How to avoid getting injured dancing

Discussion in 'Just Dance' started by David, Jan 1, 2016.

  1. David

    David Administrator Staff Member

    I've been pretty lucky about not getting injured dancing. Being a ballroom dancer first, I tend to take up space (maybe too much). I also try to dance at the corner of the room, or at least on the side. I did martial arts before dance, so I think I have a good sense of flying limbs before they hit me. Would be curious about your strategy to stay safe.
  2. Erez Hazan

    Erez Hazan Changui

    To dance very close and not to go away from each other.. but if it's too croude then I have no way to avoid it
  3. locoycontento

    locoycontento Changui

    Move away from the crazies. Go into every dance with a new person with the assumption that this person will hurt you and stay alert until sure they are safe. Say 'no' to the crazies. Say 'no' to anyone that's hurt me in the past. Say no to people that are very off-time as dramatically increases chances of injury. Say no to crazy pattern monkeys that want to complete moves at any cost. Say 'you're hurting me' to anyone that's hurting me during the dance. If necessary stop dancing, or pull away and dance solo. Move away from the crazies. If someone is getting very tense & rushed, go mega relaxed and do deep, slow breathing to spread a sense of calm (tip from Magna btw). Trust no-one, keep eyes peeled at all times to reduce chances of crashing, and learn how to pull-up or shorten steps to avoid crashing. Stay far far far away from off balance followers wearing very lethal looking heels. Move away from the crazies.
  4. Peason

    Peason Son

    Or become the craziest :D
  5. Smejmoon

    Smejmoon El Sabroso de Conguero

    This, if you want to dance big. Become the craziest and scare everyone with your moves. Don't position in places where people want to walk. Position to the back of the room or sides. Go dance on the carpet, stage or other surface where others think they can't dance for some imaginary reason. Hire guys with cameras that walk around you, film you and clear the space.
  6. MrNiceGuy

    MrNiceGuy Son

    A couple roundhouse kicks and jumping back spin kicks should do the trick. Just pretend they are all part of the dance.
    No, really, when I see the dancefloor is to crowded, I won't squeeze my self in.
    Seems a little stupid to enter the floor as well, though there is no space. What am I to do then? Basic step and cross body lead?

    I had really cool dances in Amsterdam. We boys gently tapped each others backs to drop each other a signal when we came to close.
    Some german dancenazi seem to have the same idea the other day. Though he must have been a little confused by the meaning of a gentil tap for a signal. So I was tempted to tap him back. With my boot.

    Cameraboy as deflector! That's brilliant! Cheers mate. :D
  7. khabibul35

    khabibul35 Tumbao

    Hmm, I would think leads and follows would need pretty different strategies and even the universal traits need to be applied a bit differently. Casino vs line might also make a big difference.

    When I lead:
    • Watch out for out of control arm movement that might lead to an eye gouge or elbow to the face.
    • Don't ask girls with heels to dance when it's crowded.
    • Be aware of my partner's weight placement.

    When I follow:
    • Don't dance with guys that try to dance above their level or show off. If you're already into a dance where this is happening, purposely slow down the tempo of the dance by taking your time with turns and/or say something like: "I'm getting tired, let's slow down".
    • Be keen on setting the pace of the dance to match what you think is appropriate for skill level of the lead. The lead isn't a dictator, but a facilitator of moves. Never let him have 100% control unless you feel like it and if you sufficiently trust him with that control. The more of a newbie he is, the more you should take control of the dance. (This also helps them learn what's appropriate.)

    • Always keep your center of gravity above your feet so that if you trip/get tripped, you can easily recover and don't go flying forward.
    • Keep an eye out for ladies around you who have heels on, doubly so if they are taking big steps and not keeping their weight under their center of gravity.
    • Keep your eye out for crazy dancers around you.
    • Throw out all assumptions of where you expect someone to be when they demonstrate they can't keep time.
    • Don't let anyone grab a hold of your hands in a way that you can't get out of a move. No thumb to index/middle finger hold!
    • Be willing to abort moves when things get uncomfortable.
    • Watch out for excessive "tension" from your that will prevent you from executing quick movements. Aka, abort such moves when a follow shows tension problems.
    • Be careful when dancing with a newbie or someone who dances a different style than you. Everything could be going amazing and as the song ramps up and you up the level, you finally miscommunicate and crash hard because you've been lulled into a calm state.
    • Be aware of how close your partner is dancing. Some people dance closer/further than what you're used to.
    • Be aware of your surroundings.
    That's a lot, but I honestly don't do many of these on a regular basis because they're not warranted in majority of situations. I've never been seriously injured while dancing. The worst I've gotten is a couple of eye pokes and an elbow to the forehead. None of these were big enough to stop the dance.

    On the flip side, when I was about 8-10 months into dancing, I developed a pattern of elbowing girls in the face. I managed to elbow one particular follow from my school on 3 occasions. The reason I figured out is that she danced super close: about 3-5 inches away. One of those elbows was on a ronde turn that ended quite badly. The other girls that I elbowed were line dancers with whom I miscommunicated. It would be "their fault" in the sense that they didn't follow casino technique but it was my fault for making assumptions that I shouldn't have. Since then, I've been elbow to face free for about 4 years.

