My name is Theo Duff-Grant and I am a professional ballet dancer with the Mikhailovsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg, Russia. At the moment I am am back home in Vancouver healing a knee injury that I sustained at the end of last season. I have been working at Pro Arté with Beverley Bagg, who has been absolutely instrumental in helping me get back into shape. Her incredible eye and attention to detail combined with her immense knowledge of the human body and how it relates to ballet is truly remarkable. Over the past few weeks she has helped me find a personal way of training that works for my body. Her commitment, care, and tremendous generosity that she puts into all of her teaching and coaching is one of a kind. I feel so lucky and privileged to have the opportunity to learn from her. I encourage anyone coming out of an injury or just wanting to improve, to work with this incredible guide.
Celebrating 15 years of magical collaboration with the North Shore’s favourite musicians and artists including Michael Conway Baker, Gillian Hunt & Pandoras Vox, Clyde Mitchell & the Lions Gate Sinfonia, Pro Arté Centre, CatchingART Contemporary Ballet Theatre and esteemed invited guests (including choreographic improvisation with Michael Conway Baker & Astrid Sherman and viewing the fabulous Beverley Bagg in a coaching demonstration).
Where: Presentation House 333 Chesterfield Road, North Vancouver
If you cannot attend but would like to support the evening in a small way, still go through eventbrite, but send us a note to release your seat booking.
As Pro Arte moves on to a new chapter full with passion and potential, we would so appreciate your support and encouragement at this evening of celebration and rebirth. We are eager to share both our history and our future with you!
I feel grateful to have been a student of Astrid Sherman for the 8 years I trained at Pro Arte Centre. I have known Ms. Astrid since I was 9 years old and I can say her devotion, generosity, and care as a teacher is what allowed me to blossom over those years. While there, I also had the privilege of being coached and taught by the incredible Beverley Bagg. I am lucky to have had both of these teachers because their expertise, passion, and mentorship is what helped shape me into the dancer I am today. Pro Arte is where I built my strong foundation of technique and to this day, the excellent, holistic training I received is recognized in the professional world. After my time at Pro Arte, I was able to continue my training and move forward to attend one of the top dance conservatories in the world—The Juilliard School. I graduated with my BFA in 2015 and since then have worked for numerous classical, contemporary ballet, and modern companies/ choreographers. Currently, I am working with Twyla Tharp Dance in New York City. Ms. Astrid and Ms. Bev are wonderful teachers who develop dancers with the training, artistry, and intellect to meet the demands of the dance world. It was there at Pro Arte where I discovered my love of movement and dance. With the tools I learnt there, I realized my dancing dreams and that it was possible to pursue dance professionally.
The training that I received at Pro Arte (under Astrid Sherman) was invaluable in preparing me for my professional dance career, and I am forever grateful for my time there. After graduating, I worked with Alberta Ballet (with then Ballet Mistress Beverley Bagg who is now co-teaching with Astrid Sherman at Pro Arte Centre) and Ballet Jörgen Canada in nationwide tours of several classical and contemporary productions. I then moved to England to dance principal roles with Ballet Theatre UK in their national touring productions. I have most recently transitioned into working in a musical at Disneyland Paris, where my technical background in ballet is a noted asset. It is thanks to the diverse, personal, and in-depth training at Pro Arte that I have been able to have such an enriching and varied professional career so far, from dancing Giselle and Myrtha to being a tap-dancing Genie Girl. I will always be appreciative for the teachers there who taught me to work safely and smartly, and helped me to become the best dancer I could be!
The Professional Program students at Pro Arte Centre are well and truly spoiled with their weekly Pilates and Yoga training in amongst their daily dance specific and foot conditioning. Aside from classical and modified mat work we teach Pilates using small equipment with balls of various sizes, foam rollers, fit rings, rotary discs and resistance bands. We are also fortunate enough to offer the oh so important resistance work using reformers, towers, chair, ladder barrel and small barrel in our spacious and well equipped studio.
With their vigorous training and performance schedule the demands on these talented
growing bodies are high which is the reason we are actively seeking out a preventative
program which will address the common weaknesses , asymmetries and overload injuries we often observe in these aspiring dancers. At Pro Arte, Pilates is also used as part of the dance screening students received each year, to be on top of growth related weaknesses and any injuries.
The common threads we see with a lot of injuries can usually be identified from the following and can be easily addressed with holistic ballet training and conditioning classes:
● Standing with the pelvis tilted too far forward and the lower back too arched (used by students who turn their feet out too much and don’t use turnout correctly from the hip and due to the next point…)
● Weak abdominals (hard to believe but sadly true!)
● Tight as well as weak muscles in the spine, pelvis and hips leading to
(amongst lots of other conditions) snapping hips, IT Band Syndrome, Patellar
● Incorrect use of turnout and weak abdominals – snapping hips, psoas tendinitis
● Weak foot and ankle – leading to rolling over on ankles whether on pointe or
landing from a jump or overuse injuries such as stress fractures in the foot ,
● Poor static as well as dynamic alignment of hips, knees and feet especially in
weight-bearing which affects centre work, turns and jumps.
● Breathholding – often due to a rounded upper back posture (smart phone
generation!), leading to a stiff ribcage and upper back – this often makes the
dancer look stiff and awkward in their movements especially their port de bras, épaulement and facial expressions.
Pro Arte Grad OPEN Technique Classes start in October. Must be of an Intermediate Level ages 18+
Ballet Mondays 6.45 – 8.00pm and Contemporary 7.00 – 8.15pm
Kara Chan (BFA): Contemporary/Modern – Kara received her pre-professional training from Pro Arte Centre under the direction of Astrid Sherman. She went on to complete her BFA in Dance at The Juilliard School in New York and is now dancing with the Twyla Tharpe Company.
Danielle Gould: Ballet – A past student of Astrid Sherman & Pro Arte Centre, The National Ballet School and Goh Ballet, Danielle won a full scholarship to the John Cranko Academy in Stuttgart, Germany. She is now currently dancing with the the Hungarian National Ballet.
Barbra Bean (BFA): Pilates Matwork – A former professional dancer, Barbra studied dance at both UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine. She completed the Teacher Training Program Pilates Method by Diane Diefenderfer and studied extensively with Ron Fletcher. She currently teaches in LA.
Desirée Dunbar (MFA): Contemporary/Modern – Desirée is an award-winning choreographer and the creator of gush.com. She is one of the few Canadians to teach the traditional Martha Graham technique and has had the honour of instructing at various schools including Simon Fraser University, University of Arizona, Centre National de la Danse (Paris, France) and Trintity Laban (London, UK). Her company Dezza Dance is Artist-in-Residence with the City of Vancouver.
PRO ARTE FACULTY:
Astrid Sherman (FISTD, International Association for Dance Medicine & Science Dance Educators Committee Member): Ballet & Dance Conditioning
Stephana Arnold (National Ballet School, soloist Les Grands and Ballet BC): Ballet & Dance Conditioning
Tania Brossoit (graduate RAD Academy, England, RAD Ambassador): Ballet & Dance Conditioning