Sounds like you are having a blast. Great, but do take care. :friend:
  14. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    And watch out for those franchise fees. ;)
  15. Medira

    Medira New Member

    Heh, yeah, I'm noticing that. I need to get a bit further into it, I think, to figure out where I can go without getting brutalized by fees.

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