Summer special feature from Twin Cities Orthopedics

Edina Varsity Jazz performs at the Eastview Invitational. Photo by Matt Blewett/MN Dance News. #mndancenews #mystorymn

Dancers, coaches and parents,

Welcome to our summer special feature: How to stay healthy during summer dance camps and intensives!

It’s the peak seasons for summer dance intensives and camps. The irregular schedules and periods of dancing several hours on end can really accelerate your skills this summer, or sideline you with overuse injuries. We will share many tips to set you up for a summer full of success.

We’ve gone behind the scenes to ask the Strength & Conditioning Coaches, Athletic Trainers, Dance Medicine Physical Therapists, Nutritionist, Acupuncturists, and Mental Health Coaches to share their tips to peak your summer experience.

Each week on MN Dance News social media channels, we will share the pearls and exercises we learned from our friends at Twin Cities Orthopedics (TCO).

Here are a few topics to help you get the most out of your summer training:

  1. Mindset: One of the biggest differences in progress between dancers is the mindset they bring to each experience. We’ll share tips on how to survey your environment, discover it’s offerings, and shift for growth when things are different than you’d expected.
  2. Nutrition: When your body is more active, you may seek sugar to fill the energy gap. Learn how you can make healthy choices to fuel your classes and auditions.
  3. Mind your feet: You may be on many unfamiliar surfaces, whether you are at nationals, at an intensive, or practicing in your basement. Take a minute to roll them on a ball and massage your calves each night before bed.
  4. Be “gluteiful”: Your gluteal muscles protect your hip and back, yet these are the first areas where dancers compensate and injure their hamstrings, hip flexors, and other hip structures. Before class each day, take time to activate your glutes. We’ll share some of our favorite activators on social this month.
  5. Cool down: Injuries sky rocket when our body doesn’t reset after long days in the studio. Most intensives and camps have warm ups, but often leave dancers to set their own cool downs. We’ll share a quick cooldown sequence with you on social.
  6. Keep adjusting the plan: If you are in class 4-5 days/week, several hours/day, leave the gym and extra cardio out. However, in the later parts of summer when dancers take a few months off and then suddenly return to intense camps or practices, injuries abound. Twin Cities Orthopedics (TCO) invites you to join into their summer conditioning at the Training HAUS in Eagan, as well as select TCO locations including Eden Prairie and Edina if you’d like a guided approach.

To learn more about Twin Cities Orthopedics and our comprehensive Dance & Performing Arts Medicine services, follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. For questions related to Dance Medicine and more info on summer training, contact

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Dance Medicine and Sport Physical Therapist | Personal Trainer | Pilates Instructor since 1998 | Life-long Dancer