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FrancyDancy

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Reply with quote  #1 
I've heard a lot about children in sports/activities having over use injuries and general burn out, etc. For those experienced dance moms, what are the tell tale signs of burn out or over training? How do you prevent it? How do you know what is appropriate training at each stage of a child's dance "career" (I can't think of a better word).
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ballerinamom13

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Reply with quote  #2 
Every child is different.  There is no formula.  I read all the time on this board about kids starting early and burning out.  Not true in our case.  DD started with a little combo class at 2 and a half, moved to competition at 5/6, serious ballet at 12 and is now a professional in a pretty well known west coast ballet company.  She did the comp thing full out for years...at the end she was in 14 dances at NYCDA Nationals in NYC.  Never had an ounce of burn out.  You know your child so you will be the best judge.  Read and inform yourself through this forum and Ballet Talk for Dancers. And find the best technical training and lots of strength exercises like Pilates help to keep injuries away.

eta - Heidi is right - remember that you are the customer and don't let yourself be talked into things you don't want to do.
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melissa745

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Reply with quote  #3 
If you are in a good school with well-trained teachers, they will guide you in the right path for your child. Now, finding a school like that can be hard. LOL
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #4 
Unfortunately, burn out is not necessarily something you can predict w/any degree of certainty.  There are choices that can, of course, increase the likelihood.  But then there are always going to be those who've made the same choices but didn't get burned out. Doesn't mean the whole idea of burn out is a myth.  How do we know who will & who won't?

So, imo, I think you just have to decide what is & isn't okay.  For yourself.  For your child.  For the short term.  And w/the long term in mind.  Is doing more now because everyone seems super happy worth the risk of burnout?  Maybe it is.  And if it is just enjoy today & let tomorrow unfold.  If, on the other hand, it's not worth the risk, keep that in mind as you make your choices.  No one can predict the future, no, but you can minimize the chance for regrets.  


As far as how you know if you're getting appropriate training... my only advice would be to do your homework.  Try to choose wisely.  And then keep your eyes & ears open.  Continue to educate yourself.  And never assume that others will always have your/your child's best interests at heart.  And that doesn't mean I think people should be paranoid, just smart. It's your money & your child's dance education.  Always make sure you're getting what "you" want, the way "you" want it.  And if you aren't/can't... don't be afraid to look elsewhere.  You are the customer.  Do you yourself a favor & never forget that.
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Jacaranda

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Reply with quote  #5 
Overuse Injuries - kids will complain of pain on and off. Some days it may be worse than others. They will be less inclined to practice everywhere they go.

Burn out - Less inclined to practice everywhere they go, asks for the day off dance, not their usual self ready half an hour before they have to leave and jumping out of their skin to get to dance.

Overuse injuries can be reduced by ensuring they are developing good strength and flexibility,meet small injuries looked at before they become big injuries, all skills and steps should be trained on both sides of the body,mood nutrition, proper sleep schedule, qualified and experienced dance teachers, lots of water.

Burn out in dance is often caused by other issues. Looking after themselves plays a big role. Good nutrition, a limb excessive junk food, good sleep schedule, water should be the main drink. Also making sure there is balance and time for social life, family time, rest and relaxation.
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jazzminesun81

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Reply with quote  #6 
I totally agree with heidi459 though I'm a relatively new dance mom. One of the girls in DD7's group already has an overuse injury and has to wear a boot for 6 weeks. She does 6.5 hrs of dance and 1 hr of tennis. DD does around double that (due to taking extra styles of dance), and their friend does around 20 hours a week combined since she also does competitive gymnastics. DD and her friend are showing no signs of overuse or burnout. The only pain DD and her friend have is from callouses (dd from the silks/hammock/lyra and her friend from the bar).

Will they burn out early? Maybe. But for now, they're healthy, getting good grades, having a good time, and still want more. Maybe the key is to keep them wanting more? DD really wants to take salsa and break dancing too, and her friend wants to take aerial but neither I nor her friend's mom can work the extra classes they want into the schedule or budget.

Will they get injured? Maybe. But they can just as easily get injured on the playground at their age. In fact, most of the (rare) injuries around our studio are not dance related.

I will say, though, that the extra classes DD and her friend are taking spend a LOT of time stretching and building strength, so maybe that's helping with minimizing the risk of injury.

Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi459
Unfortunately, burn out is not necessarily something you can predict w/any degree of certainty.  There are choices that can, of course, increase the likelihood.  But then there are always going to be those who've made the same choices but didn't get burned out. 

Honestly, I think you just have to decide what is & isn't okay.  For yourself.  For your child.   No one can predict the future, no, but you absolutely can minimize the chance for regrets.


As far as how you know if you're getting appropriate training... my only advice would be to keep your eyes & ears open at all times.  Educate yourself.  And never assume that others will always have your/your child's best interests at heart.  And that doesn't mean I think people should be paranoid, just smart. It's your money & your child's dance education.  Always make sure you're getting what "you" want, the way "you" want it.  And if you aren't/can't... don't be afraid to look elsewhere.  You are the customer.  Do you yourself a favor & never forget that.
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notime

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Reply with quote  #7 
Although the tendency is to train year round for sports now it's not really healthy unless you're cross training. I think that in order to avoid injury it important to strength and cross train, not just focus on flexibility (as is the current trend).

When it comes to burn out, I try to make sure that dance is never more important to me than it is to her. Tough to do sometimes when you're spending so much money on it, but it helps to remind yourself that it is her dream, not yours, when you feel yourself getting sucked in.
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