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WPPTC Physical Therapist Dances and Teaches in Brazil

posted on: Mar 26th, 2019 category:dance, news

by M. Lena Thieme, PT, MPT
Lena Thieme Dancing in Brazil

Lambada is a Brazilian social partner dance that involves circular head and body movements, turns and multiple spins, cambré or back bending, and sometimes deep-knee bending.

One can imagine that there may be a lot of neck, back, and ankle injuries as it requires a lot of the musculoskeletal and balance systems. These movements are produced through a lead and follow connection with basic footwork on a continuous rhythm.

Ten years ago, I started dancing lambada (sometimes called lambazouk, zouk lambada) as a hobby not long before PT school. Through the next several years I taught and performed at various international congresses and festivals. I also performed with a world-touring Brazilian dance show for which I also had a role as company physical therapist.

Early in 2019, I had the privilege to teach and perform in Brazil at the Lambada Festival in the little-known beachside city of Vitoria, Espirito Santo. There I met with my dance partner from Sao Paulo that I have worked with from a distance for about three years. We taught workshops on lambada technique through which I included all injury preventing technique for neck and back.

I also taught warm-up workshops, one that included more conditioning and another partner stretching class with a circus acrobat. My partner and I performed various demonstrations and our choreography that was premiered in the Barcelona Beach Festival 2016. It was a wonderful and beautiful experience to share this dance with the international community, especially to share knowledge on injury prevention for this specific dance style.

After a great success in Vittoria, I had the opportunity to further share at the Rio Zouk Festival in Rio de Janeiro, where I represented this dance style with fellow lambada instructors, exchanged ideas, and shared injury prevention methods.

Overall it was an enriching experience that has brought me new energy since I have come back to the clinic. I look forward to continuing to help prevent and rehabilitate injuries for all dance styles, at all ages, as I believe dancing is one of the greatest ways to bring joy to people’s lives.

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