Movmnt Magazine | Issue 6 | Keep it real - Spring 2008

Page 54



w o d a a sh

By Taylor Gordon

injuries andlife


h my god, I’m going to get fired!” was the first thought in Kenneth Easter’s mind. “I fell and I remember thinking on the way down, ‘I’m a dancer. I’ve got great legs. I’ll go through my plié. I’ll really absorb the shock.’ I hit the ground and the first thing I heard was this buzzing in my ear, which is a sign of going into shock. I thought ‘Ouch! Wow, that hurt a lot more than I thought.’ I looked down and there was a bone, and it was the size of a grapefruit. I remember thinking ‘I have to start work in a week.’” The American Ballet Theatre corps de ballet dancer was home on vacation when he experienced his first major injury; a fall of 14 feet from the roof of his cabin. Just a day after, ABT principal Carlos Lopez broke the fifth metatarsal in his

foot while taking class in his native Spain. However they happen, injuries are inevitable for a dancer. “Our body is our tool, and it’s very fragile and delicate,” says Easter, who is recovering from two shattered wrists and broken arms stemming from the fall. Without a doubt such physical hindrances inhibit the body, but how much of an impact does an injury actually have on a dancer’s life? “It’s hard. There’s a lot of ups and downs and you’re very fragile in that state,” says former New York City Ballet dancer Kristin Sloan, a sufferer of torn cartilage in her hip. “When you’re so engrossed in what you’re doing, your profession kind of identifies you.” Being forced to take time off from a performing career raises a lot of insecurity. “It was

Photo: Doug Jaeger

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Carlos Lopez American Ballet Theatre

Photo: Jesus Vallinas



Kristin Sloan New York City Ballet

Lacey Schwimmer So You Think You Can Dance

Suzi Taylor Broadway Dance Center