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Returning Students

 

 

For dance teachers, knowing your own body is second nature. For students however, it may not be quite so familiar. For students who are returning to dance after a break, be it because of injury, illness, a holiday, or any other reason, they may need some guidance on getting back into classes and dancing at their full capacity again.

It takes time and care to safely regain full fitness after a break. Dancers may be excited to return to the studio and pick up where they left off, however loading the body at the pre-break rate puts the dancer at risk of injury. We know that people lose strength within about two weeks, and it will take about the same amount of time dancing at a lesser load, to get back to their pre-break standard.
 
One of the biggest risks is returning too quickly, so dancers must be encouraged to take it slowly and listen to their body. Of course they need to challenge their body in order for it to gradually adapt back to its previous level, but it is a fine balancing act. As a teacher it is also important to lower expectations and avoid putting pressure on students to work at their full capacity if it would put them at risk of a setback. If possible it might be worth avoiding high pressure like exams or competitions for the dancers in question if possible.

Ensure the dancer is aware of how much they should be doing, and what their limits are. As their teacher the responsibility also lies with you, to keep them safe and performing the best they can. Think about how you return to dance after a break and stick to similar ideas. It will be beneficial for you both!