Female ballet dancers are often plagued by lower-extremity injuries. But why? Researchers in the U.S. and Australia recently analyzed studies published in the last 11 years to determine common risk factors for hip, knee, ankle and foot injuries in elite-level dancers. Here's what they found:


  1. Alignment issues
  2. Poor movement control in the lower back and pelvis
  3. Incorrect contraction of the deepest abdominal muscles
  4. Weakness in the lower extremities
  5. Insufficient aerobic fitness

Interestingly enough, long training hours and hypermobile hips and ankles were identified as injury risk factors specifically for recreational ballet dancers, but not those at the more experienced level. It's likely that, to advance to the next level, professionals have adjusted to a heavier schedule and have learned to balance hypermobility with strength to safely support their dancing.

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Are you a total bunhead who loves to write? You might be the perfect fit for Pointe. We're seeking an editorial intern who's equally passionate about ballet and journalism.

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Yesterday, the first of Nike's new Common Thread video series dropped, and we were thrilled to see that it featured dancers; namely, Dance Theatre of Harlem member (and June/July 2017 Pointe cover star) Ingrid Silva, and Florida-based ballet student Alex Thomas. Even better, it's narrated by tennis phenom Serena Williams. This series of short videos celebrates Black History Month by focusing on representation in sport. (We're not crazy about ballet being called a sport, but we'll let it slide.) In each installment, athletes united by a common thread discuss their passion, and the lack of role models they saw in their fields while growing up.

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The Washington Ballet's Sona Kharatian and Dan Roberge in Slaughter on Tenth Avenue. Procopio Photography, Courtesy TWB.

Wonder what's going on in ballet this week? We've rounded up some highlights.

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Frances Chung as the title role in Christopher Wheeldon's Cinderella. Erik Tomasson, Courtesy SFB.

Six-time Tony Award-winning lighting designer Natasha Katz has lit such Broadway musical hits as Frozen, Hello Dolly! and A Chorus Line. She is also one of choreographer Christopher Wheeldon's biggest collaborators, designing the lighting for works such as Broadway's An American in Paris, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Cinderella, a 2012 co-production of San Francisco Ballet and Dutch National Ballet. Shortly after SFB opened their 2020 season with Cinderella last month, Pointe caught up with Katz to talk about her career, her collaborative relationship with Wheeldon, and the lighting profiles of co-productions.

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