SO much more than Footwear!

SO much more than Footwear!

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!



[i]J Appl Biomech. 2012 Jul;28(3):242-8. Epub 2011 Oct 4.Mechanics of jazz shoes and their effect on pointing in child dancers.Fong Yan A1, Smith RHiller C.

[ii][ii][i]Alycia Fong Yan, B.App.Sc, Claire Hiller, Ph.D., Richard Smith, Ph.D., and Bénédicte Vanwanseele, Ph.D. Effect of Footwear on Dancers A Systematic Review. Journal of Dance Medicine & Science. Volume 15, Number 2, 2011: 86-92

[ii]Weiss DS, Shah S, Burchette RJ. A profile of the demographics and training characteristics of professional modern dancers. J Dance Med Sei. 2008:12(2):4l-6.

[iii]Gheskin M. Dancing feet. World Sports Activewear. 2000;6(l):30-5.

[iv]Bejjani FJ, Occupational biomechanics of athletes and dancers: a comparative approach, Glin Podiatr MedSurg, 1987 Jul;4(3):671-711,

[v]Colucci LA, Klein DE. Development of an innovative pointe shoe. Ergon Des. 2008 Summer:l6(3):6-12

[vi]Cunningham BW, DiStefano AF, Kirjanov NA, et al. A comparative mechanical analysis of the pointe shoe toe box. An in vitro study. Am J Sports Med. 1998 Jul-Aug;26(4):555-61

[vii]Tuckman AS, Werner FW, BayleyJC. Analysis of the forefoot on pointe in the ballet dancer. Foot AnUe. 1991 Dec:12(3):l44-8

[viii]Miller CD, Paulos LE, Parker RD, Fishell M. The ballet technique shoe: a preliminary study of eleven differently modified ballet technique shoes using force and pressure plates. Foot Ankle. 1990Oct:ll(2):97-100

[ix]Miller CD, Paulos LE, Parker RD, Fishell M. The ballet technique shoe: a preliminary study of eleven differently modified ballet technique shoes using force and pressure plates. Foot Ankle. 1990Oct:ll(2):97-100

[x]Galea V, Norman R. Bone-on-bone forces at the ankle joint during a rapid and dynamic movement. In: Winter DA, Norman RW, Wells RP, et al (eds): Biomechanics IX-A International Series on Biomechanics Proceedings of the 9th International Congress of Biomechanics. Cham paign, IL: Human Kinetics Publishers, 1985, pp. 71-76

[xi]Dentón J. Overuse foot and ankle injuries in ballet. Clin Podiatr Med Surg. 1997Jul:l4(3):525-32

[xii]Dozzi PA, Winter DA, Ishac MG. Relative role of ankle and metatarsalphalangeal muscles in ballet pointe work. J Biomech. 1989:22(10): 1005-9.

[xiii]Greer JM, Panush RS. Musculoskeletalproblems of performing artists. Baillieres Glin Rheumatol. 1994 Feb:8(l):103-35

[xiv]Kadel NJ. Foot and ankle injuries in dance. Phys Med Rehahil Clin N Am. 2006:17(4):813-26.

[xv]Kennedy JG, Baxter DE. Nerve disorders in dancers. Clin Sports Med. 2008:27(2):329-34

[xvi]Markinson BC, Root JA. Irish jig shoes. Podiatry Management. 2006:25(9):26.

[xvii]Milan KR. Injury in ballet: a review of relevant topics for the physical therapist. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 1994Feb:19(2):121-9

[xviii]Stretanski MF. Classical ballet: the
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[xix]Stretanski MF, Weber GJ. Medical and rehabilitation issues in classical ballet. Am J Phys Med Rehabil, 2002 May;81(5):383-91

[xx]Taunton JE, McKenzie DC, Clement DB. The role of biomechanics in the epidemiology of injuries. Sports Med. 1988 Aug;6(2): 107-20

[xxi]Wilson M, Kwon Y The role of biomechanics in understanding dance movement. J Dance Med Sei. 2008;12(3):109-l6

[xxii]Galea V Foot and ankle forces in pointe shoes, Kinesiology for Dance, 1985;7(3):10

[xxiii]Hardaker Jr WT, Erickson L, The pathogenesis of dance injury. In: Shell CG (ed): Dancer as Athlete 1984 Olympic Congress Proceedings. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics Publishers, 1984, pp. 11-29

[xxiv]Hardaker Jr WT, Moorman CT. Foot and ankle injuries in dance and athletics: similarities and differences. In: Shell CG (ed): The Dancer as Athlete The 1984 Olympic Scientific Congress Proceedings. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics Publishers, 1986. pp, 31-41

[xxv]Macintyre J, Joy E. Foot and ankle injuries in dance. Clin Sports Med, 2000;19(2):351-68

[xxvi]Reid DC, Prevention of hip and knee injuries in ballet dancers. Sports Med. 1988 Nov;6(5):295-307.

[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.

[v]KauFman KR, Brodine SK, Shaffer RA, et al. The effect of foot structure and range oF motion on musculoskeletal overuse injuries. J Am Sports Med. 1997;27:585-93.

[vi]Gamboa JM, Roberts LA, Maring J, Fergus A. Injury patterns in elite preprofessional ballet dancers and the utility of screening programs to identify risk characteristics. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2008;38(3): 126-36.

[xxviii]Bronner S, Ojofeitimi S, Spriggs J. Occupational Musculoskeletal Disorders in Dancers. Phys Ther Rev. 2003;8:57-68.

[xxix]Garrick JG, Lewis SL. Career hazards for the dancer. Occup Med. 2001;16:609-618, iv.

[xxx]Stephens R. The etiology of injuries in ballet. In: Ryan AJ, Stephens RE, eds. The Healthy Dancer: Dance Medicine for Dancers. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Book Company; 1987.

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1 comment

  • Kathleen Cirioli

    I couldn’t agree more! As a 68 year old tap dancer, teacher and choreographer, I live in these socks. I recommend them to all of my students and peers.

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