My Injury Story

I’ve been dancing since I was 2. Now I’m 14. After dancing for so many years, there’s been a lot of wear and tear on my body. All dancers have the occasional floor burn or pulled muscle, but I wanted to talk a little about my personal, more serious injuries. Disclaimer: I know there are many more serious injuries a dancer could have, but these are still not things that should be ignored and should be taken care of properly.

In February 2014, I started to feel pain in my right ankle whenever I was at dance or running in gym. I blew it off at first, thinking it was probably just a bruise in a sensitive location or a pulled muscle (how you pull a muscle in your ankle, I don’t know, but that’s what went through my head). It got worse and worse, so I started icing it and putting heat on. That didn’t help, so I went to my pediatrician and they told me to ice it and give it rest, not even looking closely. So I did what they said, limiting myself in gym and being careful at dance.

Jump forward a couple months. Nothing was working and the pain was getting worse. I was starting to get seriously concerned, because usually a pulled muscle or even a minor sprain wouldn’t last this long. I went back to the doctor and they sent me over to the Emergency Room next door (sounds drastic, but it was just to get an X-Ray because they didn’t have the equipment where I was) and I got an X-Ray done. They said there was nothing wrong, I was probably just overworking myself. They gave me an ace bandage and told be to be careful. I would wrap my foot at dance and whenever I ran, which helped for a little.

It’s now 2015, almost a year from when my ankle first started bothering me. The wrap helped at first, but then it went back to what it had been like before. It got worse again, now hurting all the time, even if I was only walking. Every step sent a sharp pain up the side of my foot. I went back to the doctor, and they recommended me to an orthopedic specialist, where they did another X-Ray and gave me a brace. The ace bandage had to be wrapped my ankle, but the brace had to be slid over my foot, laced up, and velcroed in 3 different ways. It was a stabilizer brace, so my ankle couldn’t move when I had it on. I wore the brace every day for a week, before they called me back in for the X-Ray results. The X-Ray showed that I had tendonitis (I linked an article about it if you want to read more), which basically meant that a tendon in my ankle was inflamed. They told me to stop dancing for a while, but I kept dancing, wearing the brace at every rehearsal.

About a month later, I started to wish I had listened to the orthopedic and taken a break from dance. My ankle swelled up and hurt with every step I took. I was still wearing the brace and had starting icing it every couple days, but again, nothing was working. I went back to the orthopedic, and they recommended physical therapy. So I did physical therapy for 9 weeks, which helped a lot. After you are cleared from physical therapy, they give you exercises to do at home so that you maintain the strength you built up while in physical therapy. I did my exercises for the first couple weeks, but then slowly started to forget about them.

Since I wasn’t doing the exercises, my ankle lost all of the strength it had built up and started to hurt again. It had been a year and a half and nothing I had tried was working. I ignored it and dealt with the pain for a while, sick of all the failed attempts and unhelpful doctor’s visits. In early 2016, I finally gave in and went back to the doctor (not the orthopedic). They told me I had an extra bone on my ankle and there was nothing I could do except wait for it to fuse. At another appointment later in the year, they told me that I was just overworked, and recommended rest and ice. Ugh. Like I hadn’t already tried that. But I did what they said (not stopping dance though) and somehow, it started to feel better. I don’t exactly remember what happened for the rest of the year, but it must have been okay because I had no more orthopedic or doctor’s appointments.

But then everything went downhill again. It’s 2017, and my had ankle starting hurting worse then it had ever hurt before, and my left knee starting hurting really badly. My knees have always cracked really loudly when I straighten them after having them bent for a while, but now, whenever I bent my knee, it would make this loud popping noise and hurt. A lot. We debated going back to the doctor, but they had been so unhelpful with my ankle that we went straight to an orthopedic. My mom found a different orthopedic this time, an ankle and knee specialist, so we went to see her.

But she was so helpful. She diagnosed me with peroneal tendonitis in my right ankle, which means the tendons in my ankle are fraying and on the verge of tearing. If it tears, I would need surgery to sew it back together. She also said that I had a discoid meniscus in my knee, which means that there is a extra piece of tendon in my knee that hasn’t fused to the rest of my body yet. Well, okay. At least I know what’s going on. But then she brought up the option that it might not be an extra piece of tendon. Instead, it could be a piece of tendon that had broken off of where it is supposed to be. If that was the case, I would need to get surgery to take it out or put it back. She put me in physical therapy for another 8 weeks, hoping to force the tendon in my knee to fuse if that’s what it was going to do and strengthen the tendon in my ankle to prevent it from tearing. If physical therapy didn’t work, she would have me get another  MRI or X-Ray and see what to do next. So great. Possible surgery for both issues.

So that’s where I’m at. I did the physical therapy over the summer and have been doing my exercises since I was cleared. My knee and ankle still hurt sometimes, but they are better than before. My knee bothers me more than my ankle, which makes me nervous because there’s still the looming option of surgery, which I want to avoid at all costs. I will keep you updated on the situation, but hopefully I won’t need to make another long post like this one 🙂

Comment below what injuries you have had to deal with and if you’d like to see a post on what I do to treat my injuries!

