Magazine article Dance Magazine

Advice for Dancers

Magazine article Dance Magazine

Advice for Dancers

Article excerpt

Q My problem is that the boxes of my toe shoes are getting soft. Is there a way to prevent this from happening, or to at least slow it down?

Tamara

A You're in luck! It's possible to keep the boxes of your toe shoes hard longer by using Fabulon, a shellac sold at hardware stores. Just pour a small amount in the tip, swirl it around, and set your shoe on its tip to dry overnight.

Q Recently I've become alarmed at the number of young girls in professional companies who are injured. Is this because of inexperience, or is something more insidious going on?

Carla from New York

A Many company directors believe that teenage dancers can handle anything. They're wrong! In fact, these dancers are often more vulnerable to stress overload than are their twenty-year-old counterparts.

Why? According to Dr. Michelle P. Warren, Wyeth Professor of Women's Health at Presbyterian Medical Center, the delay in menarche that's typical of female dancers prolongs skeletal growth into the late teens. Open growth plates (growing bones) are fragile.

Directors can avoid unnecessary injuries by easing young dancers into the company repertory.

Q My daughter's ballet teacher recently asked her to gain ten pounds, saying she looked weak and emaciated. It's been three weeks now without any change. Is it possible she's just naturally thin?

Frustrated Mother

A It's true that your genes play a role in your body weight, yet even naturally thin dancers should be able to gain some weight by eating the right amount. …

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