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.
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!
All levels of dance instruction at Pro Arté are supported by the latest in dance and sport science. Astrid Sherman, who is on the Education Committee for the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS), recently returned from South Africa where she organized, and lectured at, regional meetings for dance teachers and professionals in both cities of Johannesburg and Cape Town as well as the internationally renowned Joburg Ballet Company and the Cape Academy of Performing Arts, one of the foremost training institutions in South Africa.
This October, Ms. Astrid will be presenting with Erika Mayall (MPT, HBSc(Kin), CAFCI, FCAMPT) at the Healthy Dancer Canada Conference in Toronto. Pro Arté is unique in having an on-site physiotherapy office with registered physiotherapist, Ms. Erika, who trained in ballet under Astrid Sherman as a student as well as a well-equipped Pilates Studio. Ms. Astrid, Ms. Erika and a team of highly trained, professional dance educators work together to create the optimal training environment for the emerging professional as well as the youngest of students in their very first dance experience.
Pro Arté’s commitment is to be on the leading edge in implementing the best of training that allows each student to safely excel. Ms. Astrid, Ms. Erika and the faculty at the Centre are leaders in working with high performance dancers wishing to prevent injuries or for any student who is in recovery from impairment stemming from injury or poor training habits. Pro Arte is proud to be committed to a holistic approach to teaching dance and using the most recent updated science to create healthier and stronger dancers of tomorrow.
Pro Arté Centre is proud to announce the new Half-Day Accelerated Program. Celebrating each student that has the desire to reach for excellence, this program provides training that is committed to ensuring that every student reaches their fullest potential. With a team of faculty that are dedicated to helping dancers attain their goals and dreams, students in this program can explore the rich diversity of dance that will prepare them for whatever their future brings.
Come … be a part of a community that has been successful in equipping dancers to live their ambitions and explore their passions. We invite you to learn more about this program and discover how Pro Arté can help you achieve your dreams. Contact us at: email@example.com.
Pro Arte Centre is proud to be the home of CatchingART Contemporary Ballet Theatre – A Semi-Professional Company that launches dancers into the professional world of dance.
The company experience is designed for Classical & Contemporary Ballet dancers ages 18 – 25 who teach/study/work in the afternoon and evening. It can also be used as a supplement to the intensive Advanced + Protégé Training at Pro Arte Centre. Artists in this program are cultivating an artist’s CV that will position them for placement in companies around the world.
CatchingART performs regularly with the Lions Gate Sinfonia, the Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra, Pandoras Vox and Yarilo Music among other professional and community groups. As well, new in the 2018-19 year, the Season includes a series of performances celebrating life on the North Shore in, “Roots of the Community.” These performances will honour the diversity and vibrancy found our own neighbourhood.
More information about CatchingART, an audition application and how you can bring CatchingART to your community can be found on their website at www.catchingart.ca.
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.