General Dance Discussion > Type of dance recommendation needed

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by Natalya DanSing, Jan 3, 2017.

  1. Natalya DanSing

    Natalya DanSing New Member

    Hi all, I used to do belly dance, tango and salsa on a regular basis, but after my lower back injury 2 years ago, I had to stop dancing. Since then, I've tried to get back into social dancing, but I always end up in pain for weeks, even after 1 time. I have 3 buldging and 1 herniated discs, as well as a tear in ligament in my lower back. I'd still love to resume dancing, even if it takes learning a completely new dance. So I wonder if anyone can recommend a type of dance that would not strain the lower back or would have the minimam impact on the lower back.
    Would much appreciate any suggestions!
  2. raindance

    raindance Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear about your injuries! Talk to your doctors or physical therapist about what movements will be least stressful for your back, as well as which movements to avoid. Add your own experiences about things to avoid or be careful with, based on what bothers you.

    You might also want to consider something other than social dance. As a follower in social dancing, you have less control over what movements you do, how big and fast you move, how many times you repeat movements, how gentle or rough your partners are, how much you sit vs dance during an evening, etc.

    Taking private lessons, or working with a regular practice partner may give you more control of what movements you are trying if the pro or partner is understanding of your limitations.

    You could also consider non-partnered dance to start with - perhaps some very basic and gentle jazz or lyrical dance movements, and see how your body tolerates it. Maybe get a beginners video and try some things at home bit by bit at your own pace.

    You may also need to work up to any new activity very, very, slowly - like a few minutes one day, see how you feel, then a few days later, do a few more minutes, etc.

    Are you able to be active in any other way? Walking? Eliptical machine, stationary bike, etc? Walking in a shallow to chest deep swimming pool is another way to gently build some muscle strength.
    opendoor and RiseNFall like this.
  3. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    You've put it in a nutshell, raindance. I used to dance (and teach) both roles up to the moment of several severe knee injuries. Since that time I only dance the lead. I know several followers that started leading simply to get more often on the dance floor (gender imbalance), perhaps Natalya should try it out? I hope a regular training or mild dancing in flats on the floor will stabilize her lower back again.
  4. Natalya DanSing

    Natalya DanSing New Member

    Thank you both! I've asked so many doctors, but no one could suggest anything because they're not dancers, so they don't know which muscles get involved in each dance.
    I'd still like to stick with a social partnered type of dance. And I agree that leading would be better for me, but I enjoy following too much to give it up!
    My back is very sensitive. Sometimes even sitting or standing for over an hour causes a flareup, despite my regular Rx exercises that are designed to strengthen the core. I've already tried to get back into what i used to dance by taking beginner Tango and salsa classes, but even the light classroom activity sent me home in pain for days. I'm just trying to avoid investing my time and money into learning something new, just to discover later that it is hurting me as much as what I used to dance.
  5. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    Try looking for a physiotherapist that works with dancers. They'll be much better at this. And some on this forum have gotten great results from Alexander technique classes or rolfing. Or you can do some research yourself, by reading about anatomy and movement.

    Personally, I've found that a combination of chiropractic care and, later on, strengthening exercises to correct my (bad) compensating patterns have gone a long way to correcting an issue I had with my hip (which was messing with everything from ankle to back/neck). I had some pretty special imbalances and weak spots that I needed to work on fixing, in order to provide the right support, and some spots that were insanely tight and needed to be manually manipulated. Sadly, there wasn't one person that told me all of this - it was a process of discovery, with quite a lot of research and trial and error.

    Working with a pro one-on-one might be your best option for awhile. They'll know their own stuff and won't put any unnecessary pressure on your back by doing weird things... while it's more expensive, you may find that as you get stronger from getting back to physical activity, your back is better able to handle social dancing.
  6. Natalya DanSing

    Natalya DanSing New Member

    Thank you so much!

Share This Page