Contact Us   |   Sign In   |   Register
General
Blog Home All Blogs

5 Research Insights on Technique Proficiency for Busy Dance Teachers

Posted By Clara Fischer Gam on behalf of the IADMS Promotion Committee, Monday, May 22, 2017

Dance teaching is a daily challenge. Being in the studio for long working hours, preparing different classes for the term and dealing with the individualities within a group of students are some of the struggles and joys of the teaching practice. As we work against the clock with dancers to keep up with the timetable and achieve aesthetic quality and mastery of technique, the time for reflecting upon experience and investigating new pathways for student learning becomes scarce.

 

 

 

How can we keep an exploratory process alive whilst still being time-efficient to meet the demands of the curriculum and nourish dancers’ development of artistry? 

 

Over the years, the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science (IADMS) community has developed a comprehensive collection of resources for informing and inspiring your teaching practice. Accessing our resources, you will discover content specially designed for dance teachers that bring exciting research findings into the studio context. At this post, you will find a brief preview of 5 selected resources that bring evidence-based insights to support your teaching practice. Just click on each title below and it will take you to the full text. Always remember that IADMS website provides a vast number of resource papers (http://www.iadms.org/?page=186) and bulletins for dancers and teachers (http://www.iadms.org/?page=243) that you can access at any given time!

 

 1-      Body alignment, jumping and barre work:

 Can we keep upright alignment throughout the entire dance sequence? Do deeper pliés elicit higher elevations? Does barre work prepare the body for center work? …. Recognise underlying concepts of these key elements of dance skill and teaching cues that can facilitate student learning.

 

 2-      Energy storing and timing of dance movement:

 What is the role of the gesture leg during a fouetté turn sequence? Does winding up with the arms affect a pirouette? Understand how the forces work during particular dance movements and important things to spot when your dancers are struggling to learn them.

 

 3-      Balance in dance:

 When teaching novice dancers, to what extent does demanding perfect placement of the body help learning balance strategies? Explore postural control and automatic balance mechanisms and how to make the most of these processes for student growth and development of artistry.

 

 4-      Dance technique steps:

 During class, when is the best time for performing grand plié sequences? Whilst keeping the gesture leg in balance, are we really holding it from the core? Does the upper body contribute to take-off and lading from jumps? Identify the mechanical principles of some the main steps of dance technique and how to apply them to your studio practice.

 

 5-       Lateral preferences in dance:

 Could having a dominant gesture leg impact performance? Discover what to consider regarding student’s preference for learning and performing in one side of the body and what can you do to foster your dancers’ potential. 

 

 

 

In order to face the challenges of a dance teaching career, it can be of great worth to save a bit of time to investigate evidence-based information that relates to your studio practice as to keep building up the blocks for student’s mastery. Remember that you have got full support from IADMS public access resources throughout the process!

 

Keep investigating your teaching practice by exploring other core topics in dance at IADMS resource papers and bulletins for dancers and teachers, enjoy!

 

Clara Fischer Gam, MS (clarafischergam.com)

MSc Dance Science | BEd Dance Education

Certified Functional Strength Coach

Rio de Janeiro – Brazil

Dance Science Brasil Group

Corpos Aptos, Gestos Livres Project

Tags:  dancers  resource papers  teachers  technique 

PermalinkComments (1)
 

5 Questions With…K. Michael Rowley

Posted By IADMS Student Committee, Monday, May 8, 2017

This month’s featured member is K. Michael Rowley of the University of Southern California. Michael is a PhD candidate working in the Jacquelin Perry Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Research Lab in the Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy studying recurrent pain. His areas of interest include postural control, cognitive contributions to posture, dance injury prevention and recurrent low back pain.

-How did you first get interested in dance science/medicine?

Since grade school, I’ve been interested in the human body, biology, and movement. Separate from that, I pursued dance as a hobby in high school and minored in it at the University of Delaware (UD). It was there that Dr. Lynette Overby, a faculty member in the Dance Minor Program at UD, introduced me to the intersection of my two interests – dance and science. She recommended I look into IADMS, and I attended my first conference that year in Washington, D.C., USA. Dance is such a fruitful and rich field in which to observe, practice, and study concepts of human movement.

Pictured: Michael Rowley, Jeff Grimaldo, and Anne Grimaldo
of the Rudy Perez Ensemble in Santa Monica, CA.
Photo by Ben Licera.

-Are you currently participating in research? Can you give us your elevator pitch about your research area?

In the Jacquelin Perry Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Research Lab, working under my advisor Dr. Kulig, we study problems of recurrent pain. One specific group of patients we investigate are dancers with flexor hallucis longus tendinopathy, a condition sometimes called “dancer’s tendinitis”. We test different modifications to relevé exercises as potential prevention or non-surgical treatment interventions. This research was funded by the American Physical Therapy Association Orthopaedic Section's Performing Arts Special Interest Group. Another population we study is persons suffering from recurrent low back pain. We investigate different mechanisms that may contribute to altered postural control in these persons even during periods of pain remission.


-What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, I plan to pursue a post-doc in order to expand my research knowledge and skills. After that, I’ll begin looking for a faculty position at a university where I can work closely with both a kinesiology or biomechanics department and a dance program. It’s a passion of mine to keep these two areas communicating and connecting so we can (a) learn how to improve dancer health and performance, (b) investigate general principles of movement and motor control by studying dancers, and (c) develop dance-like interventions for other populations and patient groups.

-Which annual meeting has been your favorite so far and why?

 

 Pittsburgh was my favorite annual meeting. Being my fourth meeting, professionals began recognizing me, saying hello, and asking about my work. It was very cool to start feeling part of the community. Also, my sister was in her senior year at the University of Pittsburgh studying Athletic Training. She also attended the meeting to learn about how to better treat dancers. We had so much fun being in a professional setting and learning together! I am very grateful for this experience that I know most siblings with diverse interests do not get to share. My sister, Whitney, has since graduated and is now an Athletic Trainer employed by UPMC and working with the dance students at Point Park University – using knowledge she gained from the IADMS meeting on a pretty-much-daily basis. We still chat often about what she’s learning while helping these dancers perform at their best and prevent and recover from injury.

