I was reminded last week how vital it is that dancers have their own team of health professionals to eMpower performance and support the entire dancer from a 360-degree perspective. I will preface this by noting that I am fortunate to have really good health insurance that covers quite a bit of my healthcare expenses. If you have health insurance - be sure to utilize what you can to offset cost as much as possible. If you don’t have health insurance, I am confident that you can find a practitioner willing to work with you at a flexible rate. I’m one of those practitioners and I know a lot of clinicians with different backgrounds are making their way out of the health insurance model of care because it can be incredibly limiting to their practice.
The whole conundrum of it? Realizing that if a dancer has access to a well-rounded team of practitioners working with them, their risk for injury is lessened and eventually results in fewer visits and, ultimately, a lesser expense in the long run. It’s the getting to that point that can be challenging ESPECIALLY for freelance artists, those without with limited health insurance coverage.
I know that was the spiral I was caught in during my injury that happened early in my professional dance career. I wasn’t able to get to a doctor or have x-rays or whatever for an exact diagnosis so I opted to dive right into physical therapy. I was hopeful that going this route would get me back on stage, ready + stronger than ever to continue performing.
Now this is where the fate of timing hit once more - my physical therapist was in the process of leaving the clinic she was working at and stepping out on her own, beginning her own private practice with a specialization in treating dancers. She offered ‘Dancer Saturdays’ where she borrowed clinic space and treated dancers for a few hours on Saturday morning - and when I say morning, I mean that some of my appointments were at 8am! Her rate fit into my budget. (Maybe it meant that I had to bring my own coffee/pack my own lunch and couldn’t swing by the area Starbucks for an afternoon cup of joe, but I made it work.)
I encourage you to reach out, ask a practitioner to see if they offer flexible rates, and if you’d like someone to ask on your behalf, I’m happy to be that person for you! Your team works alongside you, within their specialty, to help you achieve your goals - whatever they may be, injury recovery, longevity, stamina, nutritional balance, maintenance care, etc. And if you need some guidance to get started, check out my newly published eMpower your team webpage of resources for practitioners who specialize in working with dancers. This is very much a live webpage, and I welcome any additions you have that I can add!
A final fate of awesome timing for this week, I happened upon this cool graphic and decided to adjust it for dancers! Enjoy and happy dancing!