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Readers Respond: Worst Dance Injuries

Responses: 154


Knee and Ankle Problems

One time I was doing a tilt and as I was bring my leg up the kneecap on my standing leg (left) dislocated and i fell to the floor. Its happened before and I was able to hop to the back of the room before crying - and it happened 9 days before compeititon. Its an injury that doesnt fully heal quickly, and keeps reocurring, but I was able to dance at that competition. That was last year, but this year, just 2 days before my competition, I sprained my ankle coming down from a sote jump and I could barely walk three steps without it giving out. I iced it a ton and was able to dance. Needless to say Im very accident prone
—Guest Sara

I can't walk

So I spend all of my time dancing its my passion and I warmed up and danced from 9:30 am to about 4:00 pm then I was still dancing and my knee pushed to far back I still had to go to my three hour dance class and after eating lunch I went ad danced till about four because I couldn't feel my knee hurting I forgot about the incident and went to dance at 4:30 pm I then pushed in my knee two more times before 6 pm I could tell it hurt but I pushed it aside as I normally did and dance for and danced for an hour and a half more then I got home and went to bed I woke up like an hour ago ad I can barely stand up without falling down in pain
—Guest Clueless

Injury to the already bad knees

All of my years had been spent with gymnastics. When i started dance at 13, i fell in love with it but my knees would say other wise. now i am 18 and i noticed the slight pain in both of my knees and my doctor said it was probably arthritis. One day, about 2 months before competition, i was doing an a la seconde turn that was part of our routine and when i went into an illusion my left knee popped out. My coach called the ambulance and the doctor had said that i had torn my acl. I was taken out of the dance and my team competed and won 3rd place. it was hard to sit out and watch one of the alternates do my part
—Guest dancerme1000

Torn hamstring

I was being a show-off at church about a year and a half ago and decided to show everyone my splits. As I went down into them I heard a sickening pop and felt a searing pain down my thigh. Needless to say,I had a torn hamstring and an 8 month recovery!
—Guest katie

Tendons, tissue and sprains...

I have weak ankles and one day I woke up with an awful pain in my ankle that got worse and worse. i didn't tell anyone or stop dancing. Finally after a couple of weeks I told my mom and she took me to the doctor. They couldn't figure out what was wrong. 1 x-ray and a scan later... the doctor said I had tissue damage and severe inflamation in my ankle. If I didn't stop dancing and the pain kept getting worse He'd put me in a boot. Well, the pain got worse. Much worse. But I didn't tell the doctor. By April, I couldn't even go on releve anymore, point my foot, leap, jump, or stand in fifth position. So my mom dragged me back to the doctor (thank gosh) and he said no dance. Sitting out was worse than the pain to me so I started going to physical therapy but it didn't help at all. Finally, I went to a pilates instructor/ certifited DPT and she told me exactly what was wrong. I had a messed up tendon, inflamation, a sprain and tendonitis. After one month with her the pain is gone!
—Guest bunhead

Professional dancing days over

Like so many of you, I started dance young. I was on dance/pom teams from 6th grade thru high school. Danced competitively during that time also. Danced with a pro sport cheerleading team and majored in dance in college. First professional theatre production at age 14 and I dislocated my knee. Healed well and finished schooling and college with over 20 hours of dancing ( practice and performances weekly) Professional dancer after college and even performed the musical "Cats" - 10 shows a week for 4 months. No knee problems. TRhis spring, stepped wrong off a curb and fell......just told today by a surgeon that I have to give up dance. I am 26 and there isnt a surgery to help and I am too young for a knee replacement.
—Guest Broadway baby

Dislocated knee

Three days ago I went to ballet like I normally would. The class hadn't started yet so I was warming up. When I did a plie and stretched my knee it dislocated. It was so painful and my ballet teacher called an ambulance and they took me to the hospital. It was like a nightmare and the doctor told me it would take like a half year to heal and that was so frustrated. I go to a special dance school in my country and now I can't go there anymore and it hurts me so much. Today I'm going to a specialist and they're gonna tell me how long it will take. Wish me luck because I'm really gonna need that.
—Guest Lisa


I have been a dancer for almost 5 years now and every competition season I seem to get the same injuries. I have had severe patellofemoral tracking syndrome in my right knee now since 2008. I also roll over my toes and ssprain my foot at least once every competition season. It also happens a lot in summer practices.
—Guest dancer4497

Weak ankles

I only have been dancing for about 2 years but I'm 15. My ankles are so weak and it hurts so bad everytime I dance but I don't want to stop because it is so much fun. I have tried so many different exercises to strengthen them but they just hurt worst. What should I do.
—Guest Guest sammy

Meniscus Tear

This is my senior year in high school and I have danced on my school's dance team for the last four years. I have always had knee problems: patella-femoral syndrome, knee subluxation, and a variety of other aches and pains that go along with dancing. Over the course of this year my knees became increasingly worse and became so painful that I couldn't even walk. I went to get an MRI and found out that I tore my lateral meniscus. I had to have arthroscopic surgery to repair the tear-which ended up being 4 separate tears. I am still recovering and haven't danced for almost 20 weeks. It's the hardest thing I've ever had to do: especially since dance is usually my escape from my problems. I miss it so much!
—Guest High School Dancer

Knees hip

I've been dancing for 13 years I'm 15 and i have hurt my knees really badly... My doctor has said if i don't slow down or don't do my PT exercises i may not me able to walk in 2-3 years they also said i will have this injury for the rest of my life. What is wrong with them is that my knees never sit correctly into their sockets and there isn't a lot of cartilage in them ... Also this past week i hurt my hip i was doing a tilt and i felt a snap in hip and i felt a snap and i hurt my hip and it gives out on me now i think I'm going to the doctors soon i hope its not serious... Wish me luck :)
—Guest Emma


I was tumbling in the dance studio and I didn't notice the chairs on the other side of the room. I landed on top of them with my head in between to of them and knocked myself unconscious and haven't tumble since.
—Guest Dancer

Worst so far

I have been dancing for 7 years on and off and I have always had weak ankles. So I was practicing a leap and my dog tripped me and so I had to use crutches for 3 weeks and a boot for 5. I have now been released to dance but I have to wait till the summer season and I have been out a season and a half, so have to wrap it or brace it when I dance now.
—Guest Jade

Type 3 sprain

I was dancing when I went over my ankle and I tore my ligaments off my bone. The doctors put me in a boot and said it would be fine in 6-8 weeks on the 7th I was taken out of the boot and put into rehab and when the doctor cleared me I went back to dance. It's a nightmare every time I dance it keeps swelling up. It's been three months and two weeks since it happened and I've been out of this dance season the whole time. I'm going for an MRI tomorrow and they said if that doesn't go we'll. ill need surgery.
—Guest Chloe

Broken (close) To Beyond Repair

About a year ago, I started to feel some pain in my hip. I saw many doctors and therapists but nothing seemed to help. My hip continued to pop, crack and cause pain. About a month ago, I saw yet another doctor and he told me since the hip is baried in bone, it's hard to injure. He said after my hip was under such an amount of pain he began to shut itself down, causing it to not strengthen itself which then lead to my hip popping out of place. He also said he doesn't know how my hip has been walking for me, let alone dancing. I was pulled out of dance for a little over a month (worst month ever.) and if any of you know it's recital coreography time. Today was my first day back to dance and not even really behind in all my dances, but words can not explain how much flexibility I've lost. My tip to everyone, if you feel pain, stop! I was told that if I would have taken a break when I first started to feel pain, I would have never had to take an entire 6 weeks off from dance.
—Guest Maddie

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