This review provides a glimpse into the dancer’s psychological reaction to physical injury. Based on the current evidence, dancers’ reactions to injury involve initial negative affects that may become more positive as the injury heals. Dancers with chronic or overuse injuries are more likely to ignore the injury, sometimes to the point of more severe damage and psychological distress. There is evidence that the impact of injury may vary across different types of injury (acute, chronic, overuse, recurrent), individual differences
in personality, levels of knowledge and available information about injury and recovery, and styles of coping and social support. Dancers continue to dance with injury, pain and discomfort, perhaps to avoid the “disruption of self ” that emanates from injury, and perhaps because of the embedded subculture in dance that embraces injury, pain, and tolerance. Some implications of these findings for future research, teaching, and clinical practice are discussed.
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