Stunning dresses, beautiful movements, longed for victories and sad defeats, – all this is seen by the spectators and followers of the sports dance, but that is only one side of the medal, what is usually called art. While in training the dancer faces the other side, purely sporting. Unfortunately, as in any other sport, the huge effort often goes hand in hand with his faithful companions, traumas. Today we will tell you how to avoid those unpleasant moments to be able to dance happily for a long time.
Dancing is of course a healthy activity. Many children are encouraged to practice dance to correct postural defects or develop movement coordination. But where the sport begins, the salutation of the physical effort moves away to the background. A high psychological motivation to achieve success, which is not always accompanied by the necessary preparation of the organism, the early start of physical activity, chronic microtrauma, injuries obtained during the period of the formation of the organism, the need for rapid rehabilitation for not fail your partner or not lose it, all this is an unpleasant peculiarity of our sport. And today we will try to formulate some basic rules so as not to harm the vailiest, our health.
A QUALIFIED TEACHER IS VERY IMPORTANT
Dance classes usually begin with the coach explaining to his student the correct posture of the body (often correct only from his point of view). It is very important that beginners start with a qualified teacher, because with the wrong posture the back suffers a lot of load and that seriously harms the health. You also have to be careful with sudden, exaggerated movements. Sometimes it is believed that these efforts will be better valued by the judges, but in reality they only cause traumas to the children. If the teacher teaches an incorrect basis, it is likely that in the future not only have to learn it again but also go to the doctor. But it is also very common that incessant discomforts chase the dancers also at a high level, and often this is not related to the muscles have not yet become accustomed to a new movement. For example, in the «junior» and «youth» levels of the Standard program many girls complain of neck pain. But if suddenly in a tournament you do not feel comfortable, you have some contracture or spasm, you will immediately see yourself on the track. Most of the time these pains are related to adopting an awkward posture from the beginning and with many trying to make movements with the neck fixed. «I almost did not feel the neck, between rounds my mother came and tried to rub it on me. But only now I understand that I simply mishandled my body, «says Olesya Karguina. Undoubtedly, if all coaches had an idea about the organization of the human body, about how it can and should move, there would be far fewer injuries.
HEATING IS NOT A FORMALITY
Even in physical education classes at school we were told that before a serious physical activity we have to prepare our body well. Even more after a hard day of work or studies, when it is not only difficult to change the chip to dance an energetic jive or a rough tango, but it is harmful to health. But after a few minutes of mild clamping, the joint begins to produce a special secretion that lowers the friction within it and helps the muscles adopt the training state.
The sprain is one of the most frequent injuries of our sport. It can be the sprain of muscles or ligaments, tendons or other matters, without breaking.
The normal muscular sprain is produced by a physical overexertion that is not proportional to the physical possibilities of the dancer, and also by excessively fast and energetic movements with unheated muscles. You may feel like something breaks or explodes inside when the muscle is stretched. In this case the training should be interrupted immediately and the cures started. Place an elastic compress under pressure at the point of the injury and keep it up.
During the first two days it is recommended to apply ice every 4 hours, but without forgetting to protect the skin with a cloth or napkin. And only after 48 hours it is allowed to apply hot compresses. Besides, it will be quite effective to start doing some slight stretching in the bathtub with hot water. But do not miss it! You only need to move the muscle a little, not to injure it again. Normally the recovery lasts between 1 and 6 weeks, but after that injury the muscle can lose its previous elasticity. If the joint was very tense, the ligaments and other support elements could also have been broken.
The sprain of ligaments is produced by sudden movements of the joint that exceed its normal width and do not coincide with the direction of its habitual movement. The sure symptoms of that sprain are a strong pain, hemorrhage at the site of the injury, pain when touched and a strong limitation of the functioning of the joint. First aid can be administered by oneself – they are the same as with a muscular sprain. But if you suspect that there may be a break or displacement of bone (friends of the sprains), or there is a change in the skin color that covers the joint and the pain does not diminish after three days, it is necessary to go urgently to the doctor.
Because in case it is not just a sprain but a torn ligament, the help of the doctor is essential. To cure the most serious breaks sometimes even surgery is used. Of course these misfortunes can also be caused in other unfortunate situations, but it is clear that it is better to try to do everything possible so that they do not happen. That is why it is mandatory to warm up at the beginning of any training. It is not enough to do a couple of stretches «postureo» or placing the hairstyle in front of a mirror. You have to take it seriously.
