Ballet Dancer‘s Long Career Supported By Sports Medicine
May 26, 2021
Lauren Stenroos’ body is outlasting most. At 33, her professional dancing career with the Cleveland Ballet has surpassed most elite professional dancers.
“We put our bodies through a tremendous amount of physical stress. My body has some high mileage on it. Because of the demands of choreography over the years, my left foot sometimes gets stiff. But with the help of University Hospital therapists, I understand what to do when this happens and how to rebalance my body and become pain free. I am very grateful to have them” Lauren says.
Now entering its third season as the Official Healthcare Partner for the Cleveland Ballet, University Hospitals provides physical therapists and athletic trainers for weekly treatment and injury prevention sessions at the Ballet training facilities. UH physicians are also available. But now in her sixth year with the Cleveland Ballet, Lauren finds herself needing that benefit of a physician less often these days.
“Cleveland Ballet has gone above and beyond to integrate UH Sports Medicine into our daily training. They understand the important role this plays in the success and longevity of our careers.” Lauren says. The Cleveland native started dancing at age 5 and began to see subtle changes in how her body responded to the physical demands of dancing at around age 25.
“At my age, you have to work more intelligently and do more cross training for your body to balance your muscles. If the muscles we use in ballet to turn out our legs are stronger than the muscles that keep you in parallel or turned in, then you have an imbalance and that’s when injury occurs” she says. That might not make much sense to the average athlete, but understanding the physiology of a dancer is key to injury prevention. That’s where UH comes in.
“Ballet dancers are artistic athletes. We have to be in incredible physical shape in order to make our work onstage look effortless. In the grand scheme of things, the audience only sees the tip of the iceberg: the performance. Hidden underneath that is all of the mental, physical, and emotional strength and hours of hard work put in to get there. The UH team helps us achieve the tip of the iceberg.” Lauren says.
“I would like to thank UH for giving us the power and awareness to be strong and balanced so we can continue our craft at the highest level.”