Injury is a big issue in dance, with between 83-95% of professional ballet dancers being injured during their careers. I believe dancers should be made aware about injury prevention both as students and during their career.
Many injuries dancers receive could be prevented if dancers had prior knowledge on how to properly care for their bodies and were aware of the faults which could lead to injury. If injury was prevented more effectively, dancers’ longevity would be increased and both their physical and mental health would improve. They would be able to reduce their risk of having future injury, optimising their dance training. More people would also be encouraged to dance, as there would be less risk involved.
There are many different ways that injury prevention could be improved. An example would be regular lectures could be given at vocational schools, for those who will be training intensely and so more at risk of injury. Lectures could also be given in professional companies on the prime factors leading to injury, such as fatigue and not warming up. These lectures would have the added benefit on reducing the stigma around dancers being seen as lazy if they rest minor injuries rather than dance on them.
Another way that could be effective in making injury prevention become better known would be to give out booklets at major dance events such as Move it and Can you dance, in the same way that programs and maps are given out. The booklets could include information about common injuries and how they are caused as well as what you can do to minimise the risk of being injured in that way. Other ways dancers could be made aware of injury prevention could be through articles in magazines such as the Dancing Times, through posters at dance schools (which would be particularly effective for younger dancers), through workshops and talks by physios at dance schools and by short videos online.
A practical way that the risk of injury could be reduced would be through making stretching and strengthening more prominent in training, perhaps after the warm up of each class. This would make the muscles less susceptible to injury in all aspects of dance. Warming up should also be a compulsory part of all dance classes, to decrease tension in the muscles and joints before dancing.