 

Pictured: Michael Rowley and Whitney Rowley at IADMS2015 in Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

-In which ways has IADMS helped you grow in your field of study and what would you say to a student thinking of joining IADMS?

 

 IADMS has provided invaluable networking opportunities. Some of these have already begun paying off as we at USC have been able to collaborate with other dance science and health researchers in the area and internationally. As we’ve moved forward on our tendinopathy research, I’ve reached out to IADMS experts for help and advice from something as simple as “How do you quantify and define dance volume/exposure on your questionnaires?” to something as cool as being able to send ultrasound images and videos of the flexor hallucis longus tendon to international foot and ankle surgeons and experts to discuss potential abnormalities in the images. Other networking benefits I’m sure will continue to pay off as I look for post-doc and faculty positions. Not to mention simply how fun and friendly most of the dance medicine and science community is.

 

 If you’re interested, give it an honest shot. I think it’s easy to join for one year and attend the annual meeting when it’s near you. While that’s a great start and I’m sure you will benefit immensely from attending, to get the most out of IADMS it takes a commitment to the community. After two or three years attending and networking, you will start to see the community giving back. After the meeting, reach out to speakers and professionals you learned something from – introduce yourself, share your interests and goals, and thank them for the work they do. Pretty quickly, you’ll be able to express for yourself the benefits of being a part of the international dance medicine and science community.

 

Pictured: Michael Rowley and Pamela Oppenheimer.
Photo by Dan Dunlap.

 

If you’d like to share your experiences, email us at student@iadms.org

 

 

Tags:  5 Questions With  students 

PermalinkComments (0)
 

Ipswich IADMS Regional Meeting: A Healthier Dancer Day on The Adolescent Dancer

Posted By DanceEast in partnership with One Dance UK, Monday, May 1, 2017

 Are you a dance educator, private school dance teacher, community artist, a parent, or involved in dance teaching and learning of children and young people?
 
 If so, then this day-long IADMS Regional Meeting is exactly for you!

 

 
 A blend of practical and discursive workshops, as well as keynote presentations, this day draws from the most recent research and practice in dance medicine and science to offer up-to-date information on the physiology and psychology of working with children and young people in an applied dance learning context.
 
 Workshops include: Working with Adolescent Dancers: The Physiology and Psychology of Children and Young People, Pointe work readiness Resilience and Mental Health, Supporting the Adolescent Dancer Growing up as a dancer and The Role of the Dance Teacher.
 
 Dance teachers will be able to claim continuing professional development hours for their portfolio.
 
 The schedule of the day, including key note speakers can be found here.
 
Friday 26th May 2017
10am – 6pm 
Jerwood DanceHouse, Ipswich
£80, £65 concessions
 
To book, call DanceEast Box Office on 01473 295230 or visit www.danceeast.co.uk

 

Tags:  dancers  regional meeting  UK 

PermalinkComments (1)
 

The Importance of Vitamin D for Dancers

Posted By Derrick D. Brown on behalf of the IADMS Dance Educators’ Committee, Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Vitamin D has received a great deal of attention in the last 5 years both in popular media and in dance medicine and science research, and with good reason. While much emphasis is placed on its role in bone health, a key question revealed from the research is whether it also can provide other benefits for pre- and professional dancers.  The purpose of the post is to highlight some of the research done on dancers and discuss why it might be important to keep an eye on your Vitamin D levels.

 

 We could say, that ‘if vitamins had a prima ballerina assoluta , Vitamin D (Vit-D) would almost certainly receive that rare and prestigious honour. Such a unique status usually reveals a high level of complexity, which fully describes this vitamin, as D appears to be one of the few organic substances that the human body processes both via our food and from the sun. Two major forms you might have heard of, are vitamin D2 and vitamin D3.  Both D2 and D3 are found in dietary supplements and fortified foods. While there are differences, they do not greatly influence metabolism or activation in the body. You might have seen many confusing letters/ numbers combinations that describe Vit-D. The table below offers an overview of the many ways in which Vit-D is characterized in popular and health-based media.

 


 

Vit-D exerts considerable influence on the metabolism of micronutrients calcium and phosphorus, as well as key bodily organs: intestine, bone, and kidney.  The image below provides a schematic of Vit-D metabolism as it occurs naturally due to sun exposure. Oral forms of  Vit-D follow similar metabolic pathways through organs.

 


Fig.1 Metabolism processes of Vitamin D

© Designua | Dreamstime.com

 

 As mentioned above, thanks to the photochemical processes from ultraviolet B (UVB) light, our bodies can produce significant levels of Vit-D from the sun. As with most rules there is an exception. The amount of D3 that your body can convert from UVB depends on your skin pigment. So naturally dark-skinned individuals may block UV light and prevent D3 synthesis. Geography also plays a role; more Northern countries, including, Scandinavia, the Netherlands, the UK and Germany, receive less sunlight than, say, Mexico. Sunscreen, once considered a ‘must’ is now cautioned for some; and should be used after sufficient time in the sun to allow for Vit-D synthesis, but not at the risk of sunburn (see practical recommendations below).

 


© Hanna Monika Cybulko, Dreamstime.com

 

 Vitamin D and Dancing

Wolman et al (2013) studied a group of 19 UK based elite classical ballet dancers over a six month period for vitamin D levels.  During the winter, all 19 dancers were either insufficient or deficient, and even in the summer months only three dancers had normal levels of the vitamin.  Similarly, Dulcher and colleagues (2011) found similar results and whilst such small cohorts are not generalisable, they do provide a glimpse of the challenges that young dancers may face. Notable in both studies are the similar findings made across genders and, importantly, in different geographic locations. A possible reason for Vitamin D deficiency in young dancers, is that while studying at pre-professional academies most dancers spend considerable time in the dance studio, upwards of 5-6 hours a day, and so receive little exposure to sunlight, particularly in the northern latitudes during winter months.

 

 Vitamin D and diet.

