PAIN the good, the bad, and what´s the difference

Dancers are some of the physically strongest people I’ve ever worked with. From a very young age, there is an unusual emphasis on physical accomplishment of extremely difficult technique, both quantitatively and qualitatively, mental focus, self-control, and an aesthetic which defies normal human anatomy and physiology.

There’s a lot demanded of them physically and repeatedly and it’s normal to cover up physical sensation including pain for the sake of the performance. No performer has ever been praised for making their physical exhaustion or soreness evident to audiences.





Why do dancers accept pain?

▪️Some use pain as an indicator that they’re working hard. 
▪️They fear losing jobs or worry about not getting promoted if they’re known to be “that dancer” who gets injured and take time for recovery.
▪️Not dancing can mean letting down audiences, the choreographer and colleagues.

You can’t tell a dancer to never dance with pain but we can differentiate between “good pain” and “bad pain.”
When you have pain, your body is trying to tell you something and you need to listen or risk injuring yourself. Pushing through can lead to injury or the use of anti-inflammatories for dancing through the discomfort - at the very least, it can keep dancers from performing at their full potential.

Essentially, reading your own body is the best indicator between good and bad pain. Pay attention to how you feel before, during and after exercise (for at least one to two days).

You don't have to apologise for a bad pain day and you don't have to explain a good pain day. Every day is different!

❗️Signs and Symptoms that mean something more might be going on and you should seek medical attention from your physical therapist or doctor.