“As a professional ballet dancer I’ve spent most of my life training for this career and because of this, the lower half of my body, specifically my feet and ankles, have taken on quite a lot of strain and damage.” Ballet is not only considered an art form; it is a sport. Jumps are 2-3 feet in the air, landings are unforgiving on hard floors, and performances can be up to 3+ hours long. Balance, strength, and endurance are just some of the essential qualities to being a successful dancer. “While I am dancing, I am holding all of my body weight on my toes for movements like pirouettes (or turns). Our ankles are constantly switching between one extreme position to the next.”
Chyrstyn was first introduced to OOFOS from a guest in the Boston Ballet physical therapy department. She later developed a severe case of ankle tenosynovitis and tendonitis, caused by the extreme positions and overuse during hours of training and performing. “After attempting just about anything to alleviate my pain levels, I was left with the decision to either get surgery or continue to dance in extreme amounts of constant pain. I knew the second choice meant the end of my ballet career.”
CAN'T STOP, WON'T STOP MOOVING
Chyrstyn underwent foot surgery in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, where routine physical therapy was hard to come by. Each step she took in her recovery journey was met with pain and discomfort. She turned to OOFOS after remembering how helpful they were in the past and was surprised to notice that they gave her full range of motion in her injured foot. “My OOFOS helped alleviate pain in my non-dance life which gave me the confidence and faith that my recovery period would eventually come to a close. In many ways my OOFOS not only helped my ankles and feet feel better, but they also helped my stress levels by calming my worries about recovery!”
Chrystyn’s passion to inform others of the advantages of OOFOS both in and out of the studio has been recognized by many of her fellow dancers and community members. OOFOS and Chrystyn have partnered together to donate 60 pairs of OOFOS to the Boston Ballet, so dancers like Chrystyn can feel the OO after hours on stage, in studio, and in everyday life.
mOOving WITH CARE
Chyrstyn has recently been promoted to Principal Dancer of the Boston Ballet. While she is not certain of what her life may look like after Ballet, she knows that physical activity, art, and movement will continue to play a priority. “As I get older, I have to be on top of taking care of my body in its down time. This means, consciously treating my body with the love and care it deserves especially when it is in recovery periods after every day of hard dancing.”