Even with the complexity of skin type, geography and adequate healthy exposure to the sun (see practical recommendations below), we can also receive some of our D from the diet. Those who opt for an omnivore diet that is well balanced should have no trouble with additional Vitamin D sources from some dairy products, fatty fish and egg yolks, as well as fortified foods. However, vegans and vegetarians might need to work a bit harder to find significant dietary Vit-D. Larsson and Johansson, (2002) in a comparative study which assessed the dietary intake and nutritional status of young Swedish vegans and omnivores. All youths had dietary intakes lower than average of Vit-D with female vegans particular low even with Vit-D production via skin exposed to ultraviolet B (UVB) light. Similar results have been seen in Danish (Kristensen, 2015) and Finnish vegans. Together with the aforementioned studies on vegetarians and vegans from Nordic countries, it is reasonable to presume that some vegan dancers may also have low levels of this nutrient.  Vegetarians and vegans can find many products fortified with Vit-D. Many alternatives to milk (oat, almond, rice) are now fortified with Vit-D.  Even certain mushrooms (Portabella and Cremini) are exposed to large doses of UVB during growth increasing Vit-D levels dramatically, although due to the complex process mentioned above don’t expect to receive adequate amounts of usable (bioavailable) D by eating multiple servings of mushroom ragout!

 

 Supplementing Vitamin D

Given much that was mentioned, one might conclude that the easy route would simply be to take a supplement. But before you run out, buy up and start popping Vit-D, it is important to caution that for athletes (dancers being a type of athlete) there may be complications. Multiple studies suggest that taking more than 5,000 IU (125mcg)/day could actually negatively impact your performance. And then quality of supplements is equally important so that no undue toxins from inferior supplements are ingested. If extremely low levels are suspected, seek the advice of a suitable medical professional/ clinical dietician who can assess serum (blood) Vitamin D levels and discuss if supplementation is right for your individual needs. A more comprehensive overview of the process and interactions can be found in the newly published book Dancer Wellness or via the nutrition resource paper, both under the auspices of IADMS.

 


 

Further Resources

 

 Brown DD, Challis J.  Optimal  Nutrition for Dancers. In: Wilmerding V, Krasnow D, eds. Dancer Wellness. 1st ed.; 2017:163-191.

 

 Challis J, Stevens A, Wilson MA. IADMS Nutrition Resource Paper 2016. 2016:1-36.

 

 Ducher G, Kukuljan S, Hill B, et al. Vitamin D status and musculoskeletal health in adolescent male ballet dancers a pilot study. J Dance Med Sci. 2011;15(3):99-107.

 

 Kristensen NB, Madsen ML, Hansen TH, et al. Intake of macro- and micronutrients in Danish vegans. Nutrition Journal. 2015;14(1):1-10.

 

 Larsson CL, Johansson GK. Dietary intake and nutritional status of young vegans and omnivores in Sweden. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002;76(1):100-106.

 

 Wolman R, Wyon MA, Koutedakis Y, Nevill AM, Eastell R, Allen N. Vitamin D status in professional ballet dancers: winter vs. summer. J Sci Med Sport. 2013;16(5):388-391.         

 

 

 Derrick D. Brown is Programme Manager and Lecturer at Bern University Masters of Advance Studies in Dance Science, Bern Switzerland. Associate researcher/ lecturer at the ArtEZ Institute of the Arts , Arnhem, The Netherlands. He is also a Doctoral candidate in neurocognition and motor control at Donders Institute for Brain Cognition and Behaviour; Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands. 

 

 

 

Tags:  dancers  health  nutrition  sun  teachers 

PermalinkComments (0)
 

Not “IF” but “WHEN”: Rehearsing for medical emergencies in dance

Posted By Carina M. Nasrallah, MSAT, ATC, CISSN, Thursday, April 13, 2017

He was only 18 years old - healthy, strong and a beautiful performer. It was just a typical day of class and rehearsals. Everything seemed normal.  No one knew that he had a congenital heart condition that would cause his heart to stop unexpectedly in the middle of rehearsal.  He simply collapsed.

 

 

Catastrophic injuries and life-threatening medical emergencies are not common in the dance studio or theater.  Ankle sprains, bruised toenails and sore backs are more the “bread and butter” of dancers’ woes, and as a result it is easy to develop a false sense of security - the mentality that “it would never happen to us”.  But it is critical to remember that dancers are elite athletes and not immune to catastrophic injury.  Therefore, having a plan for handling emergency situations is not a recommendation - it is necessity.

 

What is an emergency action plan (EAP)?

An emergency action plan (EAP) is a written document that outlines how medical emergencies will be managed within a dance institution or performance venue.  The plan should be clear, comprehensive, and adaptable to a variety of scenarios.  Many facilities may already have a barebones EAP - a paragraph or two discussing what to do in the case of fire, flood, medical emergency, etc.  But a detailed and comprehensive EAP should read more like the choreography notes for a Balanchine ballet.  The reader should be able to visualize how the scene would unfold, which characters will emerge from the wings, the sequence of steps, and the location of props.

 

 

 

Who should be involved?

In the case of an emergency roles need to be delegated and the parties should know their responsibilities in advance. Instructors, staff, administrators, any on-site or off-site medical personnel (i.e. athletic trainers, physical therapists, attending physicians), and the local EMS team should be familiar with the venue-specific EAP.  The plan should answer the following: Who will call EMS? Perform the initial evaluation? Retrieve the emergency contact card? Fetch emergency equipment? Escort EMS into the facility? Keep in mind qualifications, location, and availability. When working with minors a staff member needs to be designated to accompany the child to the emergency department and/or make treatment decisions if a guardian is not present.  A list of key administrative and medical personnel along with contact information should be included in the EAP. Clear lines of communication should be established along with any special instructions (i.e. dialing “9” first from a landline, information to given to EMS, name/address of the receiving emergency facility, etc).

 

 

Plan, prepare, and plot it out

Often a qualified medical professional may not be available to perform the initial evaluation in a medical emergency.  Therefore the EAP should outline scenarios in which EMS needs to be activated and when it is unsafe to move an injured dancer depending on level of consciousness, type and location of injury, etc. A healthcare professional trained in emergency care services should assist with developing these guidelines using easily understood language and terminology.  Additionally all instructors and staff should be trained in automatic external defibrillation (AED) use, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and first aid. Emergency contact cards for each dancer should always include a “consent to treat” signed by the dancer or parent/guardian (if a minor).

