An Interview with Stephen O’Rourke, Dublin-based Physiotherapist, About Irish Dance And Injury Prevention


Sammi Lim for The Dance Enthusiast: Warming up: Absolutely necessary or overrated?

Stephen O’Rourke: I am a big advocate of warming up. Although our bodies adapt to repetition and are able to perform at higher levels with little or no warm up, it’s vital that we look after our physical instrument. Our bodies can become programmed to cope with such high demands, but once we deviate from our usual path, injuries can occur…

In recent studies, evidence suggests that dynamic stretching (leg swings, walking lunges, plies, and stuff like that) is superior to static stretching. It appears that dynamic stretching improves flexibility and retains performance, while static stretching does not. In my opinion, dancers tend to over focus on static stretching and flexibility while neglecting endurance exercises. Warm-ups should be intuitive, such as performing lighter versions of your class or performance routine in preparation for these tasks. They should never become routine or predictable…

Full interview here.


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