Off-stage Dance Breaks



Image Credit: "highland dance teacher" by k4dordy is licensed with CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, click here

An on-stage dance break is one that is usually met with energy, complex dance sequences and tricks when a song breaks into its melody. However, a break from dance, or dance teaching - off-stage and usually unintentional - can have negative connotations for the dancer or teacher, and can be for many reasons. Can you imagine ever not dancing? This might be incomprehensible to some, but for many, a break from their passion may be because of injury, burnout or high competition.

The most common reason for stopping dancing for any period of time is injury, perhaps due to an accident, pushing the body too far, or even wearing ill-fitting dance shoes. The recovery can often be a long process requiring patience and consistency. You may be prescribed physiotherapy to rehabilitate the body and the injured part back into its usual working (and dancing mode), and allowing the body to rest appropriately is also imperative. It is important to listen to your body and take it slowly. If you haven’t been able to be particularly active during the break from dance, start with simple activities like brisk walking, swimming or gentle yoga classes to improve core strength, flexibility and overall conditioning.


Another common reason for a career break is the fact there are simply not enough jobs to go around all the dancers: the competition is so high between the huge numbers. A dancer may decide that they would like to pursue a different career altogether, and move away from the performing life. Some dancers find that a clean break from dancing means they do not miss the profession at all, as they can turn their creative abilities to something entirely different.

Despite this, some ex-dancers and teachers may find they do miss dance; it is of course possible to re-enter the dance industry, whether that is through beginning to take class again, taking up some new teaching work, or simply beginning to dance for pleasure again, as your body never forgets.