Before the Standard program, the first thing is to pay special attention to the feet, knees and hips, since they are the ones that help us to show the best movement on the track in the best way. So it is not advisable to start with the most difficult figures, it is better to start with some exercises and then move on to the basic figures. That order will not only help you prepare the body for the effort, but also remember the importance of the base in the dance. And to stretch all the important muscles and at the same time practice balance, you can do an easy but effective exercise – going up and down slowly on one leg, balancing with the other back and forth, without forgetting to keep your arms in the competition posture .
For Latino dancers the recipe is similar – no one has ever harmed the basic step. And if we dance «the cockroach» during a rumba bolero melody, our body immediately acquires the necessary tone. Besides that, before the main training you can do a few pivots to recover the concentration and the feeling of control of the movement. To avoid injuring the shoulders, give them enough attention too. Because it is enough with a wrong turn to forget the dance for at least a week.
Neck pain is often also the result of insufficient heating. Therefore, before practicing the brusqueness of the tango or, for example, incredible waves of the samba, do at least some elementary exercises.
In addition, if the difference in the height of the dancers is considerable (more than 15 cm), pain may initially appear due to lack of experience – many people find it difficult to look up or down. And so that it is not reflected in the dance, you have to ask your coach for advice.
To finish the training it is recommended to stretch the muscles. Not only will it help you to be more flexible, but it is also beneficial for your health. The effort should gradually increase at the beginning of the training, and in the same way be reduced at the end.
BEWARE OF TRICKS!
It is clear that at a certain level each dancer wants to add to his dance something very his, what no one else can do. Surely thanks to it sports tricks have reached different sports that include grace, beauty and a certain risk. And we can never forget that last component. It is not advisable to try to make elements of risk until you are not allowed by age and level.
Making complicated postures and elevations can harm the health of the dancer and in the future may have problems with the back and joints. Because your partner, even being the best and most loved, has its weight that in those elements falls on the boy. And girls are also at risk, because not all 14-year-olds have a sense of responsibility for their girl. What if the boy forgets to hold her in time? So that you do not happen those unpleasant momnentos, you should always consult your teacher to explain what muscles are used in that or that position and how to properly lift the girl from low positions. Because all the elevations, the boy does thanks to his legs, and not with his back, and the task of the girl is to keep her body toned and not relax. Even so, including an element of trick in your choreography start with its slow realization, accelerating little by little.
If you have to support the knee, do not forget the protection in the form of the knee. No, we are not talking about that plastic thing that is sold for inline skates, nowadays it is very easy to find soft and flexible protectors in stores that do not limit movements. But if the girls will have to remove all protection during the tournament, the boys can keep them in place since they do not look under the trousers of the contest. Unfortunately, complicated movements, falls and crashes are often accompanied by contusions and broken bones.
A contusion is a closed tissue injury without significantly affecting its structure. It suffers especially the soft tissue that with the blow is crushed against the bone. It is recommended to apply ice immediately at the site of the contusion. It is allowed to apply hot compresses or iodine net only after 24 hours. But if the pain does not stop, go to the doctor, since sometimes it is necessary to cast for 1 week even with a concussion.
A much more unpleasant trauma is bone fracture.
A much more unpleasant trauma is bone fracture. In our sport, closed fractures are more frequent – when the bone is totally or partially broken, but the skin is not affected. Fractures can be caused not only by bumps or falls, but also by overexertion, which can cause fractures of the foot, thigh, fibula, male. If you notice a bone deformation, limitation of movement, strong and throbbing pain, go to the doctor urgently. Until receiving medical help, you must fix the affected bone well, but in such a way that it does not cut off the blood supply, and applying ice to the affected area will help reduce pain and inflammation.
The doctor, after seeing the X-ray plate, must correct the fracture and cast the bone for a period of not less than one month. After removing the cast you will surely need a recovery period that includes massage, therapeutic gymnastics and physiotherapy.
WE CARE FOR THE KNEES AND THE BACK
The knees and the back are the parts of the body of the dancer who are most at risk of injury. That is why we must take care of them with great care, because for the rehabilitation after an injury we must not only sacrifice a lot of time but probably the whole career in the dance.
