Preventing Injuries

Summer is in full swing, which means summer camps are as well!
Dancing for nearly 7 hours a day is exhausting, and it can be extremely hard on your muscles.

In order to prevent injury, be sure to practice these habits:

1. Warm Up-Be sure to always warm up and stretch properly before you begin dancing. Preparing your body for the stresses it may face will help reduce the risk of injury.

2. Drink LOTS of fluids!(Especially with the heat this summer has brought us)

3. Be aware of your limits- Don’t forget to listen to your body. If you are in pain, don’t dance. Resist the temptation!

4. Concentrate on your technique-Pay close attention to the correct body movements and positions.  The way a dancer connects one move to another must be technically correct so as not to twist the body incorrectly or strain a muscle.

5. Eat healthy- Beware of your nutritional habits.  Healthier food provides more energy, which means less muscle fatigue. Most of the time, muscle fatigue is the reason for injury.

6. Cool down- Taking your body from one extreme to another is never healthy!

***If you do find yourself with a pulled muscle or swollen area of your body be sure to properly treat it:


For more information about preventing dance injuries, visit the link below.

Camps are going great!
This week, we have…

Legacy Camp (competition team auditions included, ages 13&up)
Nexstar Camp (competition team auditions included, ages 7-9)
Dora the Explorer Camp

If you were planning to come and missed it or forgot, hurry in tomorrow!
Visit our Summer Camps page for more information.

Look to your right, under “Recent Posts”, and click on the post for instructions!!!!!!


Technique Tip of the Week: Leg Extensions

As a dancer with short legs, I am looking for ways to improve my leg extensions.
Yes, there are some hip-strengthening exercises you can do that may help, but the best advice I have gotten is to simply practice.
From what I have read on the web, most people agree.
Extend your leg (front, side, or back) and hold it there as long as you can.
*Make sure your hip is down (although tilts are very common), your supporting leg is turned out, and your leg is in front of you (obviously when practicing front and side).  
At first, your leg probably won’t be very high, but that’s okay!
It takes time to develop the muscles needed to hold your leg up high.
Practice this exercise for at least 5 minutes, 4-6 times a week, and you will definitely notice a difference!

My favorite exercise for hip-strengthening is to sit in a straddle stretch position (common during jazz warm-ups).  Lift your right leg about 6 inches off of the floor 10 times.  Repeat this on the left leg and with both legs. Repeat the entire sequence 2-3 times about 4-6 times per week.

For a detailed description of what a leg extension is, click the link below.

Leg Extensions

HDA Tip of the Week: Stage Fright

Do you ever get on stage and forget your dance or get lost in those bright lights? Maybe you have a case of stage fright?  Don’t worry, being nervous is extremely common!

Obviously these girls above use their emotions IN their performance.  They don’t let fear or nervousness conquer them. That’s how you want to handle it!
It takes a lot of guts to get out and stage and perform in front of hundreds of people.  It can be scary, but don’t get caught up in that.  Just have fun!
If you have this problem, check out the tips below on how to cope with stage fright.

1. Give yourself a stop-time for your anxiety.

2. Don’t have lots of to-do’s on performance day. Go slow.

3. OR Have lots of to-do’s on the day of a show. Go fast.

4. Create a ritual.

5. Get in the audience.

6. Exercise.

7. Get to the venue early in the day.

8. Feign confidence.

9. Perform from the fear.

Want more information or details on these tips? Visit the website below.

Dancer’s Tip of the Week: TURNS

On a previous “tip of the week” I discussed tips for improving your pirouettes.  Since turning is such an impressive and frequent technique performed by dancers, I decided to add some additional information.  The video below provides three simple exercises that y0u can do to help improve your turns (more for experienced dancers).
Since turning is all about balance, I also provided a link below with special explanations about balancing and tips to improve your balance (more for dancers with less experience).

Constantly balancing and rotating on one leg with all of your body weight on the ball of your foot is not easy. That’s obvious.
So I hope this little bit of information can help!

It’s all about Balance

(This guy has crazy turn out!)

Foot and Ankle Injuries for Dancers

Ankle and foot injuries have been extremely common lately! There have been at least four dancers on the competition team that have experienced ankle problems this year alone. I thought to myself, what exactly is causing these injuries? Obviously there isn’t just one answer to this question, so I did some research and I came across a great website for clueless people like me.  It describes several common foot injuries for dancers and their possible causes and treatments.  To learn more, visit the site below.
NYU Langone Medical Center: Dance Medicine Resources

Here is a list of simple tips that are often forgotten for preventing these injuries that appeared on their site as well!

Top Ten Prevention tips for dancers

  • Proper training and teaching are essential to allow dancers of all ages to develop their skills without injury.
  • Take adequate rest to allow the body to heal itself from daily wear and tear
  • Maintain energy levels by eating and drinking adequately.
  • Conditioning and strengthening of the leg muscles that support the arch are crucial.
  • Try to avoid dancing on hard or uneven surfaces, which could cause injury.
  • Take care of your shoes!
  • Dancers should adopt new training schedules slowly.
  • Although not always possible when dancing, but more so off stage or out of class, wear supportive footwear, and if you need to wear orthotics, wear them as often as possible.
  • If dancers perform excessive pointe or demi-pointe work one day, they should focus on other types of work during the next workout.
  • Early recognition of symptoms is important. Stop activity if pain or swelling occurs. If the pain persists after a few days rest, consult a sports-medicine physician.

HDA on KarTV!

KarTV is a series of dance driven webispodes with kid-friendly content meant to inspire and educate competititon dancers.  Kids Artistic Revue, a competition that we attend and that Andrea Woodward judges for, hosts KarTV.

In this webisode, Andrea talks about her competition tip of the week, correcting sway back! Enjoy 🙂


Also, on the end credits, it says that Brienne Barnett is dancing (which she is an esteemed alumni of HDA) but it’s actually Chrissy Rodefer! She is a senior this year at HDA and has been dancing on the competition team for about 10 years!

For more KarTV videos, click here.

For more information about Kids Artistic Revue, click here.