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Everything posted by drdance

  1. It's worth remembering the take-home message in the article which isn't actually very clear (IMHO) If you want to retain strength and control then passive stretching immediately before is the last thing you should be doing. Sports/dance scientists have known about this for a while. The science behind this is that when muscles and other elastic structures are stretched to the max, their ability to subsequently contract in order to produce force, or to contract to provide stability, is reduced. But this is temporary. If you want to improve flexibility, passive stretching is still one of the better ways to do this, but it must be done safely - so, when muscles are warm and tired (and not expected to then produce lots of force), and in stretches that are not likely to cause damage to joint structures or bones, and in positions that have an 'escape route' ie a position that can be changed instantly if pain is felt. It is also important to remember that joints that are very flexible are more prone to injury so should be strengthened at every part of the full range of motion.
  2. Dance physios have reported an increase in hip and lower back problems in competition dancers with extreme flexibility. And of course lets not forget the extremely rare but still-horrifying case reported recently of a child left paralysed after being 'forced' into back and splits stretches.
  3. Not necessarily - yes US is filled with students who have trained elsewhere and lots are from overseas, but that doesn’t mean they’ve trained in ways that are arduous, excessive or harmful. It may even be that they’ve already experienced several years of this type of fantastic quality, well-rounded, periodised training which is in line with the recommendations from dance & sports scientists meaning that they’re ahead of the schools that are only just implementing it! (Not likely, I realise, but not impossible either!)
  4. About time!! Some of us have been saying words to this effect for 10 years or more! But in all seriousness, I’m pleased he’s put this out there as many more people will listen to a person in this position rather than a bunch of “know-it-all” dance scientists.
  5. UGH!!!! Well, as you said, it's usually down to their own insecurities and their feeling the need to justify their childs' achievements/existence.... There is so much more to life than being selected for a school or a college....for any reason!
  6. I do wonder whether a lot of us assume people have an ulterior, negative motive when asking questions like this.... sometimes the question really isn't negative at all (as MAK says). I think in this day and age, our own insecurities and comparisons about our own lives (ie am I doing a good enough job? Are my children as successful as X/Y/Z? Is so-and-so's life better than mine?) can lead us to assume that everyone else is being critical in comments which may well be completely innocent. My philosophy, which is not easy to follow btw, is to be aware of my own personal 'bias' when considering other peoples' comments, and to also consider their own personal 'bias' (or lack of). It's very easy to think that someone is saying one thing, when actually they are saying something completely different. By considering the bigger picture such as how we're feeling on the day, or how they might be feeling on the day can help. No-one needs to justify any of their life choices, or their family's life choices, to anyone else - but it's also just as likely that no-one is asking you to.....
  7. It has really exploded recently - branches popping up all over the country. Seems to be quite commercial-heavy and very “on trend” social media wise!
  8. Perhaps there was literally nothing behind the comment other than “she chose uni over dance” because [by getting good grades] she could. In the same way your DD chose dance over uni, because she could.
  9. Thank you for the recommendation @joyofdance! As well as having my own school (Warwick School of Dance) I run MIDAS which, when it began almost 10 years ago, was the only 'independent' associate scheme (an oxymoron, I realise!) ie the only scheme offering additional, supplementary training that was not attached to a school or pre-existing system of training. While the affiliation/connection to a big school was and still is a big draw for many people, what we wanted to deliver was a bit different in it's approach, taking up-to-date research in dance medicine and science into account. Fast forward to today and it does seem like 'associate' schemes are cropping up everywhere! Some do fill a genuine gap in training and are fantastic and others do appear to be 'more of the same' type classes. Therefore my advice to any parent looking at additional training schemes is will my DC get something there that they do not get at their normal dance school. That 'something' might be different for one person to the next. It might be the chance to dance with a live pianist, to do more strength and conditioning if their dance school doesn't offer specialist classes, to do a different dance genre such as jazz or commercial, or to learn a particular schools' system of training in preparation for future audition.
  10. Maybe if it's modern ballet or stylised ballet but if it's a pure ballet solo then it must be up.
  11. Just because someone works for NIDMS doesn't mean that they don't work elsewhere too - might be worth contacting either of those people to see if they do anything additional.
  12. Also - no need to panic just yet as this doesn't change until 2021.
  13. The current grade boundaries are 40-55 pass, 56-75 merit and 75+ distinction so they haven't changed the grade boundaries around at all, just added in high merit and high distinction. As HowMuch says, lots of people use those terms unofficially anyway so there's not much difference. A merit is still a merit, it just identifies those who are closer to distinction. A distinction is still a distinction, but those exceptional few who get the higher marks are also recognised.
