|Snap, Crackle, and Pop. Photo Creds|
I'm talking about joints. You can name almost any joint on my body, and I can probably crack it. If I can't crack it on command, then I've cracked it accidentally before. If I say "ow," almost all of my friends will know to ask "what cracked now." This includes not only ankles and toes, but "joints in the middle of my foot." I'm not kidding. Look at the picture below, I'm talking about the Metarsocunieform joints.
A lot of you can probably identify with this kind of thing, but we all crack for different reasons. Personally, I crack so much not necessarily because of dance (although it probably doesn't help), but because my joints don't have quite enough cartilage and because my ligaments are especially stretchy. I get natural flexibility with my stretchy ligaments (no, I'm actually not crazy flexible and I'm not a contortionist), but it's painful sometimes. You may not crack for my reasons, but the same thing happens to your joints as to mine when we crack-
Why Cracking Happens:
When you move, your joints slip around. This makes tiny pockets in the joints sometimes that fill with nitrogen gas, and when you move in a certain way, the nitrogen bubble in that pocket will slip out and make a "cracking" sound. Generally, my cracks don't hurt much, and that's good. If you're cracking and it doesn't hurt, it's fine, it means nothing bad. However, once your cracks start to hurt and hinder your dancing, you might want to see a doctor or physical therapist. My doctors have never been able to help me much, but I may be seeing the wrong people.
I can't tell you what to do with your cracking joints because I honestly don't know. If you know anything, tell me! I mainly wanted to explain why it happens. Are you the queen of cracking in your studio like I am? :)