Dancer-Specialized First Aid Kit

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All items can be found at your local drug store and on any dancewear site.

By Jadée Nikita

Dancer’s are a special type of athlete.  We leap, spin, stretch, and pivot in an elegant and effortless-looking manner, staying on pace with the rhythm, being aware of spatial patterns and other performers, all the while with a smile on our face.  A dancer’s life is not as glamorous as it seems, and with the daily physical demand we place on our bodies, injuries are inevitable.  We can’t always mask our injuries with our gracefulness.  Therefore when preventative maintenance fails, be prepared to treat that ailment with your handy, dancer-specialized first aid kit (which is, hopefully, always within arms reach).  Please consult a physician before performing any medical treatment on yourself and others.  

Icy-Hot Patches

Yes, the patches.  If you haven’t discovered them yet, I suggest you give ’em a try.  They apply much easier and effectively than the cream, and the smell doesn’t overpower an already musty dance space.

6-inch Wraps/Bandage/Braces

During dance rehearsals and class you want to avoid aggravating a troubling knee or ankle injury with a good wrap.  It may not look good under tights, but your body will thank you for it later.

Toe-Tape

Great for wrapping toes and applying to the bottoms of your feet, 1st aid tape is great for temporarily easing pain from blisters, calluses, and chaffing.

Kinesio Pre-Cut Tape

Out with the old and in with the new.  This gem of a bandage is designed to support the arch of your foot and alleviate associated pain.  They are customizable, water-proof, and can be worn for up to 3 days.  Not only for your feet, there are kinesio bandages available for all muscle areas such as your legs, arms and back.

Band-Aids

Just in case you get a minor cut.  For larger cuts seek immediate medical attention.

Scissors

I think a dancer should always have a pair of blunt tipped scissors.  They are great for cutting toe tape, ballet ribbons, loose strings on your outfit, and so much more!

Peroxide Wipes

Great for cleaning and disinfecting a minor cut or blister.  I always keep ’em with a side of Neosporin.

Ice Packs

Portable ice packs are perfect for dancers who have a demanding technical schedule.  In our world hamstring pulls, knee sprains, and ankle strains are as common the cold, and the safest way to treat it is with ice.  Ice produces a calming effect on our nerves and in turn helps to reduce swelling and pain.  As a reminder, never apply ice directly to the skin and don’t leave on the effected area any longer than 30 minutes.

Heating Pad

for those long days when you need to sooth an aching back.  Heat compression is best for muscle relaxation, soreness, and spasms.  As with ice application, place a towel or some other barrier between your skin and the heating pad, and apply no more than 30 minutes at a time.

Foam Roller

A must for dancers after a long performance or rehearsal.  Best used post-workout, the foam roller relieves tension in your myofacial tissues and prevents your muscles from tightening up on you when you wake up the next morning.  It’s like giving yourself a mini massage after you dance.  Who doesn’t like that?

References: How Stuff Works

Cover photo via Harkness Center for Dance Injuries
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