Meet luke abnett, the ballet physio

Hello dancers and welcome to my very first article. It’s nice to have you along.

I want to start by explaining a little bit about what I’m here for. Why does The Ballet Physio exist? There are two main reasons really – Ballet Facility and Injury Rehabilitation.

1. Ballet Facility

When I first started working in ballet full-time, I noticed that ballet teachers were excellent at spotting some details technique that were missing and they were able to correct those. However, if there was an underlying problem in a dancer’s body – maybe there was a joint that was too stiff for ballet or a muscle that wasn’t strong enough for the technique that they were trying to learn, or perhaps if their muscles were just coordinating in a way that wasn’t the best – that would then mean that the dancers would struggle.
“This made me think that it was so unnecessary that the dancers should be struggling for something like that. “

It fills me with a great sense of satisfaction when I see that by strengthening that one particular muscle, or by doing a stretch on that particular joint, it actually allows the dancer’s arabesques to get much easier, or their pirouettes to become more coordinated.

It’s really great when I hear feedback that ballet teachers have started to notice their student’s pointe work is stronger than it was before, because of the extra physical training that I do with them. So, the BALLET FACILITY building is the first reason that I’m here. There are two ways that I go about that:
  1. I teach classes both in-studio and online, to find a cost-effective way to have as many dancers as possible benefiting from that information.
  2. I also work one-to-one with some personalised programmes for dancers who might have a particular need in mind. Maybe they just want to work on their extensions or their particular area of struggle is their Allegro etc – so we work on those areas together.

2. Ballet Injuries

The second reason I created The Ballet Physio is, of course, to look after injuries. Physiotherapists are well-known for rehabilitating injuries and having that knowledge of ballet and the place that dancers need to get back up to really helps us, to take the steps on the way to get back there.
 I’ve had a lot of dancers come to see me after having consulted their local physio who maybe didn’t have as much exposure to ballet and therefore, didn’t understand the detail of it as much. They might give more generic or general advice, but not the specific advice applicable to ballet – i.e. how do I actually get back onto pointe from this ankle sprain? What can I start doing now, to help me get back to a point when everything’s better? So, either we go through INJURY REHABILITATION together, right from the start, or sometimes people will come to see me for late-stage rehab after they’ve seen their local physio for the early part of their rehabilitation and then we can build back into ballet together at the end one-to-one.
So (in a nutshell) that’s what The Ballet Physio is here to do. If you have any questions, please do let me know. Otherwise, I hope you’ve enjoyed this little article.

Learn more about Luke

Luke developed his passion for helping ballet dancers achieve their greatest physical potential during his six years at the Royal Ballet School in Covent Garden, London. Learn more about his extensive experience in the ballet field.