Collegiate Dancers Deserve Training Resources

Collegiate dancers at Wittenberg should have access to physical trainers like varsity sports. The lack of resources is troubling and shows a lack of respect for other departments on campus aside from university athletics.

The inability to seek medical help or even get a mere bag of ice stems from the “lack of funding,” according to professors of dance in the dance department, an excuse that has been used for the past couple of years. But given the new, enormous investment in the athletic facility, it seems a bit irrational that Wittenberg lacks the resources to help less than 20 dance majors and minors on campus. Not to mention that many dancers are paid to dance at the university, myself $6,000 dollars a year, scholarships that Division III collegiate athletes are not even granted.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, most collegiate dancers do not enjoy access to specialized health care that is equivalent to their counterparts in traditional sports. However, dance is definitely as physically demanding as traditional sports even though it is not traditionally categorized as so. According to todanceadvantage.com, dancers must train and prepare their bodies for the needs of “cardiorespiratory endurance, flexibility and power,” qualities that many sports require as well.

While dancers are training like athletes and performing like athletes, it is troubling they lack traditional resources like health care from physical trainers on campus. However, even when dancers do rarely receive health care attention, they are often given “unconstructive and even discouraging responses.”

Research has found that 80 percent of university dancers felt as though health care providers did not understand dancers and their needs. 43% felt that the advice was unhelpful. This confirms the sad truth that is the overall lack of care and concern of healthcare and treatment for Wittenberg’s collegiate dancers.

While most universities and colleges do not even offer or cater to collegiate dance programs, even those who do are receiving unsettling results as stated before. There needs to be a change in the health care administered to collegiate dancers, especially at Wittenberg. A private liberal arts school, of all schools, should understand the importance of the arts and taking care of one’s community. The excuses for the lack of resources do not withstand given the recent financial upgrades and endowments to the HPER Center and Athletic Department services which is why something needs to change to help collegiate dancers.

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