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.

 

Why Should Children Dance?

“Pearls” from Pro Arte: Dance Educator and Artistic Director, Astrid Sherman on her top 5 benefits of dance training for young children

I frequently get asked by parents:  “So — why should I enroll my child in dance?  She/he is already doing a lot of other activities.  Isn’t that enough?”

Good question — that needs a great answer — and here are my top 5!

There are many physical, social developmental & artistic benefits that are inspired from dance training , but my favourite 5 are:

  1. Sparks imagination — creativity and “outside the box thinking” is essential for success — personal, academic and professional
  2. Positive commitment to healthy living — creating a positive, lifelong attitude to staying physically active
  3. Build social skills — group choreography fosters teamwork, communication, trust, confidence and cooperation
  4. Develop positive habits — dance inspires life skills such as discipline, tenacity and commitment
  5. Shape beneficial physical aptitude — establish good posture which encourages spine health for healthy aging

Enroll your child in a dance class today. The lessons learnt will enhance a lifetime!

Picture Credits: Sophie Higgins age 7, now with CatchingART  and working towards her Advanced 2 RAD & ISTD Ballet examinations, photographed by Leighton Matthews

Sophie 2010

 

ArtisticSTRONG Small Group Focused Training

ArtStrong

Wednesday 9th:

  • 11.00 – 1.00pm The death of Port de Bras – Fixing the “smartphone” generation’s forward head & rolled shoulders with upper body work  – Astrid Sherman
  • 1.15 – 3.15pm “Turn like a Top” – Learn turning tricks of the pros – Beverley Bagg

Thursday 10th:

  • 11.00 – 1.00pm “Get those Legs up!” –  Increase you developpe height & extension -Beverley Bagg
  • 1.15 – 3.15pm “Jump like a Star” – Dynamic jumping by looking at footwork and strength- Beverley Bagg

AGES 12+ Intermediate/Advanced

A Look Back at Spring

This Spring, Pro Arte Centre’s Professional Training Program students along with CatchingART Contemporary Ballet Theatre were privileged to be asked to be a part of the Lions Gate Sinfonia’s “Spring At Last” in their 2016-17 Performance Season under the direction of Conductor, Clyde Mitchell. Along with the performance of Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony, dancers were fortunate to perform both classical and contemporary works from well-known Canadian composers Michael Conway Baker OBC (Pro Arte Centre’s composer-in-residence) as well as Christopher Tyler Nickel.

Enjoy a glimpse of this fabulous show!

Pro Arte Centre July Summer Training

Come train with some of Vancouver’s best and guest teachers from New York, Europe & LA this July!

Week 1 (July 17th – 21st) & Week 2 (July 24th – 28th)

GUEST TEACHERS:

  •  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
  • Kimberly Dixon (BFA Dance SFU; A.I.S.T.D. (Modern dip): Modern, Improv , Contemporary & Dance Conditioning
  • Sophia Curalli (AISTD Imperial Ballet & Modern): Ballet, Modern & Lyrical

July Summer Faculty Full Bios

July Week 1July Week 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Open House Week at Pro Arte Centre

We are excited to extend an invitation to attend Pro Arte’s Open House week this Monday, June 26th through Friday, June 30th.  Come and try a class that you’ve always wanted but never had a chance to.  Bring a friend!  We would love to welcome you and introduce our teachers and classes!

Just drop us an email to let us know that you’re coming so we can prepare.  Looking forward to seeing you!

Here is the schedule for the week:

Monday

Monday

Tuesday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Thursday

Friday

Friday