Keep Dreaming

❤ Ally

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Fall Tag!

I love Fall, so when Lydia nominated me for the Fall Tag I was so excited! Thanks Lydia! The Fall Tag was created by Maggie from Dreaming of Guatemala.

Rules:

~ Put the tag badge and rules in your post ~

~ Answer the 10 fall-related questions ~

~ Tag at least 5 other bloggers to join in the fun! ~

1. What’s your favorite fall outfit?

I love wearing jeans with boots and a sweater! They’re so comfy and perfect for the fall weather.

2. What is the fall weather like where you live?

I live in Virginia (USA) and the weather is so perfect at fall. Today, it’s about 60 degrees which is pretty warm for fall, but it gets down to about 30. And it’s even colder in the winter! I love the cold so I love the fall temperatures!

3. Your favorite drink to have in the fall?

There’s so many to choose from! I like Pumpkin Spice Lattes (I know I know but they’re actually really good), apple cider, hot chocolate… my favorite would probably have to be warm apple cider though.

4. Does your family have any fall traditions? If so, what are they?

We don’t have any traditions, but we love to decorate our house and go for walks through the leaves. Also, my mom’s birthday is on Halloween so we celebrate that along with trick-or-treating 🙂

5. What are some activities and events you enjoy going to in the fall months?

I love going to fall festivals! There is a farm near my house that does a fall festival and a haunted house kind of thing every year, so I’m excited to go to that with my friends this weekend! I also love walking through the leaves in the woods behind my house and baking fall treats.

6. What’s your favorite fall-scented candle?

I have an obsession with candles, so it’s really hard to choose a favorite! Is probably have to say the Pumpkin Apple Cider from Yankee Candle. It smells so good!

7. Tell us about one of your favorite fall memories. 

This kind of answers my next question, but I remember watching the fall Charlie Brown movies every year when I was little. I still love watching them, but I have lots of memories of snuggling up in blankets with a bowl of popcorn and candles all around as we watched.

8. What are some fall movies you enjoy watching?

Like Lydia said, I love watching Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin or Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving. My family watched them all the time when I was little and it’s still something I love to do.

9. What’s your favorite fall treat?

Anything pumpkin flavored. Pumpkin cookies, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin bread… almost anything! Except I don’t like pumpkin pie.

10. If you celebrate Halloween, what is the best costume you’ve worn?

I’ve worn a lot of different costumes, but my favorite is probably when I went as a Candy Corn Princess (I was 8 and it was so cute) or when I went as an M and M with my friends (this year 🙂 they were red and blue and I was green)

I hope you enjoyed this post, and comment below your favorite thing about fall!

I Tag:

Elm

Caitlin (a little daydreamer)

Happily Abi

Hideaway Girl

and anyone else who wants to participate!

Keep Dreaming

❤️ Ally

Christmas Gift Ideas For Dancers!

The leaves are falling, the weather is changing, and it’s getting closer to Christmas. As all dancers know, Christmas can be a very stressful time with Nutcracker performances or a Winter Showcase. At my dance studio, we do a “Secret Santa” exchange every year where you draw a name out of a hat and give an anonymous gift to that person. It’s super fun to exchange gifts with other dancers, because they can relate to you and give you stuff you need. So today, I’m going to share with you My Top Ten Christmas Gift Ideas For Dancers!

  1. So Danca Mini Pointe Shoe– This mini pointe shoe is the cutest thing ever! It is so realistic and perfect to hook on your dance bag. They come in 14 different colors, so you can get a different one for each of your friends!
  2. Covet Dance Fizzy Feet Bath Bombs– These bath bombs are great for dancers! After long rehearsals, my feet always hurt, and it would be great to come home and soak my feet or take a bubble bath with one of these. And even better, they’re shaped like pointe shoes! Covet Dance has holiday colored bath bombs and regular bath bombs so you can get one of each to use all year round!
  3. Stage Makeup Kit– Dancers wear a lot of stage makeup throughout the year for different performances, so this stage makeup kit would be a great gift! It comes with eyeshadows, blushes, powder, lipstick, and more!
  4. New York City Ballet Tank Top– This tank top from New York City Ballet is so cute and perfect to wear to dance! NYCB has great quality products, and it’s so fun to be repping them!
  5. Covet Dance Oh Pliés Necklace– This rose gold necklace is so pretty and so relatable! This would be a perfect gift for a dancer!
  6. Gaynor Minden Legwarmers– These legwarmers are so cute and comfy! They are super stretchy so you can easily slide them over your feet and wear them at dance! They are also fun to wear around your house 🙂
  7. Covet Dance Nutcracker Sweatshirt– This sweatshirt, which has a nutcracker on it and says “Crushing It” (haha get it? Like a nutcracker?) is perfect for a dancer! It is so comfy and will keep you warm in the winter. Plus, you can never have too much Nutcracker stuff!
  8. Ballerina Necklace– This adorable, sparkly necklace is a great gift for you dance friends! It’s simple and cute, and reminds you of how much you love to dance.
  9. Covet Dance HTutuO Water Bottle– This water bottle from Covet dance is so funny! Water is an essential for dancers, and this dance pun water bottle is great to have at class. It comes in two gorgeous colors, so you and your friend can each have one and not get them confused!
  10. Zazzle Long-Sleeved Dance T-Shirt– This long-sleeved shirt from Zazzle, which says “Stretch, Sweat, Pirouette” is perfect for a dancer! It is super cute and would be great to wear to dance. It comes in 4 colors, so pick which one you like best, or get a different one for a friend!