  

 

Locating and setting up emergency equipment can cost precious minutes in situations when seconds can mean the difference of life or death.  Automated external defibrillators are a life-saving investment that all companies and studios should consider making.  They can be easily mounted on a wall in a studio or carried on tour without even requiring a “per diem”! The EAP should include a detailed description of the location of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and first aid kits. Someone not familiar with the facility’s layout should be able to locate any emergency equipment by following the EAP.  Similarly, the plan should establish an entry and route for emergency care personnel to approach the venue and access the injured person quickly. Floor plans or diagrams may be beneficial for clearly designating routes and locations of emergency equipment. These should be specific to each venue.

 

The performance should never be a rehearsal

As any dance patron knows, seeing a show that has never been rehearsed is not worth paying for.  Similarly, implementing the action plan in an emergency situation should never be the first time it is rehearsed.  This only invites disaster. An EAP should be reviewed and revised as needed at least once a year with staff, administrators, and medical personnel.  Practicing scenarios to drill the EAP is the best way to reinforce the action steps. Then when the unthinkable happens and the adrenaline kicks in chaos does not ensue. A well-designed and rehearsed EAP will reduce time-costly errors and ensures that communication and order are maintained in an emergency situation.  Being unprepared could cost everything.

 

So returning to the young dancer above - what was the end of his story?
That is for you to determine. What is your plan?

 

 

 

Additional Resources

1. Andersen J, Courson RW, Kleiner DM, McLoda TA. National Athletic Trainers' Association Position Statement: Emergency Planning in Athletics. J Athl Train. 2002 Mar;37(1):99-104. PubMed PMID: 12937447; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC164314.

 

2. Emergency action plan (template). National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health. October 2003.

 

3. Casa DJ, Guskiewicz KM, Anderson SA, Courson RW, Heck JF, Jimenez CC, McDermott BP,
Miller MG, Stearns RL, Swartz EE, Walsh KM. National Athletic Trainers' Association Position Statement:
Preventing Sudden Death in Sports.
 J Athl Train 2012Jan-Feb 47(1):96-118.

 

4. Gates R. Be Prepared for Disaster. Occupational Health & Safety. May 

Tags:  dancers  emergency  injury  teachers 

PermalinkComments (0)
 

Are You Warm Enough to Start Dancing?

Posted By Brenton Surgenor and Andrea Kozai on behalf of the IADMS Dance Educators’ Committee, Monday, April 3, 2017

 

Warming up is essential before taking part in any type of dance activity, but it’s not always clear how to warm up effectively.  This blog post sets out the what, why and some of the how-to’s of an effective dance-specific warm-up.  This prefaces our new, upcoming Resource Paper on effective warm-up for dancers, which has much more information and advice on how to prepare the body for dancing.

 

Firstly, an effective warm-up will prepare you (or your dancers) mentally and physically to meet the challenges and physical requirements of a class, rehearsal, or performance.  As the name suggests, a warm-up should increase your core body temperature, which prepares your muscles and joints to function effectively during dancing as well as reduces injury risk.

 

During the warm-up there is an increase in the amount of energy required by your working muscles.  This means your body needs to consume more oxygen and fuel (glucose) to generate energy to power your muscles.  A byproduct of all this extra energy production is the increase in body temperature that gives the warm-up its name, so the cardiovascular section of a warm up is vital in ensuring your body is ready to go.  Therefore, sitting in the sun enjoying a hot coffee will not have the same benefits as a physical warm-up, as a warm-up ensures that your cardiovascular system, breathing rate, and energy-producing systems gradually increase to meet the higher demand for energy when you begin dancing.

 

A warm-up will have a number of other beneficial effects. These include: increasing the flow of synovial fluid (the lubricant in the joints), which allow your bones to slide more freely; improving the elasticity of your muscles, joints and ligaments for increased range of movement; and increasing the speed that signals travel through your nerves, which improves your overall balance, coordination and proprioception (your body’s ability to understand its orientation). For more information about proprioception see IADMS Resource Paper “Proprioception”. 

 

 

Whilst it’s good to include some stretching as part of your warm-up, not all types of stretching are beneficial before dancing.  The role of stretching during a warm-up is to mobilize muscles and prepare them safely to carry out the range of motion required of dance activities, not to increase flexibility. Stretching should happen after the activation of the cardiovascular system and when core body temperature is raised.  Dynamic stretching (taking the joint through a full range of motion in a slow and controlled way) is the best form of stretching in a warm-up.  This is because research suggests static stretching (stretches held in one position for longer than 15 seconds) can have a negative effect on balance, proprioception (knowing where your body is in space) and the muscles’ ability to produce powerful quick movements like jumps (Morrin and Redding, 2013). While static stretching can be an important part of flexibility training it is not an appropriate method of warming up; on the contrary, the purpose of dynamic stretching is to ready the body for full range, dynamic motion (Quin, Rafferty and Tomlinson, 2015).  For more about stretching, see IADMS Resource Paper “Stretching for Dancers”.

 

 

Warming up your mind is just as important as warming up your body.  A good warm-up will give you an opportunity to check how you are feeling, to notice your posture and any unnecessary physical tension or pain.  It can also help you concentrate and focus, which should contribute to technically better dancing and reduced risk of injury (Laws, 2005; Malliou et al., 2007).

 

Although a thorough and effective warm-up should take about 20 minutes, the time required is dependent on a number of factors including, but not limited to: whether the dancer has participated in any physical activity that day (is it the first class of the day or has the dancer recently completed another class); how warm or cold the environment is; and how much space and time is available for the warm-up. This should include a general physiological warm-up that prepares the core body temperature for physical activity.  Importantly too, the warm-up should include specific activities that relate to the style of the dance to follow (Quin, Rafferty and Tomlinson, 2015).

 

A warm-up generally consists of three or four sections: a gentle pulse-raising section, a joint mobilizing section, a muscle lengthening section, and sometimes a second pulse-raising section (Quin, Rafferty and Tomlinson, 2015). The pulse-raising sections aim to increase cardiorespiratory and metabolic rates; these are the prerequisite to all further activity. The joint mobilizing section consists of gently moving the various joints through their ranges of motion, and the purpose of the muscle lengthening section is to prepare the muscles for the demands to come through the use of dynamic stretching (Wilmerding and Krasnow, 2017). It is also appropriate to include remedial exercises for injury prevention purposes at the end of the warm-up (Volianitis et al, 2001), and mental skills and preparation can be included at any stage.