    In general, I haven't had/caused any injuries except these. Luckily, nothing big. What kind of injuries do people get from salsa dancing and how did/do these happen?
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2016
    Slowdance, mlemonl and MrNiceGuy like this.
  8. mlemonl

    mlemonl Son Montuno

    Great tips all around! Honestly, the biggest one I would like for leads and followers to really register is if the dance space is crowded and all you can do are CBL and outside turns... then please just do that. The dance floor is a shared space and if you don't have room to make these fancy slot patterns and free spins... why do some leads still do it anyway?? As a follower, I have to be 5x more vigilant during my turns to make sure I don't run into pillars or other couples and this slows down my turns, I have to repeatedly abort the spins and the patterns. So why lead it in the first place?

    That said... if you combine an inexperienced follower + one of those leads, it's really hard for the follower to protect him/herself because they are simply at the mercy of the leads.
  9. MrNiceGuy

    MrNiceGuy Son

    Would you recomend casino instead of linear slot dancing when its packed?
  10. khabibul35

    khabibul35 Tumbao

    I only dance casino!
    Slowdance likes this.
  11. calichris10

    calichris10 Sabor Ambassador

    If dancers close to me are not respecting their and my dance space I will shoot them a look that says I notice them. Sometimes it works, if not I will either move or make my dancing a bit bigger to make a point. I have had the wind knocked out of me by a crazy arm styler...I lost the big nail on my foot after being stepped on, TWICE! By the same chick!! I was furious!!! Thought she broke my toe. Couldnt dance for 2 weeks. If a place is packed there are simply moves that you cant do. it is really good to practice dancing contained. Good dancers can dance on a "12" square napkin size space"!! It's actually really fun to practice how small you can dance! Chck out this video.
    kbitten and Chris_Yannick like this.
  12. khabibul35

    khabibul35 Tumbao

    @calichris10, in a typical casino club, that would be considered a lot of space. I'm pretty happy if I get a half of that. I can dance competently at about a third of that space even though I'd lose the majority of my repertoire. I've danced in places where I get only a fourth.
  13. calichris10

    calichris10 Sabor Ambassador

    Yeah, I wasn't talking about casino. I dance casino but not that often. The majority of dancers in my area are linear dancers. And many have a problem with control and respect for dance space. They try to do the same moves even when space is limited.
  14. MrNiceGuy

    MrNiceGuy Son

    Hu? Linear has probs with tight spaces?
    I choose linear over casino because I can dance linear on the space of the backside of a penny.
    I have full controll on where to shift my lady for her arm styling.
    I can foresee a gap in which I can dance into.
    I have used a CBL to protected my lady from getting bumped into.
    I always throw a quick look over my shoulder to check if I have enough space for my next move.

    When my lady bumps into some other lady, its usually one who is dancing casino. When my lady steps into an other lady, it happens because she is beyond my controll. Can happen with an open dance position and she does large steps. When things go south, I see the other guy waaay over there with his back to us and his lady back 2 back with mine.
    I my self dance on the ball of my foot. When ever I step back into somones lady she'll be shocked, but it never hurts her. The same goes for my lady. She dances on the balls of her feet, too. Yes she'll still hurt a little, after all she wears high heels. But it never ends up in anything serious.

    As for casino, It probably is the lack of experience, but when I dance casino, I feel like I've lost controll. Which I really do enjoy, when I have the space given.
  15. calichris10

    calichris10 Sabor Ambassador

    Sure does. Many dancers have no concept of respecting dance space.
  16. Slowdance

    Slowdance Descarga

    Ive only been involved with a few injuries.

    One lady cracked me in the face during a crossbody. It made me feel pretty awkward.

    One lady was a newbie who, when I turned her, spun quickly while grabbing my pinky and ring finger as tightly as possible. I could barely use my right hand after that for dancing for a couple weeks.

    One lady yanked down firmly on my right arm in a situation where her heel or shoe gave way. No big deal, except I had an old cycling injury from 12-13 years prior, and this reinjured it. And the original was a painful one that required an injection of some kind at the time. My doctor had warned me back then that it could one day become a problem again. And it happened while dancing. But it could have happened while carrying groceries. Sadly, I have been living with this for a few months now and I will probably have to live with it indefinitely. I cant lift more than 20-30 lbs with my right arm now, and sometimes if I am at the wrong angle, picking up a gallon of water can be uncomfortable.

    Finally, once I whacked my cousin in the face while we were dancing east coast swing in a packed dive bar. Oops. Not even sure how it happened. She forgave me and I have never done it again. :)
    Chris_Yannick likes this.
  17. calichris10

    calichris10 Sabor Ambassador

    Similar thing happened to me. Someone bumped into me really hard almost knocking me over..instead of falling I held onto my lead..But he had a previous injury...he was rude about me holding on to him. I felt bad that I hurt him but he was so rude I walked off and never danced with or spoke to him again.
  18. calichris10

    calichris10 Sabor Ambassador

    When someone is standing in your dance space!!! :20sec-26sec !!!!! HAHA! Worked!!!
    Groove On, elanimal, kbitten and 3 others like this.
  19. Slowdance

    Slowdance Descarga

    Sorry that happened. I grinned and bore it and never told her; because I knew it was a fluke.
  20. calichris10

    calichris10 Sabor Ambassador

    That was the gentlemen thing to do :)

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