Of all knee injuries, the most frequent are meniscus traumas. The meniscus is a series of cartilage formations that participate in the formation of the knee joint, functioning as its shock absorbers. The medial meniscus (internal) resembles the letter C and the lateral (external), to the letter O. In most cases, about 75%, the lateral meniscus is injured. The tear of the meniscus is a very complicated trauma, nevertheless it occupies the first place among all the injuries of the knee joint. Extreme efforts, excessive opening of the articulation from its flexed position, different microtrauma, all this can lead to a tear of the meniscus.
During the acute period of the meniscus injury the patient feels a strong pain, since there is an inflammatory process in the joint. Apart from that, the movements of the joint are very limited, especially for the opening. After about 2-3 weeks the reactions in the joint become milder, and characteristic symptoms of the injured meniscus can be detected. They mostly rely on pain tests in certain movements. Apart from that, in case of the break of a part of the meniscus you can sometimes hear a characteristic click during the movement. During the acute period, the conservative method is used for healing – the blockage of the joint is eliminated and analgesics and anti-inflammatories are applied. In repeated lesions of the meniscus, a surgical intervention is required to eliminate all or part of the meniscus. The breaks that occur at the edges of the meniscus are the most easily healed, since this part has a good blood supply.
On the other hand, lesions on the inside do not heal on their own. Precisely in this case the total or partial extirpation of the mensico may be needed. But we must not forget that the total extirpation of the meniscus necessarily involves arthritis.
The constant characteristic dissociations, an incorrect initial preparation, blows or collisions with other couples, overexertion, – all this leads to different diseases of the back. One of the most frequent is spondylolisthesis, the defect of a part of the vertebra caused by the sliding of one vertebra by another. The most frequent symptoms are back and leg pains. In addition, there is sometimes the form of this disease called ischemic spondylolisthesis, which is when the body of one vertebra slips through another because of a fracture of the interarticular part. It is a very thin plate with bad blood flow, and its breakage is very frequent.
However, that fracture does not always cause pain or discomfort, and not everyone. But the dancers are very attentive people. Adolescents are the most susceptible to this type of vertebrae sliding. Aforunadamente, in most cases the slip does not exceed 50% and is easily curable. To cure it, anti-inflammatory drugs, physiotherapy, epidural injections (drugs with steroids injected in the area surrounding the spinal cord) and manual therapy are used. But you must be careful to perform the manual therapy on yourselves: very often you can see the dancers who place the vertebrae themselves. It is better to go to the doctor and pay special attention to the warming and stretching of the muscles of the back, because if one day the blissful vertebra is delighted more than usual, it will be necessary a surgical intervention and then a long period of recovery.
THE MOST IMPORTANT COUNCIL
Dancers and their parents, do not put at risk your health and the health of your children in the struggle for incredible results. Couples come and go, but health is with us forever, does not depend on the position obtained in a tournament. Choose the qualified trainer who explains well how to perform movements without risk to the organism.
And most importantly, do not forget that no article read replaces a visit to the doctor. Do not cut yourself when it comes to going to one. And that you have health!
Do You Know How Many Hours Should You Practice?
In this article, you’ll discover what to consider when planning your practice hours, taking your skill level and goals into consideration.
Practice What You Learn
As with any sport, your time spent practicing is as important as the information you receive from your teachers. It’s unreasonable to expect great results if you neglect training with a coach, but you can neither expect to reach the top position in a competition if you don’t practice further on your own.
This, though, is the only generalized statement I can make on the subject; the following advice is personalized.
Recreational or Competitive
First things first: define your approach to dancing.
Do you dance only for the fun of it? Perhaps you like to attend a few classes per week just as a recreational hobby. If that is the case, then the program you find at your local dance school is perfect for you. With a couple of lessons per week, you’ll receive basic notions that will introduce you to different dances at your own pace. You can enjoy time away from your everyday routine.
If you’ve moved further and have begun more regular practice, maybe you’re thinking of participating in competitions in the future… If dancesport is your primary activity, keep reading!
Different Levels, Different Needs
Let’s outline what I mean by the four following competitive stages:
- The beginner is a dancer who—no matter the age group—is at the starting point of their competitive career.
- Intermediate is the stage when you’ve danced in several competitions and have started to receive good results. You practice regularly.