 

Remember the benefits of a warm-up will be reduced or even lost once the body returns to its resting states of heart rate, respiration, and body temperature, so try to keep the time between the end of the warm-up and the dancing a minimum. Warm clothing and continued movement (but not static stretching) will help keep the body’s core temperature elevated. However, this is dependent on what happens after the warm-up (does the dancer keep moving or do they sit down and rest) and environmental elements such the ambient temperature. Cooler temperatures and the lack of movement may cause the effects of the warm-up to dissipate more rapidly.

 

Unfortunately, there is no magic recipe for warming up and the most important thing to remember is that the warm-up should be specific to the type of dance activity to follow (in other words a ballet warm-up will be different from a jazz warm-up). However, with an understanding of a few basic principles, it should be safe and easy for you to design a warm-up that works for you. 

 

 

Here are some suggestions to help you design your perfect dance warm-up.

1.      Involve your mind and take a moment to center yourself.  Check in with how you are feeling; notice any areas where you need to give special attention. 

2.      Make your warm-up dance (and type of dance) specific.

3.      Introduce an activity to gradually increase your heart rate.

4.      Keep the movement simple to begin then progress to more complex and challenging movement patterns.

5.      Mobilize all the joints in your body and don’t forget about your spine and upper body, especially if your dance style includes upper-body weight bearing or/and partnering work.

6.      Give yourself a goal or try some positive self-talk.

7.      Use dynamic stretching and take your body carefully through full ranges of motion saving the static stretching for the cool-down or the end of the day.

8.      Wake up your nervous system by incorporating quick changes in direction and stopping to balance on one leg – this will engage your proprioceptors. 

9.      Once you are feeling warm and just a little bit sweaty, introduce some power movements like small jumps followed by some bigger ones.

10.  Towards the end of the warm-up, pick the pace and progress your movement to speeds nearer the pace of the following dance activity.

 

Whatever you choose to include, by the end of the warm-up you should feel ready to meet the mental and physical challenges of dancing. For more detailed information, check out the new IADMS resource paper on warming up for dancers.

 

 

For more information about warming up see the following resources.

1.      Harris J, Elbourn J. Warming up and cooling down. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2002.

2.      Laws, H., & Apps, J. (2005). Fit to Dance 2: Report of the second national Inquiry into dancers' health and injury in the UK. Dance UK.

3.      Malliou, P., Rokka, S., Beneka, A., Mavridis, G., & Godolias, G. (2007). Reducing risk of injury due to warm up and cool down in dance aerobic instructors. Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation, 20(1), 29-35.

4.      Morrin, N., & Redding, E. (2013). Acute effects of warm-up stretch protocols on balance, vertical jump height, and range of motion in dancers. Journal of Dance Medicine & Science, 17(1), 34-40.

5.      Quin E, Rafferty S, Tomlinson C. Safe Dance Practice. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2015.

6.      Volianitis S, Koutedakis Y, Carson R. Warm Up: A Brief Review. Journal of Dance Medicine and Science 2001; 5(3): 75-79.

7.      Wilmerding MV, Krasnow DH (eds). Dancer Wellness. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2017.

 

 

Written by Brenton Surgenor (BPhEd, MA, MSc), Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and Andrea Kozai (MSc, CSCS), Virtuoso Fitness

Tags:  dancers  teachers  warmup  warm-up  wellness 

PermalinkComments (1)
 

2017 Regional Meetings - All the info!

Posted By Elsa Urmston on behalf of the IADMS Dance Educators’ Committee, Monday, March 27, 2017

This year we are working hard to reach new audiences through a range of international regional meetings, arranged by key members of the IADMS Dance Educators’ Committee.  The aim of these events is always to widen our reach and ensure that information about dance medicine and science is broadly disseminated, especially amongst artists, practitioners, teachers, educators, clinicians, students and parents for whom these ideas are relatively new.  This year we have events lined up in Australia, the USA and the UK, which seek to present ways in which dance medicine and science principles can be transferred to the classroom and applied in practice.

 

REGIONAL MEETING #1 - iadms.org/melbourne

 

 

FRIDAY APRIL 7, 2017

 

8.15 – 9.00      Registration; Tea and Coffee  FOYER

 

9.00 – 9.10      Opening Performance

 

Maggie Lorraine, Tim Storey

Welcome Address and Acknowledgement of Country

 

9.10 – 9.15      David McAllister, Artistic Director, The Australian Ballet (video)

Welcome

 

9.15 – 11.15    Susan Mayes, Paula Baird-Colt, Megan Connelly     

Posterior ankle impingement syndrome

 

11.15 – 11.45  Refreshment Break                FOYER

 

11.45 – 1.15    Dana Rader and Debbi Fretus

Mobilizing and conditioning the upper body using GYROTONIC® Methodology

 

1:15-2:00         Lunch                                      FOYER

 

2:00-2:30         Janet Karin

Variability and the stability myth

 

2.30-3.00         Chris Swain and Sela Kiek

Research and teaching perspectives on spine health in adolescent dancers

 

3.00-3.45         Fiona Sutherland

Body Positive Nutrition for Dancers

 

3.45 -4.15        Afternoon Tea                                   FOYER

 

4.15- 5.15 app.Performance   Details to follow         

 

 

SATURDAY APRIL 8, 2017

 

8:30-9:00         Tea and Coffee                       FOYER

 

9.00 – 9.05      Maggie Lorraine/Tim Storey

            Welcome to day two and Information session

 

9.05 – 9.45      Jill Cook

Jumping your way to knee injuries: Tendon problems in young dancers

 

9.45 – 10.15    Melanie Fuller

Understanding changes in training load related to injuries in dance

 

10.15 – 10.45  Refreshment Break    FOYER

 

10:45- 11:25    Gene Moyle

The curse of being highly gifted: The ethical intricacies of injury rehabilitation in an elite ballet setting

 

11.25 – 12.00  Janet Karin

The curse of being highly gifted: Restoring the body, restoring the dancer

 

12.00 -12.45    Susan Mayes

Healthy ballet hips

 

12.45 – 1.30    Lunch                          FOYER

 

1:30-2:30         Maggie Lorraine

Enhancing and strengthening the range of movement in young dancers’ hips through the GYROTONIC® Hamstring Series.

