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Do you dance? Here’s why you have to watch your step

Credit: Kidsday staff artist / Micaela Cuccia, Garden City

Dance is sometimes fun, but it can be dangerous, too. Have you ever broken or sprained a toe, wrist, or any part of your body? Dancers do it all the time. I’m not telling you not to do dance or to stay inside all day, just to be careful.

Did you know that if you do not warm up, you are more likely to get hurt? Many dancers who do not stretch before they dance can get hurt more easily. They might pull a muscle or tear a muscle — or even worse, break something.

For instance, pointe is one of the most painful and hardest things in dance. You need to know where the toe box is or you could hurt your foot, or if your ribbons are not tight, you will lose ankle support. But pointe is not the only risky type of dance there is. In hip-hop, contemporary and ballet, you can get hurt too. It can happen in any type of dance.

This is why I come prepared. I always have a couple of bandages in my bag, some water, some food (Goldfish or a small snack) and phone numbers of close family members, just in case. Dance is fun, and you should try it, but remember to be prepared.

Mary Ralph’s fifth-grade class, South Oceanside Elementary School, School #4

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