It's Nutcracker Season!
There's so much to love about the Nutcracker! The costumes, the choreography, the glamour, it's all so magical!
The Nutcracker Ballet is the biggest event of the year for a Ballet company. This year is a bigger challenge for Ballet Idaho, with a shorter rehearsal time between Thanksgiving and the big weekend. There are five performances this weekend, December 15-17. Combine all those performances with the weeks of practice, a dress rehearsal Thursday night, and you can imagine the dancers can get more than their fair share of aches and pains.
So what do they do?
Ballet Idaho has a team of dedicated healthcare professionals to take care of their dancers. It includes Therapeutic Associates Physical Therapy, Focus Physical Therapy, Mofid Clinic of Chiropractic, Peine Osteopathic Medicine, and Intermountain Medical Imaging.
Since the start of the season, Ballet Idaho has been receiving weekly treatment from Therapeutic Associates Physical Therapy - Southeast Boise. Treatment includes the full spectrum of Physical Therapy, but the main treatment used is Fascial Distortion Model manual therapy. Why FDM? Because it's fast and effective.
With a company of dancers this big, there isn't time to address every problem. With limited time and resources, we need to give the best treatment we can in the shortest amount of time. FDM fits the bill perfectly.
And when you're not a ballet dancer yourself, FDM helps to bridge the gap between the performance artist and their treating therapist. You just ask, "When do you feel it?" Then expect to hear the dancer say, "It hurts when I jump like this:"
Or, "I hurt it when I fell when the mouse punched me."
When working with Ballet Idaho before a performance of the Nutcracker in 2016, I treated 10 dancers in an hour. Afterwards I thought about assessing and treating injuries and averaging less than 6 minutes per session with 100% of them reporting improvement. That just didn't seem possible without a super-fast model of assessment and treatment. I couldn't imagine how I would have figured out how to help all 10 dancers that fast with my traditional PT training. FDM makes it so simple - show me where you feel your symptoms, show me how you can reproduce the symptoms, and then we do fast treatment. Reassess and continue treatment as needed.
(Of course, we do need to be aware that some of the time it's more than just a sprain or strain. In this line of work there's a high risk of stress fractures, especially in the feet.)
If you haven't seen the marvel of the Nutcracker Ballet, I highly encourage it. Having the privilege of working with the dancers, I can attest to the hard work, strength, agility, and grace of these amazing athletes. Top that off with live music from a Philharmonic orchestra, and all the children joining the performance, and you'll have a wonderful time!
(Photo credits to Mike Reid, another amazing artist. If you love these pictures, check out his website: https://alloutdoor.smugmug.com/ )