Level 3 Understanding and Managing

Foot Injuries in Dancers

For Dance Teachers and Health Professionals

We are currently in the process of reworking this Intensive to be available as an Online Virtual Workshop.

For the latest dates and information on upcoming courses CLICK HERE or check out the individual listings at the bottom of this page.

Dancers work their feet harder than almost any other athlete. They work for long hours in rehearsal, often in either bare feet, soft slippers, or compressed into pointé shoes. It’s no wonder that many dancers experience lots of foot and ankle injuries if they don’t take care of their feet. However, many of the foot and ankle injuries that we see in the clinic could have been prevented with thorough foot screening and specific retraining programs, as they all stem from rather simple causes.

Many foot and ankle injuries stem from hidden foot restrictions or minor technical faults that have been repeated over and over again. Understanding the anatomy and the how and why of injuries such as Plantar Fascia Pain, Achilles Tendinopathy, Stress Fractures and Bunions will give teachers the tools they need to help avoid these often preventable injuries.

What we will cover:

  • The anatomy - What is actually wrong?
  • The main causes - and how it can be prevented
  • How to assess the dancer's foot
  • The rehab process
  • What to expect from physical therapy
  • Taping techniques
  • Hands on massage techniques
  • How to manage this injury in the classroom
  • How to safely return to dancing
  • Prevention programs for the future

This course is ideal for anyone who works with dancers

This course is not solely designed for dance teachers and is a great addition for physiotherapists, personal trainers and other health care professionals who want to work more closely with dancers. Especially in the pre-adolescent/adolescent student, it’s imperative to support the vulnerable structures in the foot and ankle. Since many changes are happening in the body during this time, attention needs to be given to certain strengthening exercises that will benefit the dancer throughout the length of their career. Some dancers, eager to get quick results, resort to using foot stretchers and other dangerous items in an attempt to get the feet they have always wanted. Not only do the foot stretchers fail to improve, strengthen and control the ankle they are also cause massive damage to the soft tissue structures in the foot. This often leads to injury and a reduced capacity to dance, rather than an improvement.

You will leave armed with many tools and techniques to help dancers suffering with all types of foot injuries, specifically:

  • Plantar Fascia Pain
  • Posterior Impingement
  • Os Trigonum
  • Tibialis Posterior Tendinopathy
  • Achilles Tendinopathy
  • Sever's Disease
  • Stress Fractures
  • Bunions
  • “Shin Splits”

Overview of the content covered:

Day One

Day One focusses on understanding  how a normal foot works. As Leonardo da Vinci said “The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art.”  When working properly, it allows us to run, jump and dance in the most extraordinary ways. The many bones, joints, ligaments, fascia and muscles of the foot are organised in a way that allows shock absorption, dynamic propulsion and balance in all kinds of positions.  

We dive into the functional anatomy of the foot as it pertains to the dancer. This includes learning about the ones, ligaments, tendons, muscles and fascial lines that lead into the foot. We explore the various anatomical variations that you may see in a regular class of dancers, and how to tailor the class and their conditioning exercises for optimal performance. 

We look at optimal positioning of the feet in standing, as well as how the foot should operate during normal walking as well as when moving into a plié or on rise. Participants learn how to carefully assess the dancers foot in many ways, including assessment of the joints in the mid and rear foot, that often are the culprit for long standing foot and ankle injuries. 

Day Two:

Day Two is entirely focussed on understanding and managing the common foot injuries that pop up in a dance class. We look at the common reasons why these conditions occur, as well as taping and treatment strategies to quickly remove the symptoms.

We will discuss the optimal management of a dancer when engaged with physical therapy and look at resources to help create clear and open communication between therapists and the dance teacher. Collaboration between both sides of the dancers training are vital in optimal resolution of any injury.

We look at examples of rehab programs for dancers, ranging from complete non-weight-bearing to full participation in class, along with all of the resources to help dancers track their own journey.

Finally, we look at strategies to prevent these injuries in all dancers, by implementing screening tests and progressively graded programs during the dancers regular training.

The following videos give a review of some of the relevant information from the Level 1 Teacher Training course, to review before attending the Foot Injuries in Dancers workshop.

Why Not to Use a Foot Stretcher

Returning to Jumps Following Injury

Anatomy of the Pointed Foot

Why to Avoid Pointing into a Theraband

Why Not To Walk in Turnout

Why to Avoid Walking on the Toes

Completing the 3 Day Level One Teacher Training is recommended prior to attending any of the more detailed intensive Teacher Training courses. If you have yet to attend the Level One course you may sign up to our Level One Online Teacher Training Portal prior to the workshop going ahead. For further information about this, please contact us on 


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