'SYTYCD': Allison Holker discusses 'painful' rib injury

allison-holker-sytycd-320-02.jpg"So You Think You Can Dance" injuries have often been the bane of the competitors' existence, but all-star Allison Holker is the one being sidelined this time around.

The 22-year-old contemporary jazz dancer had announced on Twitter she was sitting out from the show for one week, and was kind enough to take time from her recovery to tell Zap2it the details of her rib injury.

"I'm feeling okay," she says, "disappointed obviously that I'm not going to be able to dance this week, but it's completely understandable why. Pain-wise, it really hurts, it does, but more than anything I feel bad that I'm not dancing. I have to tell you I've had some really major injuries. So this would only rank at a 4 or a 5 [on a scale of 1-10]."

Holker sustained the injury two weeks ago during her performance with Adechike Torbert two weeks ago for the "Listen to Your Heart" dance number by choreographer Mandy Moore.

"There's a lift where I would bend down and he caught behind me, and I'd wrap my arm around his back, and he'd lift me in the air," she explains. "I had to jump into his arms to get a little bit of momentum. If I look back now, I realize how it was kind of stupid, but at the time of the dance you think it's really beautiful so you continue to do it.

"I was putting my floating ribs right onto his shoulder and jumping off of them. I never really thought about it before. I was putting all of my body weight and jumping onto a floating rib. That's not strong enough to hold your body weight."

For two weeks straight, Holker continued to dance, tolerating the pain. During the Sunday, July 4 rehearsals, however, while she was supposed to do back handsprings and more partnering, she found even the simplest things to be more and more excruciating.

"Seriously at this point, it was painful to just breathe," she recounts. "Whenever I'd breathe in and out, I'd have shooting pains in my ribcage. In the packages, I'm always trying to make funny jokes, but when I was talking into the camera it was hurting just talking because I was using my lungs. So I would say like two words and then I'd almost burst into tears, but I didn't want to say anything and didn't want to look like a baby. "

Eventually, she called for a medic and then was taken to a doctor, who confirmed that her floating rib was damaged.

"I have a little slight fracture in my floating ribs," she confirms. "What's really hurting is part of the fact that my cartilage from all that sensitivity, the cartilage was pulling away from the bone. That's where all the pain was coming from whenever I'd breathe."

As far as treatment, there's nothing much that can be done -- wrapping her ribs could injure her more and heat/ice wouldn't have any effect -- except for a bit of ibuprofen and rest. Even though the doctor predicted she'd still be in pain for another 4-6 weeks, he wanted her to at least get one full week of just rest to kick-start the healing process.

This week, Katee Shean will step in for her as an all-star, but Holker plans to be up and running (or dancing) next week.

"As of now, we're a go for next week, but my doctor could always say 'no,'" she says. "I have to have an appointment with him Friday afternoon to decide if I actually am ready. It's a really big week next week so I feel like I've got to come back. They start doing two numbers a week this week I think. It's up in the air, but they might be having us do the two numbers too. It's still being worked out but it's something they need me to be available for if that's what they decide.

"The good news about my injury is that I can't really hurt it any more unless I'm doing that same lift again," she adds. "So I can do lifts, I just have to be aware of that side of my body, my right side. Unless I was completely stupid, I can still move."

"SYTYCD" performance shows air on FOX Wednesday nights, with the results show on Thursday nights.

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Photo credit: FOX


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