With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, dance companies and studios are closed for classes and rehearsals. Even without an audience to perform for, it is important that dancers maintain appropriate mental and physical activities while at home.
As a performing arts physical therapist, I wanted to check in with some of Chicago’s professional dancers with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago – Adrienne Lipson, Kevin J. Shannon, and Craig D. Black Jr.. Read below to learn how their worlds are adapting and growing during this time when the theaters are dark and how they are keeping a positive attitude through it all.
A lot of athleticism is required to be a professional dancer. In every genre of dance, the goal is to maintain movement with grace and composure while on stage, never breaking performance. But the audience does not see the pain, grit and rehab behind the scenes, especially when a dancer sustains an injury.
As an Athletico physical therapist, I have been supporting The Joffrey Ballet for more than five years. I usually work with the dancers while they are rehearsing and performing in Chicago, where my job is to triage, evaluate and treat issues that may arise from their rigorous rehearsal and performance schedule. Recently, my career with The Joffrey Ballet took me beyond Chicago, when I traveled with the company to three different cities across the country. We started in snowy, cold Minneapolis for two performances of a full length ballet called Anna Karenina, then off to Santa Barbara for two mixed repertory shows, and finished with one final performance in San Diego.