Kate is a student at the University of New England, in Maine. She had to give up ballet as a senior in high school because of her chronic pain.
Be sure to see selections from our Portraits of Pain series “Heal/Tell” at the Biddeford arts organization Engine, at 265 Main Street in downtown Biddeford. The exhibit will open Friday, March 8 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and will run through April 6.
After my AT and back injury, the hips were the next to go, and the most severe pain. My hips still hurt every single day, even when not dancing, from the constant rotation and overexertion. Ballet is not safe unless practiced correctly. Even walking from point A to point B hurts. I saw a discussion saying ballet dancer injuries are the most severe next to football. I’d love to see the research behind that.
… when I told my parents I couldn’t dance anymore, my senior year of high school, they hugged me. It’s hard trying to get over everything that I have worked for my entire life being taken away–at 18– for something I didn’t want. I didn’t want med school; I only wanted a studio. That’s a midlife crisis before graduating high school.
Not until I came to UNE, did I realize there’s place for me. I know the development and hardships of a dancer and I want to apply my experience as a dancer with medical training and injury prevention.
Heal/Tell is a series of narrative and portraits by Cathy Plourde, Director of Add Verb Productions and Holly Haywood of the University of New England.
Learn more about the 11th Annual UNE Interprofessional Spring Symposium: the Science of Pain and the Art of Healing, April 4, 2013, Biddeford Maine.