Dance is a great activity no matter the age of the participant. It encourages flexibility, balance, rhythm and keeps you active. However, whether you are looking for your child to become a professional or just signing up little ones for introductions, it is important to keep safety in mind.
Practice Your Posture
The old adage of practice makes perfect exists for a reason. Dance requires participants to do lots of twisting and contorting of the body. Done properly, it is perfectly safe and is what gives dancers much of their grace and poise. By practicing proper posture, it greatly reduces the chance of strains, muscle tears, and other issues. Improper posture will put too much stress on joints and muscles, which can lead to both short- and long-term injuries. Good studios will coach dancers on movements and provide plenty of supervised practice to ensure everyone’s safety.
Listen to Your Body
Amy Purdy from Dancing With the Stars ended up in the hospital due to a dance move gone wrong. To avoid a similar issue, dancers should be careful with their moves by practicing, stretching, and listening to their bodies. Stretching and a proper warm-up are important parts of any dance routine and should not be skipped or rushed. Never force the body into uncomfortable extensions; discomfort is the body’s way of communicating that it is not ready for such a movement. Warming up more or working with an instructor can help make tough movements more comfortable. Practicing proper posture and working on flexibility before attempting difficult movements can reduce injuries.
Dancing is an excellent physical activity, but as with any such activity, can lead to dehydration. Make sure your child is staying hydrated and drinking enough fluids and water before, during, and after dance practice or performances. Besides dehydration, cramping may occur. This can lead to painful and dangerous situations for a dancer to be in. Dehydration and cramps are one of the main causes of injury. To combat this problem, water is a sure bet. Don’t be afraid to infuse it with natural ingredients like fruits or a cucumber slice. Avoid caffeine and sugary soda as much as possible, and try to consume foods that have high water content.
Dance is a healthy and fun way for kids to stay active and fit while exploring their inner artistic sides. As with any physical activity, it is not risk-free. With proper knowledge and planning though, risk can be minimized and fun maximized. Don’t hesitate to talk to a local instructor for tips and guidance.