This blog focuses on a side of ballet that most people never see. Houston Ballet has a great team of athletic trainers, doctors, nutritionists, and massage therapists who take care of our dancers day in and day out, even when we’re on tour. Mike Howard, our resident athletic trainer, wrote up some notes about our Nutcracker run in 2008, and why he thinks it was the most injury-free yet.
During a conversation with our internist M.D., he told me he only saw two of our dancers during The Nutcracker this past year. He said it was the fewest he had seen in the last several years. We attributed this lack of illness to two reasons. The Ballet has a nutritionist who advises the dancers on eating well for energy, but also for their internal health (i.e. antioxidants and proper supplements, mostly through their diet). The other thing we thought really helped was the use of hand sanitizers provided to us through the Methodist Hospital.
We also experienced less injuries during The Nutcracker. I think there was less fatigue during the last 25% of the performances. Again, nutrition plays a big role in this. We also have a great group of corps de ballet dancers who perform some of the lead roles so the demi soloists and higher ranking dancers can rotate and don’t become so fatigued.
Several of my athletic trainer peers are jealous of my job…I don’t blame them!
This just goes to show that hand sanitizer and a balanced diet can go a long way in keeping you healthy. Something to keep in mind during flu season!