Anonymous asked: I broke my wrist, and my ankle after a fall on stage two days ago. The director for my company has said that there is a chance that my dance career is over. This has been my whole life since I was 8. I have been practising for a minimum of four hours every afternoon since I was 12. And last year I started dancing full time, and I do school classes separately, whenever I can fit them in really. Do you have any advice? What can I do? I can give up what I live for! Help!? xxx
First of all, I am so sorry that that happened to you. Injuries are always such a rough time for everyone. There are many things you need to consider.
Don’t freak out yet. Breaking a wrist and an ankle doesn’t sound like an impossible recovering. (Of course, every case is different and I don’t mean to patronize.) Wait to hear what your doctor has to say—your director is not a doctor. Injuries cause your life to come to a halt because you’re stuck in bed or wobbling around, so you aren’t able to keep yourself busy as easily. Therefore, you have a lot of time to over-think and psych yourself out. Don’t let that happen! Relax, breathe. You can’t get well if you’re thinking negatively.
Good PT is key to recovery. A successful recovery requires an intelligent plan of action. Make sure that you fully understand your injury and you work with physical therapists to get your body back in shape. There’s a number of various ways for you to do so, so make sure to look at the options you have in your area. Chiropractors have always been a big help for me. A lot of the time, people come back much stronger than before because they realize how they got injured and focus on their weaknesses.
Acceptance. These other points made, it is always possible with any major injury that you may have to change your focus. (Again, I don’t know how bad your injury is, so this is more of a general note to all people who become injured.) Sometimes, injuries are not due to freak accidents, over-work, or working incorrectly. Sometimes, injuries are because of the way a body is made. This doesn’t mean giving up ballet altogether, but you may not be able to jump into a big company right away… or ever. You have to be realistic. I have had many friends and colleagues who have had to make difficult choices. Sometimes, sadly, bodies just are not meant for ballet. They’re likely to keep getting injured or inevitably need major surgery. It’s these times when we have to wonder what’s truly best for us, and what will make us happy. It’s hard to be happy when you’re constantly pushing your body to do something that it just does not want to do. People I have known in these situations have shifted their focus to either second companies or college dance programs. Do what makes you happy. If you are so injured that there is no possibility of ever dancing professionally or in a college program, that doesn’t mean you have to give up all of your classes. It just means you don’t need to have such a rigorous schedule. I have had friends who have done this as well. This makes transitioning your entire career and life focus much less painful.
To the anonymous who sent this in: I wish you a successful and speedy recovery! Don’t get down on yourself. Try to keep yourself positive and busy. Merde!