 

2.30 – 3.15      Paula Baird-Colt

Intrinsic foot muscle activation and strengthening exercises with the assistance of real time ultrasound imaging

 

3.15 – 3.45      Liz Hewett

Beyond Dance: Is dance alone enough to develop the young dancer?

 

3.45– 4.15       Q & A and conclusion

 


Location: Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School, 57 Miles Street, Southbank, Victoria, Australia 3006
Click for map of location

Contact: Maggie Lorraine mlorraine@internode.on.net

Booking can be found here

 

 

 

REGIONAL MEETING #2 - iadms.org/texas

 

 

SATURDAY MAY 6, 2017

 

8:00 – 8:45am             Welcome: Registration and Breakfast

 

8:45 – 8:55pm             Opening remarks

 

8:55 – 9:40am             Dancer as Athlete

Vanessa Muncrief, PT; Ballet Austin

9:40 - 9:50am              Q & A

 

9:55 – 10:40am           Using Rotator Discs to Increase Strength and Endurance in External Rotation in Dancer

 Carisa Armstrong, MFA and Christine Bergeron, MFA; Texas A&M University

10:40-10:50am            Q & A

 

10:55-11:40am            Motor Control Training for the Dancer’s Hip

Sally Donaubauer, PT, DPT, OCS; Pittsburgh, PA

11:40am-11:50am      Q & A

 

11:50 – 1:15pm           LUNCH BREAK

 

1:15 – 1:45pm             Research in Dance

                                    Amanda Clark Tanruther, MFA; Cleveland, OH

Margaret Wilson, PhD; University of Wyoming

 

1:50-2:30pm                Warming Up in Technique Class

Amanda Clark Tanruther, MFA; Cleveland, OH

2:30-2:40pm                Q&A

 

2:45 – 3:30pm             Movement Session

Margaret Wilson, PhD; University of Wyoming

3:30 – 3:40pm Q & A

 

3:45 – 4:30pm             Using a Roller for Myofascial Release

                                    Melissa Hausman, MS, ATC, LAT; Texas A&M University

4:30 – 4:40pm             Q & A

 

4:40-5:00pm                Closing Remarks

 

Date: May 6, 2017
Location: Texas A&M University, PEAP Building, College Station, Texas 77843-425, USA

Contact: Christine Bergeron; cbergeron@tamu.edu; 979-845-5025

Booking can be found here

 

 

 

REGIONAL MEETING #3 - iadms.org/ipswich

 

 

FRIDAY 26TH MAY 2017

 

10.00 – 10.30am:        Arrival and Coffee

 

10.30 – 11.00am:         Keynote Presentation - Speaker to be confirmed

 

 11.00 – 12.00noon:     Training the Adolescent Dancer: Physiological and Psychological Perspectives

                                         Siobhan Mitchell, University of Bath

 

12.00 – 12.30pm:         Coffee

 

12.30 – 1.30pm:           Parallel Sessions:  

                                   Pointework Readiness

                                              Katy Chambers, Royal Academy of Dance  

                                   OR 

                                   Resilience and Mental Health

                                               Stella Howard, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance

 

1.30 – 2.15pm:                                   Lunch

 

2.15 – 2.30pm:              Creating a safe environment for dance

                                                Mark Rasmussen, Harlequin Floors

 

 2.30 – 3.30pm:              Panel Discussion – How Do We Support Adolescent Dancers to Dance

                                                Chair:  Rachel Rist, Tring Park School for Performing Arts

Panellists:  Sujata Banerjee (Classical Indian Dance Artist); Hakeem Onibudo (Impact Dance and Changemaker at The Place);

Sarah Lewis (Glass House Dance and DanceEast Centre for Advanced Training);

Tracy Witney (Head of Learning and Participation, Northern School of Contemporary Dance)

 

3.30 – 4.30pm:                Parallel Sessions:  

                                      Nutrition for the Young Dancer 

Zerlina Mastin, Dance Dietitian and Author of Nutrition for the Dancer

                                      OR 

                                      The Widening Role of the Dance Teacher

Tom Hobden, UNIT and DanceEast Centre for Advanced Training

 

4.30 – 5.00pm:                                   Tea

 

5.00 – 6.00pm:                Children and Young People Dance Performance


Location: DanceEast, Jerwood Dancehouse, Foundry Lane, Ipswich IP4 3DW, United Kingdom
Click for map of location or Click for DanceEast's info page

Contact: Elsa Urmston elsa.urmston@gmail.com
Booking: 01473 295230 or via DanceEast website

 

 

Elsa Urmston is Chair of the the IADMS Dance Educators’ Committee and a Member of the One Dance UK Expert Panel for Children and Young People.  She is a freelance Dance Educator, based in the UK.

Tags:  regional conference  regional meeting 

PermalinkComments (0)
 

IADMS Seeks Nominations for the 2017 Dance Educators Award

Posted By IADMS Education Committee, Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Educators Committee of IADMS promotes communication and education for dance teachers, dance students, parents, dancers, and the medical and other health practitioners who provide their care.

The Committee also seeks to recognize teachers who integrate principles of dance science in their teaching and is seeking nominations for the 2017 IADMS Dance Educators Award from around the world

The recipient of this recognition shows evidence of substantial impact through teaching dance and has influenced future dance teachers. Additional evidence for the award comes from service to the field of dance medicine and science as well as mentoring students participating in dance medicine and science events and conferences. 

 

 

The 2016 IADMS Education Committee Dance Educator Award is presented to Dr. Tom Welsh, Professor at Florida State University. Tom joins Dr. Janice Plastino, recipient of the 1st IADMS Dance Educator Award and Janet Karin, recipient of the award in 2015 in receiving this honor from the IADMS Education committee.

 

 An initial letter of nomination will be used to address the candidate’s eligibility, and additional letters of support will be solicited from parents, school directors, and/or former students. Nomination submissions will be due May 1, 2017. The candidate will be selected by the Educators Committee and will be recognized at the Annual Meeting in October.

