Pearls from Pro Arte: Conditioning Specialist, Susie Higgins, on the common “threads” of dance injuries

Pilates Pearl picThe 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
tendinitis
● 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 ,
sesamoiditis.
● 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.

 

Springbreak Targeted Small Training & Maintenance Classes

2014-09-07-catchingart-scott-11981. TARGETED TECHNIQUE TRAINING: MARCH 13-16, 2017 

ArtisticSTRONG Small Group Training for ages 9+ (2 levels) with Astrid Sherman, Beverley Bagg & Susie Higgins 2.30 – 4.30pm

  •  “The death of Port de Bras” – Fixing  the “smartphone” generation’s forward head & rolled shoulders with upper body work
  •  “Turn like a Top” – Learn turning tricks from the pros
  •  “Higher Legs” – Increase you developpe height & extension
  •  “Jump like a Star” – Dynamic jumping by looking at footwork and strength

For more information

 

To Register

2. MAINTENANCE TRAINING CLASSES:  MARCH 20 -23

Designed to maintain stamina,  strength, flexibility and technical achievement especially for those students who have upcoming examinations or performances.

Ages 9+ (Jnr Adv/Inter Found & Inter/Adv), 10.00am – 2.30pm

  • Ballet Technique
  • Pointe/Pre-Pointe
  • Dance Conditioning & Flexibilty
  • Contemporary Technique

 

Program Faculty:Tania Brossoit (RAD Ambassador), Stephana Arnold (National Ballet/ Les Grands Ballets/Ballet BC), Alisha Ahmadi (Pro Arte Graduate, Rambert Ballet School BSC), Susie Higgins (Pro Arte Dance Conditioning/Pilates specialist)

To Register

For more information

 

 

 

Holistic Ballet Training: Yoga for dancers

YogaPro Arte Half Day Pre-Professional students take Iyengar yoga every 2nd week with Pro Arte’s Yoga Instructor & Nutritionist,  Dhana Musil. Today, our Intermediate group did a walking meditation to the river (no speaking) and yoga riverside.

We at Pro Arte feel that the Iyenga  philosophy is a wonderful fit with serious dance training for the following of reasons:

  • Their teachers are very carefully trained and thus we can be assured and confident when handing over our precious young ballet dancers:  Iyengar yoga is one of the few yoga disciplines requiring a minimum of five years of training, the last 3-5 focused directly on the certification process and assessment. The average length of time before certification is eight years because at least two years of study at an advanced level is required before being accepted into the teacher training program. Candidates for certification undergo an assessment process which includes recommendations by mentoring teachers, a review of study and teaching experience, and a comprehensive three part examination.
  • The Iyengar style of teaching is marked by precision of alignment in the body, just as classical ballet.
  • In addition, Iyengar Yoga is both an art and a science and is at the forefront of research on its use with medical conditions and injuries. Stability, mobility, strength and alignment are combined with  the concepts of relaxation and restoration of the nervous system.

10 Power Foods

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10 Power FoodsThe recent Panel Discussion held at Pro Arte Centre was a resounding success.  In addition to the opportunity to hear about the professional advancements in dance/science education adopted at Pro Arte Centre by a team of dance and medical professionals, the attendees were provided samples of the use of the “10 Power Foods” and how they might be incorporated into a holistic approach to dancers health.   For more information about the material shared at the meeting, check out the Online Bulletin Board available to all Pro Arte Centre families

Patrons of Pro Arte AGM with guest speakers, Tuesday 11th March 7pm

black & whiteDear Parents

Dance has become increasingly athletic.  Injury prevention starts from the inside out.  Join in on a discussion on the holistic approaches to training a healthy dancer (in mind & body) in today’s competitive world.

How can we as parents provide the support they need?

Mark your calendars and join us on Tuesday March 11th  at 7:00pm

Guest Speaker Panel discussion with: Susie Higgins (Pro Arte Pilates and non-practising Phsiotherapist) and Dhana Musil (Pro Arte Nutritionist) moderated by Sarah Ahmadi

Pro Arte Centre Springbreak Camp 2014

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Springbreak Camp 2014

Dates: March 24th – 28th

Time: 10.00am – 1.00pm

Recommended for Pro Arte Junior and Junior Advanced Levels (Ballet Grades 2-5). Guest students are also welcome!

Teachers: Ballet Technique: Ms Tania Brossoit and Modern Technique: Ms Kim Dixon

Fee: $27.50 + gst per day

  • Students can register for single days
  • Students must take both the Ballet and Modern class
  • Minimum registration is required for these classes to run
  • Please pack a snack!

 To register: Please email info@proarte.ca

Pre-Professional Physio-Dance Conditioning Specialists

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All Pro Arte Pre-Professional students in Pre-Intermediate/Intermediate/Advanced Programs are having dance physio screenings and conditioning analysis with Physiotherapist Erika Mayall (M.P.T, HBSc (kin) and Susie Higgins (Pilates instructor who is a non-practising physiotherapist from the UK) who are working in close tandem with our teachers.

Young dancers are very susceptible to injury during the growth spurt years and, as related by a orthopaedic surgeon for the Royal Ballet at the Birmingham International Association for Dance and Science conference – “all injuries can ultimately be traced to poor technique or wrong bio-mechanics.” Correct muscle recruitment patterns, muscle balance, working within an individual’s genetic range must all be carefully guided by the dance teacher and monitored by a dance physiotherapist. The dance conditioning specialist can assist with corrective and strengthening exercises and be an additional “eye” to recognise misalignment and poor recruitment patterns.

Students need to be encouraged how to “think” and not just “do” when they dance! Short cuts lead to short careers and injuries that will hamper your young dancer into their adult years.