According to The Dance Training Project, dancers don’t listen to their bodies.
“Call it suffering for your art, or whatever you want, but if you don’t listen to the messages your body is sending you, there will come a time, when you won’t have a functional body to create your art with. These messages are actually really easy to interpret: Pain means stop, no pain means go (or rather, proceed with caution). Pain is generally your body telling you to slow down, and stop, because what you’re doing to it feels really bad. If you do not stop, your body will stop you, eventually, and it won’t be pleasant. You will be out of commission for longer than if you had initially listened to your body, and be stuck on the sidelines, watching your peers (which can actually be an excellent learning experience if you let it). Being stuck on the sidelines is damaging for the ego.”
As Stephanie Hanrahan points out,
“When injured, dancers are expected to watch classes. Although a few found they could learn something while in the role of spectator, no one enjoys the role. Many would rather dance on an injury instead of observe. Additionally there is the underlying stress of others improving and looking good when the individual cannot participate because of illness or injury.”
“It is clearly more intelligent to avoid injury in the first place, by not doing stupid things, but many of us must learn the hard way. There is obviously a difference between good pain, and bad pain. If you have to stop and consider whether it is a good pain or not, it probably isn’t.” [Good, she means.]
-The Dance Training Project