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Transcript of Healthy Performer
The Human Body - Circulatory, Respiratory & Nervous systems
The Circulatory system also known as the Cardiovascular system consists of the heart, blood, blood vessels, capillaries, arteries and veins. The cardiovascular is a double functioning system that has two separate circuits therefore the blood is pumped through the body twice. The function of the circulatory system is to supply oxygen from the lungs to the tissues around the body, and to transport carbon dioxide from the body to the lungs by breathing out.
Having a knowledge of the three systems can help you as a dancer in training. By having a knowledge of the circulatory system, dancers will understand the importance of performing with the maximum amount of effort as they can each time. This will allow the circulatory system to do its job properly by taking fast deep breaths so that more oxygen can be breathed in and more carbon dioxide can be out, delivering more oxygen and glucose to the muscles for energy production so you can perform for a long period of time without fatigue, then your body will begin to cool you down causing you to sweat.
As a dancer it is highly possible that you will get an injury at some point in your career, whether it be a small and easy to heal injury or a larger injury that could be harder to recover from. 80% of dancers will experience an injury during their career.
A muscle strain could have been prevented by the dancer being aware of their body and only stretching to where they can without pushing the body too far under too much pressure.
The Human Body - Bones, Muscles & Joints
We have 206 bones in our body. Some of these bones are dense and compact, whereas others are lightweight and spongy. There are 4 types of bones; Long, Short, Flat and Irregular.
Our bones consist of Blood Vessels, Nerve Cells and Bone Cells. Bones have to be strong enough to hold our body weight but they also have to be light enough so that we can move. Bones produce red blood cells and white blood cells.
We have over 600 muscles in our body. Our skeletal muscles are made up of long tunnel like cells. They are made up of a type of elastic tissue and thousands of tiny fibres. Some muscles are voluntary and some are involuntary (work by themselves without you thinking about them). Muscles will act in pairs in opposing ways, for example one will shorten whilst the other will extend. The muscles allow movement and can work for long periods of time before getting fatigued.
Joints are the place at which bones and muscles will meet. They are made up of Cartilage, synovial fluid, synovial membrane, tendons and ligaments. They allow the body to have flexibility and can allow muscles to direct and move the bones.
When in training the dancer puts its body through the maximum amount of stress and pressure as possible. Having a sense of knowledge about your skeletal system and muscular system as a dancer can help maintain your body shape as well as improve your performance and confidence, but most importantly it can help give you a longer career as a dancer by avoiding the chance of injury.
However, if an injury was to occur having a sense of knowledge of your body and how it works can lead to a safe and quicker recovery process.
This is important to the dancer because you are dancing all the time and continuing to dance on an injury can lead to an end in the career, whereas a safe rest and recovery can help the dancers body repair itself quickly so that it will be safe for the dancer to get back up on his or her feet to return to dancing without putting their body under anymore pain or suffering.
The principle functions of the respiratory system is to ventilate the lungs, extract oxygen from the air and transfer it to the blood stream, removes carbon dioxide and water vapour and to maintain the acid base of blood. The main function of the respiratory system is the supply of the oxygen to the blood so that in turn it will deliver the oxygen to all the different parts of the body.
Our nervous system has the ability to grow and adapt continuously which is part of what makes dance such a great activity. Our muscles are under control of the brain and the spinal cord (the central nervous system). Signals are transmitted from the CNS via nerve cells to the muscle fibres causing them to contract.
The systems in exercise & performance
During exercise and performance the three systems will work together. The circulatory system will act and the arteries will carry the deoxygenated blood away from the heart, the veins will carry the oxygenated blood towards the heart and the capillaries will allow gas exchange to take place.
The respiratory system will help us maintain the correct breathing without thinking about it, this allows oxygen to get to the cells in the body releasing stored energy. This will help keep the body moving and working in a dance class sufficiently whilst developing endurance.
The nervous system will work the motor skills that will allow us to move in certain ways and allow us to perform moves with additional dimensions of complexity that our body remembers and learns so we can perform them again and again improving how we can perform them each time.
A dancer with knowledge of the Respiratory system should know that holding your breath during duncing will have an incredible effect on your breathing pattern, the amount of oxygen in the body and your energy levels. It is important to understand that you can improve your breathing patterns by improving your postural alignment. The best way to improve your breathing is to use imagery. Dancers can help their bodies in training if they know how smoking can affect their respiratory system. Dancers who smoke will be less able to maintain performance over long periods of time and could be more prone to injury.
Performing each and every single move that you do to its full potential with as much effort that you can possibly put into it will imporove your nervous system and motor skills. When you perform a move for the first time that your body has never done before it has to get used to it, if you perform the move with maximum effort then your body will get used to you doing it like that and the more you repeat the move the easier it will get for you to perform it like that without you thinking about it. This will help a dancing in training by allowing them to perform to their full potential every time without having to think about it meaning they will be able to maintain high-quality performance for a long period of time with gettting fatigued.
One common injury that could happen in the studio is a strain to your hamstring for example. This is an example of a muscle injury. This could occur if your muscle has been stretched too far or has been made to contract really quickly. The appropriate treatment for this would be the 'PRICE' method. This would be Protection, rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
A second common injury could be tearing a ligament in your knee. This is an example of a joint injury. For this to occur the dancer could have overstretched the ligament, however, it could be as simple as turning too quickly and putting too much pressure on it for it to rip. The correct treatment for a ligament tear is also the 'PRICE' method.
One more common injury that could happen in a dance studio is a broken bone, like the arm. This is an example of a bone injury. If a dancer was being lifted and the person lifting him/her did not execute the lift properly the dancer could fall onto their arm and this could cause them to break it. The appropriate treatment for this injury would be to go straight to the hospital where a doctor will treat you.
The ligament tear could have been prevented by making sure the dancer was pulling up correctly and not putting a lot of pressure on their knee so that when they did the quick turn the ligament would not have torn.
Finally the broken bone from the poorly executed lift could have been prevented by rehearsing with crash mats underneath you so that if the lifted dancer was to fall the crash mat would take the impact and it would be softer so your body weight would not put enough pressure on the arm for it to break.
A range of injuries can occur in a studio during a dance class or rehearsal and one of the most common is a burn. When doing floorwork in a dance, performing moves such as slides, rolls and drags the friction between your skin and the floor will create heat and a burn will appear. These can be very painful and the correct way to treat these will be to run them under clean cold water and apply a dressing to prevent the burn piercing open or continue being burnt on the floor when dancing.
A blister is another common skin injury that can occur when constantly rehearsing dances in shoes. The more you dance in various shoes the more they will begin to rub, especially when having bare feet in the shoes when you begin to sweat. These can be treated by placing a plaster and a dressing over the top. You must not pierce blisters as they can get infected, but they can be prevented by wearing tights/socks with shoes and by wearing plasters or dressings in the places where your shoes are more likely to rub to stop them affecting the area of skin.
One last common injury that occurs in a dance studio is a bruise. Bruises are the most common injuries and can be found on any part of the body. High pressure and impact on a body part, especially where there is bone, can result in these. For example when you drop to your knees from standing your skin will feel tender and swollen and you can get a bruise. This is where the blood clots and rises to the surface underneath the skin to form blue/purple patches that will fade over time, and bruising to knees can be prevented by wearing knee pads. To treat these you can use a cold wet compress such as a flannell/cloth or you can place an ice pack wrapped in a towel on the bruise for around 10 minutes, this will limit the internal bleeding. Depending on the size of the bruise and how severe it is, it should have gone in around two weeks.