 

The criteria for the award describe a dance educator who:

 

· Demonstrates long standing support for the integration and implementation of dance science in the classroom and technique studio;

 

· Has developed a system of training based on sound knowledge of human anatomy, physiology, and/or psychology;

 

· Understands and effectively communicates the biomechanical components of movement and dance training principles, both intuitively and based on research, to augment artistic performance;

 

· Can address artistic and pedagogical priorities within a scientific context to help researchers understand the art of dance and dance teaching;

 

· Demonstrates innovative thinking in teaching, is not afraid to challenge myths and historical methods;

 

· Demonstrates attention to physical development and emotional welfare of the student, working to train and educate independent artists fully able in mind, body, and spirit;

 

· Has students who embody and practice the principles that underpin the teacher’s philosophy;

 

· Demonstrates an ongoing commitment to furthering the field of dance and dance science and IADMS as an organization.

 

Please send in your nominations to Education@iadms.org.

 

 

 

Tags:  IADMS Dance Educator Award 

PermalinkComments (0)
 

Bunions in Ballerinas: it’s not really the shoes!

Posted By Megan Maddocks, Monday, February 27, 2017

I have bunions, two in fact. They were never a problem while I danced, but they got worse when I stopped. As a podiatrist, this made me curious about the relationship between pointe shoes and bunions (more accurately called hallux valgus). Below is a brief summary of a literature review I presented at the 2016 annual IADMS conference in Hong Kong, outlining some extrinsic risk factors unique to female ballet dancers.

 

Hallux valgus (HV) is a common1 and complex deformity2. Being particularly common to dancers 3–9, it is believed that dancing plays a role in the cause and development of HV 10–12, however much research suggests that dancing is not a likely cause of HV 11–13.

 

COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS

It has been shown that the average number of dancing hours per week 3,14, hours of pointe work per week 3,14, total years of doing pointe work3 and the age of starting pointe3 are not significantly associated with HV in the dancer 3. Also, the intensity of practice (professional vs recreational) is not predicting variable for HV 3 and an increased Beighton (hypermobility) score, which most dancers have, has not been associated with HV10.

 

HV is mostly related to anatomical hereditary factors and to incorrect technical execution, rather than to the amount of dancing hours, with or without pointe shoes. 3,14

 

TRAUMA

Apart from rupture of the medial ligament of the big toe joint (first metatarsophalangeal joint – 1st MTPJ)3,14 from an incorrect landing or unexpected accident, there is substantial microtrauma to the joint from the hard pointe shoe box15.

 

FOOTWEAR

Constrictive Footwear

There is currently not enough evidence to implicate footwear in the development of HV 1,16. HV has been reported in populations that don’t wear shoes 1,17.         

 

Dance Footwear:

Ballet Flats

Ballet pumps are chosen to fit tighter and tighter as girls get older, eventually fitting more like a glove than a shoe18. They are fitted, like pointe shoes, when the foot is non-weight bearing and pointed 18, ignoring the fact that the foot expands on weight bearing, resulting in the toes being squished together and increasing the tension on the inside of the big toe joint (1st MTPJ).

 

The Pointe Shoe

The bottom end of the box (block), on which the dancers bear weight, is flat, whereas the pointed toes do not form a straight line, resulting in the longest toe, usually the big toe (hallux), supporting the majority of the body’s weight when en pointe19.

                                                                                                              

Inappropriate pointe shoe fit could exacerbate HV formation1,19: an overly narrow, short or soft toe box, results in the toes being squashed, increased tension on the big toe joint (1st MTPJ) and a general lack of support of the foot, (Fig.1). Proper pointe shoe fit is recommended to prevent or delay HV deformity, especially in the predisposed dancer1.

Fig. 1 – Foot structure change in a pointe shoe that is too narrow, created by M Maddocks

 

DANCE TECHNIQUE

All turnout must be from the hip 6,18, however, it may be augmented at the knee, ankle, and foot 1,6,15,20. These forced turn out positions may result in pronation of the foot, with abduction of the big toe (points toward 2nd toe) and an increase valgus force on the joint 1,3,6,7,13–15,20, (Fig. 2). When the foot is frequently forced into exaggerated “turnout”, the supporting ligaments and tendons on the bottom and medial side of the foot and ankle may be lengthened and cause them to lose their ability to support the ankle joint and the arch of the foot 3,14,15,21

Fig.2 – Hyperpronation / Rolling in : foot compensation for poor turnout at the hip, From Davenport1

 

It has been show that ankle plantarflexion is associated with HV3, and the average ankle plantarflexion (pointed foot) in professional female ballet dancers is 113°, which is more than twice the normal value of 50° 22. The combination of maximal ankle plantar flexion and an “over-pointed” foot may accelerate the progression of hallux valgus and exacerbate the symptoms 3.

 

 A small degree of ‘‘winging’’ (Fig. 3) can add to the aesthetic alignment of the line of the leg, however, an excess of pressure is applied through the first toe, particularly in a pronated foot 1,13. Hyperpronation or excessive “winging” of the foot while en pointe or demi-pointe may also result in microtrauma of the big toe joint (1st MTPJ)1.

 

 Proper technique may prevent excessive loads on the big toe joint (1st MTPJ), which in turn may reduce the incidence of bunions.13

 

Fig. 3 – Winging: a technique fault in which the feet are forced outward or abducted at the ankles (Photographer: Darian Volkova)

 

Teacher Influence

Teachers should constantly strive to see that the leg and foot turn out as a unit from the hip18,21. Every effort should be made to control or avoid compensatory foot hyperpronation, as well as excessive winging, as it may increase the risk of hallux valgus development 1,6,18,21.

 

CONCLUSIONS

The unique positions and postures used in classical ballet are all potentially dangerous for the foot and leg6,18, with unique and increased forces through the big toe joint (1st MTPJ) and the foot while in extreme positions 1,3,5.

If that isn’t bad enough, the pointe shoe is the antithesis of everything that we, as podiatrists, know about footwear 18. Shoes for ballet dancers are not made for health 18, yet “dancer’s feet are the instruments on which their art depends”13.

Pointe shoes are definitely not protective of HV development 1, and it is almost impossible to prevent HV formation in an individual who is genetically predisposed18, but the evidence is not sufficient to conclude that pointe work causes HV1.

Dancers, like the rest of the population, are either prone to developing bunions or not 10,13,20. However, dancers are at high risk of developing hallux valgus as they have increased exposure to risk factors. Dancer’s at risk of developing HV need to be identified as early as possible and need to be managed conservatively with focus on good technique to reduce dance and non-dance biomechanical risk factors 3,6,13,23.

