Injuries in dance are just as common as tutus: not an everyday occurrence, but they always show up from time to time. You may not be expecting it, but there it is. Welcome to DanceWear Corner’s newest series on prevention, treatment, and tips: “The Injured Dancer,” with Miami City Ballet Dancer, Rebecca King Ferraro.
Last week I introduced myself and since then I have been getting some questions via social media about what exactly happened when I injured myself. I thought I would share a little bit about the beginning of my injury journey.
This all began in an evening rehearsal in April of 2015. I was rehearsing for Miami City Ballet’s final series of performances for the season, when I went to complete a step I had done hundreds of times, while being partnered by two boys. I was doing a slide across the floor, when my pointe shoe got stuck on the marley floor, and I jammed my foot.
That moment, right after something goes wrong, is an absolute moment of panic. But the thoughts that are running through dancers’ heads are not those you may think. It’s not a panic about what happened it’s more a panic about what does this mean for my career? This career is fickle and can end in the blink of an eye: in a moment just like the one I had.
The next day I went in for X-rays and nothing was broken. They put me into a cast for a few days until I could get more imaging done. My MRI showed a whole host of issues: torn tendons, torn ligaments, bone bruises, etc. It was clear that I had done some significant damage.
The golden lining was that the timing of my injury wasn’t too terrible. In two weeks the company would be embarking on a 6 week break, which was quite a relief. The worst part about being injured as a dancer is missing out on being able to dance, so I was relieved to know that I could start my healing process during a time I wasn’t set to be dancing.
So off I went down a long road of physical therapy, injections, exercises, anti-inflammatories, and much more. I was determined to heal and to get back to dancing, but as I would soon find, there was so much in store for me during this experience than I could ever have ever expected.
As I sit here, over 2 years later, I am in a boot and on crutches: 7 weeks post-op. Life rarely goes the way you expect it to, but it’s all about making the most of the journey. So in the next few weeks I will be taking you through my journey, sharing what I have learned and answering any questions that you may have. Stay tuned to DanceWear Corner’s social media for more!