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Dancing with the Stars boost interest in dance and injuries too

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Dancing: it’s fun to watch, and even more fun to do.

It’s also the seventh most popular recreational activity in New Zealand. And it’s no wonder, given its positive benefits for physical, mental and social wellbeing.

With a new season of Dancing with the Stars New Zealand comes a renewed enthusiasm amongst old and new dancers alike.

Dancing can be exhilarating, but ACC data shows that people can miss a step and end up worse for wear. But this shouldn’t distract anyone from shaking their groove!

In the year to July 2018, there were 9,019 new claims lodged for dance-related injuries. The active costs of these claims were $7.5m.

Ballet had the most injury claims - 427 claims in the year to July 2018.

The most common injuries sustained were with the ankle, knee, and foot.

Hip-hop injuries meanwhile resulted in 141 claims for the same period.

Dancers of this style most often submitted claims for back/spine, knee, and ankle injuries.

Ballroom dancing had 42 injury claims lodged, and were for back/spine, knee, and neck/back of head injuries.

Thankfully, only handful of injuries (4 or less) over the last five years resulting from ‘twerking’, a popularised form of hip-hop dancing.

Most injuries happened at sports or recreation centres (4,699 in the year to July 2018), at home (1,771), while a handful of injuries (less than five) happened on the farm.

Most dance-related injury claims were for sprains or strains.

Dance Aotearoa New Zealand (DANZ) says there is proven interest in dancing generated from television series Dancing with the Stars.

"We see a combination of people who have danced previously, but have hung up their dancing shoes, to people who have never danced before and are inspired to give it a go," says DANZ.

"More people want to learn dance, particularly in couple dancing, Ballroom, Salsa, Tango, and Modern Jive, which are the genres featured in the show."

If you’re doing any kind of recreational dance, DANZ’s advice is to prepare well.

"In the case of recreational dancers, given that most of their dance activity will happen in the evening, after a hard day at work, the risk of injury is increased with cold and stiff muscles. Too often people begin their dance session with no preparation.

"Another common problem is when people begin their dance session with severe stretching, without first warming up the body. This increases the risk of injury and is not good practice.

"But the positive benefit of strengthening, fitness, core body strength and better balance which comes from dance, far outweighs the injuries."

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