  14. Another recommendation for Gedling Ballet School from me. As an associate scheme director for almost 10 years (😱) I have encountered lots of students training at various schools in the Midlands area and the students from GBS are well trained. I also have positive experience of students trained at Ogando School of Dance and Southwell dance school.
  15. Where in Wales are you? If you're in North Wales and can make a trip to Warrington I can strongly recommend Rupert Wiltshire (Science in Dance) as a strength and conditioning specialist dealing with rehab and training of pre-professional dancers.
  16. Looking for a DVD of the ISTD Intermediate modern syllabus please
  17. While the numbers thing makes total sense, I'd question why the teacher is not letting her move up to grade 1, especially due to her age. Fair enough, she probably wasn't ready to do the exam last March but to hang around for another year seems odd to me. But out of fairness to the teacher, I don't know your daughter nor her teacher so I can't really comment. Only you know your daughter well enough but as a comparison, my bunch of 'very average' grade 1 children are 7-8 years old.
  18. To give a teachers perspective - there may other reasons why the exam is not happening in November such as not having enough other pupils (in other grades) to run a session. To run an RAD day you have to have a minimum of 3 hours otherwise you have to team up with another nearby teacher. I'm having a session in November but I'm worried about it because a lot of my kids were doing show work all last term and I don't know how much of the syllabus they will remember. Yet some of them will have been in their grade over a year and if I delay it another term then that feels like too long. It's never an easy decision but thats why the RAD offer class awards as well as exams. I almost always use the class awards at primary as there's no need for them to do the full exam, and the exam is challenging for most 6/7 year olds unless they come twice a week or do lots of dancing and festivals etc (which my kids at my school don't do). If you don't mind your daughter not sitting the exam, ask your teacher if she can just move up to grade 1. Or if you want her to have the exam experience could I suggest the class award?
  19. Glad it's not just me that shudders every time I see that quote.... Congratulations to your DD richieN!
  20. Tumbling and handstands are really great for strengthening, but contortion is incredibly dangerous for young dancers - ligaments are prone to life-long damage, and bone spurs can develop when joints are contorted to end-of-range. Many young dancers develop lower back and hip problems from over arching their backs and pulling their legs to their heads in over-split type positions. Kids love acro and if done properly I think it's a really important skill set but it's got to be within the safe realms of training young bodies which are not the same as adult bodies.
  21. I'm so pleased to see how things have moved on in the last 10 years! It sounds like lots of dancers at vocational schools are hearing that rest and cross-training/strength and conditioning is really helpful for their bodies and minds and this makes me very happy! Summer schools and summer intensives are great experiences but they really aren't the be-all-and-end-all. The advice given here is all the same as I'd say. Work on strength, general fitness, maintaining active flexibility and do some work on basic technique (posture and turnout are always my go-to areas to keep working on). You can do PBT exercises, pilates work, floor barre etc all at home. If you're stuck and need some direction please PM me!
  22. They are - but shows where people buy tickets are not. So if someone wanted to 'flag' a teacher for dangerous/unsafe practices would it not be possible to raise a concern at this point? If people are buying tickets to watch competitions this might come under licencing laws somehow?
  23. Interestingly, although not directly related to bullying, I noticed something in my local councils 'children in entertainment' regulations (the joy of putting on a dance school show in 2019!) which states: "Dangerous performances The extent to which a child may be involved in dangerous performances is extremely limited. Performances of a dangerous nature include all acrobatic performances and performances as a contortionist. In addition, the regulations state: no child [of any age] shall take part in any public performance whereby his life or his limbs are endangered no child under 12 years may be trained in such work [ie acrobatic or contortion] a child who is age 12 or more may be trained under a licence issued by the local authority of the area in which the training is to take place (or any one area if more than one local authority is involved) subject to conditions which may be imposed. Powers of local authority with a warrant: An officer of the local authority or a police officer may enter any place where there is reasonable cause to believe that: a child is believed to be taking part in a performance or being trained for dangerous performances contrary to the provisions of the act and may make enquiries about that child." So - while not directly related to bullying per se, parents may have legal grounds to raise a concern (and potentially shut down shows/competitions/performances should they choose) if children are being trained unsafely. This is of pertinence particularly for children who appear in shows/performances under licence.
  24. The RAD did produce a character DVD which by all accounts was very helpful. But your teacher should be the one to help you and guide you!
  25. I teach it more like "hop step shunt" with a battement glisse devant action on the first hop, as the gesture leg comes through from low arabesque. The "shunt" is into arabesque on fondu
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