Battling Injury With Science

When you get sidelined by an injury, you try physical therapy, Pilates, swimming—anything that might get you back onstage ASAP. But when you return, something always seems a little different. Maybe that right knee doesn't feel as secure when you're jumping, or your left hip grips a little more during développé. It's hard not to wonder: Was there something else you should have been doing while you were out?

Sports scientist Patrick Rump is trying to change the way dancers approach injury prevention and recovery. His greatest success story? Alina Cojocaru. By recording every detail of Cojocaru's life after her back injury in 2008—what she ate for breakfast, how much weight she could lift, the angles of her legs when she took off for a jump—and creating a computer profile, he helped her return to the studio much faster than doctors predicted.

Much of the dance world is hesitant to welcome his method, which is based on the theory that a dancer's recovery must be approached as you would an athlete's, with training that is unconventional for ballet dancers, like weight lifting. Want to form your own opinion? There's a documentary, Dance, Sports Science and Patrick Rump, out about how he rehabilitates dancers. (It premiered at the Prix de Lausanne.) Read more in this CNN story.

Latest Posts


Pacific Northwest Ballet's Sarah-Gabrielle Ryan, photographed by Jayme Thornton for Pointe

The Radiant Sarah-Gabrielle Ryan: Why She's One to Watch at Pacific Northwest Ballet

Hollywood could make a movie about Sarah-Gabrielle Ryan's big break at Pacific Northwest Ballet.

It was November 2017, and the company was performing Crystal Pite's film-noir–inspired Plot Point, set to music by Bernard Hermann from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. Ryan, then a first-year corps member, originally was understudying the role of another dancer. But when principal Noelani Pantastico was injured in a car accident, Ryan was tapped to take over her role.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Elliot deBruyn, Courtesy BalletX

Don’t Miss These Virtual World Premieres Happening in March

As the ballet world pushes into spring, companies across the country are adapting to the pandemic by premiering new digital works, wrapping up virtual seasons and engaging in artistic collaborations. Here are a few of the world-premiere digital programs on tap this month.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Getty Images

Dancing in a Mask? 6 Products to Keep Maskne at Bay

Wearing a mask while dancing in exchange for finally getting back into the studio seems like a small price to pay—though it doesn't make maskne any less pesky.

But the irritation and acne caused by sweating in a mask doesn't have to be part of the equation. To clear up breakouts and prevent new ones from popping up post-rehearsal, Dr. Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Entière Dermatology, explains the importance of a strong (but simple) skin-care routine.

"Masks cause heat, friction and occlusion on the skin," says Levin, who trained in ballet through her teenage years. Combine that with the sweat that gets trapped by your mask and you've got the perfect environment for clogged pores and bacteria overgrowth. Levin notes that the best approach for clear skin is to consistently use a gentle cleanser in the morning and at night, followed by a lightweight moisturizer, and a topical cream with an active ingredient to treat and prevent breakouts.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks