There are many schools of thought about what should or should NOT be on a dancer’s foot. Some feel that the style of dance requires particular shoes or that you must dance barefoot to build strength and toughen feet. The problem with dance shoes, as studies suggest, is they may encourage incorrect muscle activation or cause injury. [i],[ii]Additionally, the traction pads can cause irritation and inflammation to the metatarsals. While there are mixed reviews on the benefits and risks of being barefoot[iii],[iv]many believe it can help build muscles. However, there are still sanitary and injury concerns when dancing barefoot. There are two types of injury mechanisms: overuse and traumatic. Dance injuries typically fall into the overuse category in fact 65% are from overuse and repetitive strain.[v]This is TWICE the rate of football players from the knee down. Even with proper technique, nutrition and rest, dancers are at a high risk of injuries due to the repetitive nature and intense hours of dance[vi]. With overuse injuries, inflammation occurs and if not tended to properly, it compounds into more painful or chronic injuries. Overuse injury is one of many risk factors dancers are exposed to. Proper tools (i.e. Apolla Shocks) & education could reduce or eradicate injury providing longevity in a dancer’s career.
In the upcoming monthly 5-part special, Mia Michaels sits down for an intimate conversation with serious dancers and teachers. Apolla Performance & Mia have joined to bring awareness to the rampant injury risks prevalent in dance today. Bringing together the sports science research with Mia’s wisdom and experience Apolla puts a spotlight on how to break NEW GROUND in our dance culture, how we REDEFINE today’s dancer as an Artist AND an Athlete!
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[iii]Am J Sports Med. 2017 Aug;45(10):2411-2417. doi: 10.1177/0363546517704429. Epub 2017 May 1.Manipulation of Foot Strike and Footwear Increases Achilles Tendon Loading During Running.
[iv]Int J Sports Med. 2016 May;37(5):382-7. doi: 10.1055/s-0035-1565140. Epub 2016 Feb 2.An Acute Bout of Barefoot Running Alters Lower-limb Muscle Activation for Minimalist Shoe Users.
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