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  1. Hello everyone! MIDAS has some places available for young dancers to start in September. We will be taking video auditions first and then possibly having a live audition later in the summer. If you, or someone you know, has a child currently in year 4 or above, who is looking for an extra addition to their dance training please visit www.midas-dance.org.uk for more information, or search this forum for MIDAS. (There are parents of past students here who have identified themselves as such!). Classes will be held at MAC Birmingham.
  2. @Raquelle @Pinkpip100 @Streetdancer @balletbean @WrapsnBows Thank you all for your feedback. I've had a bit to think about and based on your feedback I've had some more thoughts about future directions. Next step - larger consultation! Please complete and/or share this very short survey (less than 5 minutes) https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/H9SQPG6 Many thanks Emily
  3. Thanks everyone. Still doesn’t help with my decision really!!! Do we still need a scheme such as MIDAS?
  4. Hi everyone, I hope you are all well. I'm looking for some help from parents and teachers regarding the current state of the dance training options for students aged 10+. A little bit of background info: In 2009 I finished a PhD which had a specific focus and found that professional ballet dancers did not have the fitness levels required for the demands of performance, and that technique class and rehearsal were not sufficient to train the elements of fitness needed. Therefore dancers were suffering, or at greater risk of fatigue-related injuries and illnesses. This was the first full PhD to publish a lot of data on this topic and I like to think that it has played a part in real change in how dancers are trained world over the last 10 years. However, my personal interest isn't in professional dancers, it is in training children and adolescents safely and effectively. Therefore, I set up MIDAS in 2011 to provide monthly additional training, with an emphasis on safe dance practice, and equal balance between technique, artistry and fitness. At the time there were very few options for students to take supplementary classes and what did exist in the Midlands were limited to RBS associates, and Elmhurst (which only had juniors at the time). Fast-forward 10 years and the world is very different! COVID has affected all our lives, and in recent years there's been an explosion of 'associate' / additional training schemes from anywhere and everywhere. I also feel like a lot of young dancers and dance teachers are more aware of the need of additional fitness training. Is there still a need/call for what we offered MIDAS? My question to parents and teachers (especially in the Midlands please) is: What are you looking for in terms of additional training for your children/students? Is this available in your area? Is there still a need for MIDAS? Are you looking for something different? Has the COVID pandemic altered how you spend weekends? (eg more priority on family time and less on travelling miles to associate classes etc). I'm interested in genuine, honest and open feedback please. Please do not name or identify any specific teacher, school or programme. Many thanks, Emily aka DrDance
  5. PDQ - I completely agree with you regarding the adolescent growth issues however to say that the kneecap shouldn’t bear weight is perhaps a little misleading. Growth plate related conditions such as Osgood-schlatters do cause pain but not on the kneecap itself - the painful area is below the kneecap, on the tibial tuberosity. If a dancer was sliding into the splits their weight would be distributed between their hands, their front leg and their back leg. Furthermore, the part of the back leg in contact with the floor (if using the bent leg, shin vertical method) is above the kneecap not below it. As for the heel bone - when walking, the heel bone of the leading leg is subjected to a force equal to 3 times the persons body weight. Compared to sliding into splits where body weight is distributed between both hands, and both legs, this is considerably less. The anatomy of the other bones and ligaments in the ankle mean that as long as the alignment of the foot is straight, the joint is secure. As I said before - I completely agree regarding growth related issues in adolescents, and anyone who knows me and my work would know that I also advocate active flexibility training over passive (such as the splits). However the OP asked for tips about keeping square hips in splits. How would you address this issue?
  6. In that position the back knee is actually much more vulnerable to ligament and cartilage injury, especially on the medial (inside) side - a bent knee can twist (although it shouldn’t) and if bearing weight the ligaments can become strained. The heel bone will not be affected by the actions of the splits - the anatomy of the ankle means that it is held very securely. The only way it could become damaged is through sudden and large force impact. It bears weight every time someone walks! And if the kneecap wasn’t supposed to bear weight what happens when people (in all walks of life) kneel?
  7. I completely agree - but in order to achieve this the young dancer needs to be able to turn out out the back leg whilst keeping the hips square. Many young dancers struggle with this too and will twist their pelvis to turn out the back leg. In my experience student dancers respond well to the method I have recommended in order to understand how to maintain the correct pelvic alignment. Once that is achieved you can then work to do it in turnout.
  8. Chamomile - VERY wise words! Thank you for your insight. I hope you are well.
  9. Hi, A good tip for this is practicing sliding into splits then bending the back leg with the shin vertical and foot pointing up to the ceiling. If the hips are open, the dancer will find this very difficult. It requires more flexibility in the front of the hip on the back leg. A dancer who has a good second position / box splits but tighter hip flexors/ilopsoas will find that they naturally want to twist
  10. Hi everyone, I hope you can help - I’ve seen a few posts on social media about a new junior engagement programme but there’s nothing on the RBS website. Can anyone tell me what this is? Is it a new programme or instead of JA’s? Thanks
  11. RAD are operating on a very-much reduced staffing structure so there are significant delays. I submitted video exams in mid -September. Results finally arrived by email in November and I still haven’t had report forms or certificates. It’s taking a long time to get any response to emails etc and they’ll definitely be closed over the Christmas period. Plus tier 4 restrictions won’t help.
  12. EEEEEEEK!!! I would NOT like the sound of any young dancer using these! Not only is there the potential for injury whilst using it, but if a young dancer has extreme amounts of passive flexibility they are much more prone to injury when they're dancing! Let me guess - either someone on instagram has one? If their teacher has recommended one I'd be seriously concerned...
  13. Useful info and at a quick glance it looks to be fairly sensible and standard science. HOWEVER..... children are not mini adults. A pre-pubescent body is physiologically different to an adolescent body which is also different to a fully-adult body. All the structures of the musculoskeletal system have a different composition and therefore behave differently. The neuromuscular compononent should also not be overlooked and this too is different in children/teens/adults.
  14. Gosh it does sound as though life is still very hard in the dance world. I truly believe that the only way that this will change is if people speak out. Gymnasts across the world are starting to talk about body shaming, emotional abuse etc and change is happening as a result. It can be done completely anonymously and if anyone is interested in doing so please PM me in the strictest of confidence. No identities need to be mentioned at all but a group of people (including myself) are working to lobby government to make reporting this kind of abuse easier for students. The problem we face is that government does not recognize the extent of the issue because no one speaks out about it..... Please do contact me or follow us on Twitter @law4dance
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