- An advanced dancer dedicates all their time to dancesport, apart from school or work. They’re aiming for very high results.
- Pro dancers have made dancesport their life—it’s as simple as that.
For the beginner dancer, it’s very important to avoid overload. The body and the mind are not yet ready for a huge amount of technical information or physical hours on the dance floor. Keep it simple and work gradually.
At first, you mostly need to develop your coordination and learn the basic principles of each dance. Thus, just a couple of hours of dance per day, 3 or 4 times a week is a good starting point.
Estimation: 6-8 hours per week
The intermediate dancer must surely practice more than a beginner. At this stage, your confidence on the floor makes the biggest impact on your performance. By now, you should have the correct technique, physical endurance, good floor craft, and a relatively good connection with your partner.
You can only achieve these skills through many hours of practice, including stamina training and specific group lessons intended to make your skills more competitive.
Estimation: 8-12 hours per week
For the advanced dancer, there is nothing else but dancing. Of course, you attend school or to work, but otherwise, your focus is on the development of your dance career.
It’s difficult to estimate how much time you should spend practicing if you’re at this stage; it looks different for everyone. Nevertheless, I can say that you should practice every day, with only one day off per week—ideally about 3-4 hours per day.
Your program should include:
- private lessons
- practice sessions
- stamina practice
- group lessons
How you use this time and how effective it will be for you is up to you and your coaches. Ask for suggestions and try to find which kind of practice gives you the best results.
Estimation: 15-24 hours per week
The pro dancer really needs no suggestions. If dancesport is your life, you basically eat, sleep, and breathe dancing. Everything rotates around it; the schedule of your lessons is the schedule of your day. You eat when you have a break and you sleep when you aren’t in the dance studio.
At this point, what matters most is the effectiveness of the training. Choosing the right kind of practice, working out the correct concepts, and establishing the perfect relationship with your partner are much more crucial than the clocked time.
Estimation: ∞ hours per life
Every dancer has different habits and different needs. Take the time to find what works best for you!
THE TRAINER OF YOUR DREAMS
The choice of a coach for a dancer is one of the most important issues. A lot of articles on the subject have already been written, you can also find a lot of material in magazines, digital media, dance forums.
Some say that the coach should also be a professional dancer and that the rest is secondary. Others think that the most important thing is the talent of pedagogue, which does not have anyone.
Ilya Danilov (Latin)
Everyone exposes their point of view. But that does not help to have more promising couples or more champions. And we are in a vicious circle …
Speaking of the work of the coach, we think first of all of his ability to present the information correctly, make it reach the recipient and control the result.
The more details and details explained by the coach, the better. However, observing «from within» the work of most of the coaches I want to say that 80% of them or more lack an extremely important and even essential capacity from my point of view, which is the ability to motivate their students .
Yes, in today’s world there is a lot of information about what motivation is. On the internet we can find many workshops from different organizations on «How to motivate employees correctly» / «5 steps to successful motivation», etc.
So why is this topic almost untreated in the world of sports dancing? Why do not they talk about it in professional seminars or conferences? Coaches are limited to two-three sentences about the need to encourage students.
Mauricio Vescovo (Latin)
Is it that we ourselves, the people involved in the world of sports dancing, are simply not interested in the success and development of that sport?
I have observed the work of many coaches of all levels and couples with whom they work. And I can say with certainty that none of them had the idea of approaching the learning process from another point, that is, SIMPLY UNDERSTAND THE MOTIVATION of the people they teach.
It is not a secret that each of us is unique, and we need different treatment.
Fabio Selmi (Standard)
So why those professors who proclaim to the four winds that they are very talented pedagogues, who aspire to create champions, why do not they apply such effective methods in their work? This question obviously remains rhetorical at the moment.
Being a coach and working with different types of people in matters of the construction of their professional career, of personal effectiveness, the achievement of life goals, I mean that a person, when he is aware of his objectives, and only for that reason, motivates to reach them.
And the coach only has one easy task in that sense – which is to constantly maintain those goals in his students. What are the teacher’s ways to achieve it?
The answer is surprisingly easy – we must preserve in the person the assurance that he is progressing well towards his goal (even if it is slower than the coach would like).