 

Megan Maddocks – Promotions Committee

Podiatrist – South Africa

 

 

REFERENCES

1.        Davenport KL, Simmel L, Kadel N. Hallux Valgus in Dancers: a closer look at dance technique and its impact on dancers’ feet. J Danc Med Sci. 2014;18(2):86-93.

2.        Dayton P, Feilmeier M, Kauwe M, Hirschi J. Relationship of frontal plane rotation of first metatarsal to proximal articular set angle and hallux alignment in patients undergoing tarsometatarsal arthrodesis for hallux abducto valgus: a case series and critical review of the literature. J Foot Ankle Surg. 2013;52(3):348-54. doi:10.1053/j.jfas.2013.01.006.

3.        Steinberg N, Zeev A, Dar G, et al. The Association between Hallux Valgus and Proximal Joint Alignment in Young Female Dancers. Int J Sports Med. 2015;36:67-74.

4.        Clippinger K. Dance Anatomy and Kinesiology.; 2007.

5.        Miller H, Schneider HJ, Bronson JL, McLain D. A New Consideration in Athletic Injuries: THe Classical Ballet Dancer. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1975;(111):181-191.

6.        Kravitz SR, Huber S, Murgia C, Fink KL, Shaffer M, Varela L. Biomechanical Study of Bunion Development and Stress Produced in Classical Ballet. 1Journal Am Podiatr Med Assoc. 1985;75(7):338-345.

7.        Howse J. Disorders of the Great Toe in Dancers. Clin Sports Med. 1983;2(3):499-505.

8.        Baxter DE. Treatment of Bunion Deformity in the Athlete. Orthop Clin North Am. 1994;25(1):33-39.

9.        Schneider HJ, King AY, Bronson JL, Miller EH. Stress Injuries and Developmental Change of Lower Extremities in Ballet Dancers. Radiology. 1974;(113):627-632.

10.      Prisk VR, Loughlin PF, Kennedy JG. Forefoot Injuries in Dancers. Clin Sports Med. 2008;27:305-320. doi:10.1016/j.csm.2007.12.005.

11.      Einarsdottir H, Treoll S, Wykman A. Hallux Valgus in Ballet Dancers: A Myth? Foot Ankle Int. 1995;16(2):92-94.

12.      Kennedy JG, Hodgkins CW, Colombier J, Guyette S, Hamilton WG. Foot and ankle injuries in dancers. Int Sport J. 2007;8(3):141-165.

13.      Kennedy JG, Collumbier JA. Bunions in Dancers. Clin Sports Med. 2008;27:321-328. doi:10.1016/j.csm.2007.12.004.

14.      Biz C, Favero L, Stecco C, Aldegheri R. Hypermobility of the first ray in ballet dancer. Muscles Ligaments Tendons J. 2012;2(4):282-288.

15.      van Dijk C, Lim L, Poortman A, Al. E. Degenerative joint disease in female ballet dancers. Am J Sport Med. 1995;23(3):295-300.

16.      Nix SE, Vicenzino BT, Collins NJ, Smith MD. Characteristics of foot structure and footwear associated with hallux valgus: A systematic review. Osteoarthr Cartil. 2012;20(10):1059-1074. doi:10.1016/j.joca.2012.06.007.

17.      Zipfel B, Berger LR. Shod versus unshod: The emergence of forefoot pathology in modern humans? Foot. 2007;17:205-213. doi:10.1016/j.foot.2007.06.002.

18.      Tax H. Ballet. In: Podopaediatrics. 2nd ed. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins; 1985:401-419.

19.      Colucci LA, Klein DE. Development of an Innovative Pointe Shoe. Ergon Des. 2008.

20.      Shrader KE. Biomechanical evaluation of the Dancer. Orthop Phys Ther Clin North Am. 1996;5(4):455-475.

21.      Ahonen J. Biomechanics ofthe Foot in Dance: A Literature Review. 2Journal Danc Med Sci. 2008;12(3):99-108.

22.      Russell J a, Shave RM, Kruse DW, Koutedakis Y, Wyon M a. Ankle and foot contributions to extreme plantar- and dorsiflexion in female ballet dancers. Foot ankle Int / Am Orthop Foot Ankle Soc [and] Swiss Foot Ankle Soc. 2011;32(2):183-188. doi:10.3113/FAI.2011.0183.

23.      Weiss DS, Rist RA, Grossman G, Ed M. When Can I Start Pointe Work? Guidelines for Initiating Pointe Training. J Danc Med Sci. 2009;133:90-92.

Tags:  bunions  dancers  foot 

PermalinkComments (1)
 

5 Questions With…Gabriel Gonzales

Posted By IADMS Student Committee, Monday, February 13, 2017

This month’s featured member is our newest Student Committee member, Gabriel Gonzales of University of New Mexico. Gabriel is a pre-med student with an interest in dance medicine. His areas of interest include biochemistry, exercise science and dance (ballet).

-How did you first get interested in dance science/medicine?

My high school dance teacher doubled as my ballet teacher and my inspiration to pursue a career in dance medicine. Her knowledge of the human body astonished me, sparking my interest in learning about the human body and the ability it possesses in dance.


-
If you were not studying dance medicine/science, what would you be doing or what would your career be?

My alternative career would be a professional dancer, I love and respect the art immensely; but to study it with a scientific approach is my true goal.


-What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, I plan on applying to medical schools with a focus in sports medicine, I also have plans to audition for ballet and modern dance companies.


-What would you say to a student thinking of joining IADMS?

Jump in! I would encourage students considering a career in sports wellness, dance, and dance science/medicine as students are exposed and continually kept up to date with the latest of dance research provided by well-established and respected members of the community.

 

-What made you apply to join the student committee?

My decision to apply to the IADMS student committee was clear when considering what I aspire to become in my future. Being a part of this committee grants the opportunity of sharing thoughts and gaining knowledge from professionals in the two fields I am interested in, dance and science. 

 

 If you’d like to share your experiences, email us at student@iadms.org.

Tags:  5 Questions With 

PermalinkComments (0)
 
Page 3 of 11
1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  >   >>   >| 
Association Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal