Burnout is a complex condition that can vary from person to person. Generally it results in fatigue, muscle weakness and frequent injuries.
Dancing is extremely hard work and can put a lot of stress on the body. It is essential that dancers look after their bodies and allow enough rest between training to give their bodies time to recover fully. Though focus, hard work and dedication are essential for a dancer, rest and recovery are just as vital.
Burnout does not just effect professionals; it can effect all ages and all abilities. Dancers who set very high standards and goals for themselves are particularly at risk and should make sure they listen to their bodies.
The “Safe Dance Report IV” by Amy Jo Vassallo found that fatigue was the leading cause of 48% of injury in professional dancers in 2017. It also found that there was one accidental injury to every two overuse or gradual injuries. We find it very tempting to try and jump back into class as soon as possible after an injury but it is so important to allow that injury to fully recover lest it become a persistent and reoccurring injury that will continue to affect your dancing career.
Adolescents are especially vulnerable to injury as growth spurts decrease muscle strength and flexibility. The musculoskeletal system is also less resistant to repetitive loads during development.
So rest, recover and dance smart!