Dirk Heidemann (Latin)
It is also very important to assess the positive achievements of the student, their successes, and fix their attention on it. But of course, this refers to the people for whom achieving success and the coach’s attention are motivating factors.
Hence, any coach who takes his work seriously and wants to achieve success, must be interested in addressing the question of motivation in the right way. (On the types of motivation and ways of motivating, he had written the article called «Motivation in the world of dance: how to create a champion»).
Based on my own experience, I can safely say that positive motivation, ie a detailed evaluation of all the intermediate results, and the emphasis on the achievements on the way to the goal, are motivating factors for more than 90% of dancers. Even for those who do not like to be praised.
Siscu Pérez (Latin)
I will tell you about my observations, giving as an example two situations, the evaluation of the work of two high level coaches.
Ivan (not his real name – aut.) Trains a couple of initial level, both dancers are already adults, have finished their university careers and recently began in the world of dance.
The girl had previously taken individual classes with another teacher and for several motives decided to try another coach, higher level. In the first class the new teacher asks what he wants to get from his classes. You will agree with me that it is a good question and you can see that the coach is really a professional.
And the girl lets go of what she really thinks: «I want to be the champion of Russia.»
Karina Rubio (Latin)
And the girl lets go of what she really thinks: «I want to be the champion of Russia.»
Do you think he is too ambitious? Sure, some might laugh and say it’s impossible. I will not argue, there may be some reason for that. But I want to talk about something else. The coach’s reaction was to shut up and start with the steps and the explanation of figures.
This detail at first glance could be overlooked and forgotten. But if we think about the situation well, what did the professor do? He showed his student that he does not believe in the real possibility of fulfilling his dream, and in that way the demotiva to see him as a real coach and may even have taken away the desire to grow in his dance.
Alexey Silde (Latin)
Of course it is not a fact that that girl can be Russian champion, although who knows. Because it is also said that «by the laws of physics bees can not fly. But they do not know it and that’s why they fly. »
Observing the work of that coach later on (over several classes) my suspicions became certainties: he did not do any form of evaluation of the results of his students, he did not communicate his results, his changes in the dance.
Viktor Nikovski (Latin)
As expected, the students soon stopped taking classes with that teacher, perhaps without realizing the reason for their own dissatisfaction.
I wonder how a coach can create a successful partner without believing himself in his future. And if we examine that situation even in more detail we will see that first of all the coach does not believe in his own success as a teacher.
Pietro Braga (Standard)
The skeptics will surely not agree with me and say that you can not build a sandcastle and believe in the success of people who almost certainly can not achieve good results.
Well, I do not agree with that. Read stories of the lives and careers of people who really reached unthinkable peaks in their fields. Most of them were told at some point that it would be impossible. But they ignored, BELIEVED IN THEMSELVES AND IN SUCCESS, they just kept doing what they did approaching their goal.
To finish I’ll tell you another example. A couple, also adult people, have been training with a teacher for about a year. Their results are rather regular. I went to his classes and what did I see?
That the teacher himself, without a doubt a dancer of a very-very high level, moved around the track in an enviable way. But throughout the whole class (and they were more than one) he did not once say anything positive to any of the dancers. However I write down all your mistakes and failures, putting a lot of emphasis on those negative details.
Lasse Odegaard (Standard)
Of course, already for half of the class, the faces of the boys no longer reflected any desire to move forward, develop and grow. Of course the teacher explained exquisitely the technique of hip movement in rumba bolero, the dissociation of the torso, but for some reason the work was slow and tense.
Surely then the teacher did not know, and will still not know, that motivating his students well for the execution of the dance, you can «turn on» the natural movement of the body so that it moves to the beat of the music, just as it should be done. according to all the technical standards of the execution of the Rumba bolero dance steps.
Alexander Melnikov (Standard)
Because the inhabitants of the country where that lyrical dance was born, when dancing it, surely they did not think of someone who was next to them with a stick and criticizing their steps, but simply moved according to the indications of their souls, trying to express their feelings …
Because they did have His Majesty’s Motivation – to like your partner, to have dozens of other people choose him.
COMPETITION – HOW TO FACE THE PSYCHOLOGICAL STATE?
Usually in October the biggest tournament organized in Russia take place. That event has helped to choose the theme for this article. Crowd of spectators, a large number of participants, a demanding graphic of the competition, all this has created the atmosphere of a very important competition and great responsibility.
