Respect Your Body

The School at Steps Health & Wellness Program presented The Healthy Body Workshop on January 28, 2012 as the second part of the 2011-2012 academic year’s The Complete Dancer Events. A panel of mental and physical health professionals shared advice and knowledge about the adolescent dancer.

Check out these great tips from our HBW panelists!

Nutrition and Wellness
Teen Cuisine Author and Chef, Matthew Locricchio showed us how to make Quinoa and Black Bean Salad with Fresh Lime Dressing! A healthy and balanced meal rich in complex carbs, protein, and nutrients.

Healthy Self-image
Clinical psychologist, Dr. Linda Hamilton, signed her book, The Dancer’s Way: The New York City Ballet Guide to Mind, Body, and Nutrition, and shared valuable advice like the tip below:

“Rather than obsessing about your flaws or comparing your body to others, focus on your unique strengths, such as being a hard-worker, organized or having a special ability like singing, acting or dancing.”

Injury Prevention
Alison Deleget, MS, ATC from the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries talked about injury prevention. Visit to learn about some common injuries that dancers experience, such as:

  • Ankle Sprains and Planter Fasciitus
  • Herniated Disc and Lower Back Pain
  • Knee Pain and Meniscus Tears
  • Rotator Cuff Tears and Shoulder Dislocation

Physical Development
Orthopaedic Surgeon, Dr. Andrew Price, presented a slide show concentrating on these health topics specific to growing, adolescent dancers:

  • PUBERTY- 1/4 to 1/2 of adult bone mass is accrued during puberty.
  • GROWTH- When going through a growth spurt, temporary tightness of certain muscles can occur.
  • FLEXIBILITY- Your bones grow first and then “stretch” everything else. This can lead to unintentional neglect of your quadriceps, triceps, and Achilles tendon. Make sure to include these areas when stretching!
  • INJURY PREVENTION – In-house medical and therapy services, such as getting a massage, can decrease injury rate. Also, continuing to refine your technique in dance classes will help to keep you injury free.