Fatigue: it’s a common problem many dancers will experience during their career. This occurs when the body is no longer able to force muscle into contractions. Sometimes experiencing fatigue is good, such as working out to the point of fatigue, then letting yourself recover and repeating the cycle. But when fatigue becomes a constant, dancers will face the consequences.

When fatigue is present, most dancers will begin to compromise their technique while attempting to recreate their peak performance levels. This increases the risk of injury and, in some cases, it can be a career ender for dancers.

Experienced dancers know just how quickly they can experience fatigue, considering a standard rehearsal can last many hours. By the end of the workout, you are going to be tired and unable to do much more. However, many professionals are finding last-minute performances are now all too common—the reality craze with live performances requires last-minute dress rehearsals that are followed by live televised performances.

You will need to treat your body like the instrument it is. Part of this is giving your body as much rest as you can between performances to truly recover and work on protecting your muscles. If you damage an Achilles tendon, it won’t be you sitting out for just a few numbers. Instead, you will have a long road to recovery with an injury that could have otherwise been avoided, had you given yourself time to rest up!