With this, from the professional point of view attracted a special attention the way in which the dancers, both small and old, prepare to enter the track. The topic of preparation for the competition is very broad, so in today’s article only part of the topic will be discussed. That in which recommendations will be given to encourage and support the athletes depending on their mood before the tournament or between rounds.
In the tournaments we can see tears of young dancers, apathy, nervous tremors that prevent concentrating and dancing, aggressiveness towards everyone else, paralyzing fear and even hysteria.
The reaction of most parents, partners and coaches is one: stop, be an athlete, concentrate, etc. That strategy in most of the time does not lead anywhere. The task is to adequately assess the state of mind and depending on this provide the necessary support.
Aggression or agressivity can be caused by several causes – by the character of the dancer, by its defense mechanism, etc. The important thing is not to look for the reason (this can be left to us, the psychologists), but to choose the appropriate way to react. First of all, you must avoid the accumulation of people. You have to let the dancer «let go of the rage». Saying everything that goes through your mind, dancing a tango or a double step is also a good option. Try to show good intentions. It is not worth entering into discussions with accusations and criticism, even if you do not agree. A good solution is to describe the emotions and try to relax the environment. For example – «you are angry, you feel anger, you feel like releasing everything you think or destroying everything around. We will try to find a solution. » Aggression can also be stifled by the threat of punishment.
Apathy is a state of indifference in which all interests, emotional reactions, are reduced or lost. It translates into inappetence, indifference towards oneself and others, towards what happens around, in a lack of interest and desire. In two words, it is a lack of emotion. The most likely is that you see that state long before the tournament, and during it will reach its peak. How can you help? It is best not to leave that person alone. Take her to a quiet place, help her get comfortable, take off her shoes. It is advisable that you can sleep a little. In the event that there is no possibility of resting, take him by the hand, speak, ask something to which he has to answer in detail, involve him in a joint activity, be close in the breaks between the dances. Pay attention to your breathing: you have to breathe with passive inspiration and active expiration.
Crying is a normal state, which is seen very often, but can considerably lower the level of dance performance. It is important to be next to that person, you can hold her hand, pat her head or pat her on the shoulder. He has to avoid the desire to reassure the deportee. In that situation it is better to listen to him, to give him the opportunity to speak. And while, agree with the head, show understanding, you can repeat some of their sentences. You can give advice or ask questions only if they ask you. Remember that crying makes worries more bearable.
Fear is an inner state that is caused by a future misfortune, real or imagined. We are all afraid The difference is that some know how to control it and others succumb to it. I will tell you more about the fears of the dancers in one of the following articles. From the point of view of the help to mitigate the effect of fear, I can highlight the following: put the dancer’s hands on your wrists, feel your pulse calm. Pay attention to the athlete’s breathing – it is important that you take the calm and regular rhythm. It would be nice to massage his tense muscles. With all your attitude you must show your understanding and the desire to hear and help him. To control your own fear, you have to normalize your breathing – inspire and expire deeply and then return to normal rhythm.
Psychological tremor from a psychological point of view can be a reflection of different states. The tremor is shown in different degrees in various parts of the body: in the hands, feet, fingers, etc. The first thing that most people want to do in that situation is to hug that person, but just that it must be avoided. The most effective is to make the tremor stronger so that it happens sooner. If you yourself set the tremor, you must also intensify it. The tremor will pass and you will be able to enter the track completely prepared.
Hysteria reflects an uncontrollable external emotional state, which is accompanied by crying, nervous tremors, laughter, etc. Hysteria in an athlete can be a reaction to failure, a symptom of fear, or a desire to draw attention to their concerns, etc. Hysteria belongs to the group of states that most negatively affects the result. What are the psychological recommendations in those cases? A quiet place, relaxed atmosphere, that is to say that it is important to «eliminate the spectators» in order not to provoke the increase of that state. And do not give in to the wishes of the affected person. Speak to him in a firm way, with short, imperative phrases, such as «wash your face», «drink a little water», etc. Or change the focus of your attention with an unexpected action – drop something, splash it with water, yell something suddenly and things like that.
If you often find yourself with those moods in yourselves as dancers or in your son in the tournaments, I recommend that you consult a psychologist to find ways to help and solve that problem.
Only you yourselves direct your state,