Comment down below the best Christmas gift that you’ve gotten in the past or if you have any of these products, and please let me know what kind of posts you’d like to see in the future!

Keep Dreaming

❤ Ally

I’m in High School?!

This year, I started high school. I transferred from private school to public school, which is a big change but has been great. I love all my classes and have made some really good friends. I wanted to give you guys an update on the school year so far earlier, but I never got around to writing this. I’m in 9th grade this year, my freshman year of high school. I’m taking Algebra 1, Honors English, Honors Biology, World History, Spanish 2, Chorus, and Health and P.E. I love all my teachers and classes and have made some great friends. My favorite teacher so far is my biology teacher, and my favorite class is math (I know it’s weird. I hate math but I like my teacher and the class has been easy since my private school had advanced curriculums.). My friends were super nice to me on the first day of school which was great because I was new and didn’t know anybody. There is a shopping center across from out school so we like to walk over to Potbelly after school and get milkshakes. I haven’t had much homework yet because we get a lot of time to finish it in class. That’s everything for now, but I will keep you guys posted on the rest of the year!

 

Keep Dreaming

❤ Ally

 

10 Must-Haves For Dancers!

As a dancer, you have a lot of stuff. You have a pair of shoes for each style, a different leotard for each day of the week, pounds of bobby pins and hair ties, bottles of hair spray, but not enough room in your dance bag! With all the available products, how are you supposed to know what you should buy? So today, I want to share My Top Ten Things That Are Essential For Dancers.

  1. Covet Dance Nutcracker Water Bottle – At dance, you always need your water with you. This water bottle is so cute and perfect for a dancer. Even though Nutcracker is performed in the winter, this water bottle is great all year long.
  2. Under Armour Thin Headbands – These thin headbands from Under Armour (I get them from Discount Dance) are perfect to keep your hair out your face for dance. They are super cute and comfortable and great to keep in your dance bag.
  3. Ballet is Fun TurnBoard – I have had my TurnBoard for almost a year now and it is so helpful. You can work on your turns and spotting at home or at your studio and it is super easy to use. Mine has improved my turns a lot and I highly recommend it!
  4. Covet Dance Dancer Problems Kit – This kit is so useful for dancers! It includes a sewing kit to fix up a costume or a pair of pointe shoes, “boo boo beads” (like an ice pack, but can be hot or cold) and band-aids for injuries, extra hair ties and hair spray, a nail file, and lip balm!
  5. Vera Bradley Dance Bag – My dance bag is from Vera Bradley and it has held up so well through all these years. I linked the page with all their bags, so you can choose the style you like best or what works for you.
  6. I-Flex Stretch Band – This stretch band hooks over any doorway (no nails or anything required, just sling it over and close the door!) and helps with flexibility. It is super easy to set up and can be used with any amount of flexibility!
  7. Superior Arch Foot Stretcher – This foot stretcher helps with your point and helps stretch out your foot. There are bands that are said to help you point/flex your toes, but I find that this product helps better. It is easy to use, and perfect to keep in your dance bag!
  8. Capezio Bun Builder – Making a perfect ballet bun is so hard! This bun maker from Capezio is a life saver for dancers and makes it so much easier to get that perfect bun.
  9. Choreography Notebook– It is really important to always have your notebook with you if you are a dance teacher or choreographer, but it is nice if you are a dancer too. You can jot down notes about choreography you’re learning or choreograph something on your own. I linked a cute dance notebook from Zazzle, but use whatever notebook you like best.
  10. Dance Wear – Obviously, any dancer needs dance wear! I linked a google search for dance wear so you can find what you like, but some of my favorite brands are Dancewear SolutionsDiscount DanceCovet DanceBloch, and Capezio.

 

Comment below what are some of your dance essentials and let me know what dance posts you’d like to see in the future.

Keep Dreaming

❤ Ally

 

Dreamers and Dancers: Making the Name True

Some people have asked why I changed my blog name to Dreamers and Dancers. For those of you that don’t know, I’m a dancer and have wanted to make dance related posts for a while now. So that’s what I’m going to do! My goal is to post twice a week, once with a regular post like what I’ve been posting before, and once with a dance post. I am super excited to try this and hope you guys enjoy it! Comment below what dance related posts you’d like to see in the future so I can post things that people want to read.

Keep Dreaming

❤ Ally