Maintain your routine
Being stuck at home for months can leave you desperate for a change. Whilst it’s fantastic to acquire new skills, we recommend steering away from any major changes in dance class during the upcoming months; this includes picking up new dance styles, and commencing Pointe Work for the first time. Your body won’t be performing at full strength yet, so it will be safest to work in dance styles you are familiar with. You can always introduce extra classes to your schedule once you’re back in the swing of things! Stacey notes that anyone starting Pointe Work for the first time should wait until Term 1 of 2022, and organise a Pre-Pointe Assessment with their physiotherapist, “Going onto Pointe is a new skill; when you’re learning a new skill, you’ll want at least 4-6 weeks to practise,” she explains, “I’d recommend that dancers focus on strength work over the upcoming months…Then they’ll be ready to safely start Pointe next year.” Learning to dance en pointe is a wonderful experience, and should be done when you are feeling strong, confident and supported!
Listen to your body
It’s an age-old adage, but for dancers returning to the studio after lockdowns, it can’t be stated enough: your body is your instrument, and it’s your job to listen to the signals it sends you. If you feel any strong pains as you return to dance classes, get an assessment from your physiotherapist sooner rather than later, and don’t push yourself to do steps which cause discomfort. “It’s totally normal when you go back to the studio to feel sore in your muscles, but if [pain] is not resolving within 2-3 days, it’s best to get it checked,” Stacey advises. Injuries to watch out for during your first few weeks back in the studio include ankle and lower leg strains, hamstring strains, and hip clicking. Stay focused on how your body is feeling throughout this time, and give yourself plenty of rest and recovery between classes.