It was exciting to be back in the space where we rehearsed last year and it made me all the more anxious to get started with rehearsals. They divided the studios and other spaces into sections for lots of different medical teams: the physical therapists, the orthopedist, podiatrist, athletic trainers, and the regular doctor. We took turns going around to each group to be evaluated individually - and it was fun to see familiar faces from the cast last year going through the same routine.
I didn't really discover anything new...I know my body pretty well by now and all their tests (strength, flexibility, mobility etc. of certain joints and positions) proved that. But it was nice because at the end they sat down and gave personal exercises that will help some of my weaknesses so I can get through the season without further injuries.
Last year I missed out on this pre-screening. And throughout the season I knew there were great resources available to me if I needed them up at athletic training (those therapists work the same amount of shows we do, taking care of all the Rockettes' and all of our problems, haha). But I didn't really take advantage of everything I could have last year. I was so overwhelmed by everything being so new and exciting to me. AND I was (and still sometimes am) of the "ballet mindset" that you should never let it show that you're injured or sick. So often in the ballet world we fight through severe pain (I've known people who dance months with stress fractures!) without seeking treatment or taking it easy because we're afraid our directors or teachers will look down upon us, or change casting, or punish us in some other way. At least, I definitely experienced this at a studio or two I've attended. But in the real performing world (or the RC world anyway) I've learned it's more important to tend to your body and take precautions, not just struggle through. This year I plan to take advantage of all I can to minimize the dancing pain, haha. Luckily last year I did indeed come through the 110-show season without any more problems (just the stupid achilles tendon, but that's going on 2 1/2 years now.) There's no doubt the show schedule is taxing and there are days when it takes so much mental energy to get your body to physically push through the painful exhaustion (especially at 9am, in pointe shoes, in a bear head...). But pain or no pain, I'm ready!
I really can't wait to get started. Two weeks from this Thursday!