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Everything posted by drdance

  1. Wow. I realise it's very hard for me to say this when I'm not a parent of an aspiring vocational dancer but any school that gives feedback regarding the size of a dancers muscles is perhaps not a very supportive, forward-thinking school and if I was advising parents of a student of mine, I'd be VERY interested in discussing these comments with the schools, and finding out what their approach to safe dance practice was before recommending them to any other students.
  2. There has also been an ongoing investigation into British gymnastics recently. Sadly it seems like abuse was/is rife there too. I think we'd all be very naive to think that the ballet world was different. It's gone on for far too long but will it ever change? Who knows.....
  3. Who is concerned about this? Her? You? Her teachers? Have you had feedback from vocational schools specifically citing her physique regarding why she isn't getting in? Pixiewoo is right. Genetics is the most likely thing that will affect physique and response to training. My opinion (as a dance scientist) is that "long, lean muscles" (which seems to be the holy grail of ballet dancers) aren't the strongest of muscles. I seem to be saying this a lot at the moment but people need to know WHAT they want their body to be able to do, before worrying about how it looks or what training they should/shouldn't be doing. Once you've figured out the WHAT, the next question is WHY? If you can't answer that question convincingly then there's no reason to do something. People ask me lots of questions such as how can I get more flexible, how can I make my legs leaner, how can I make my pirouettes better etc. My first response is always "why? how will this help you as a dancer?" Finally, I would always guard against saying ANYTHING about the size of a 15 year olds physique, especially their torso (breasts, stomach, hips), unless there is something wrong with their health.
  4. It’s very frustrating that one minute the advice is “Dance studios cannot open” and then “out of school clubs like ballet” are allowed but only in the school holidays?! One minute dance classes have been lumped in with gyms and fitness studios and then the next we’re glorified childcare!
  5. @Canary Yes growth plays a major part in flexibility. Muscles, ligaments and bones all grow at slightly different rates so in the middle of the adolescent growth spurts, muscles effectively become shorter (as they grow after the bones usually). All the sensors around our bodies that tell us where parts are in relation to each other (proprioception) are affected by the growth spurt so an adolescent may feel like their arm/leg/foot is in line or in the right place when it’s not. The approach to training adolescents is a particular area of interest for me! Too many dancers, teachers, choreographers (and parents, I don’t doubt) are unaware of quite how puberty affects the body and how training should be modified as a result.
  6. Hi DD Driver - thank you for your input. At the moment this is a pilot study to figure out if it's worth doing a full scientific intervention study. Having said that, all participants will be screened and factors such as skill level, hours of training, etc will all be taken into consideration.
  7. Recently, there has been growing concern regarding safe stretching, how to improve flexibility and the demand for extremes of flexibility among young dancers. I have been reading and researching different methods that have been used within gymnastics and other sports and would like to trial several different methods to see which are the most effective. Therefore, I am looking for any dancers who are struggling with their splits to take part in a splits improvement trial comparing different types of stretching / strengthening. Participants will be assigned a series of exercises and will be invited to an online training session (via zoom) to learn how to do the exercises. There will be strict guidelines about what other flexibility exercises participants can and can’t do during the trial period. After the trial period any students who would like additional guidance, will be given individual training plans to keep working on their splits. To take part please contact me by email by June 30th using the email address emily@fittodanceforlife.com
  8. Where are you based? I've had enough of zoom now! I'm itching to get back but sense tells me September might well be it. Unless I try running classes over the 'summer holidays'. Some children are going back to school next week but I can't apply the same distancing measures to dance classes (nor would I want to) so it's just about weighing up the risks. It seems most dance schools are staying shut until maybe gyms etc can re-open. I'm so worried that I'll have lost students due to lack of interest; there are some who I've not seen or heard from in ages and I don't even know if they're going to come back! It's a very anxious time....
  9. Pinkpip100 where are you based in the country? (although right now thats somewhat of a moot point!) I run a Midlands based associate-type scheme where there is a large emphasis on the conditioning side of dance training (strength, flexibility, core placement and technique) as it's such an important foundation to build the ballet technique onto. We've had many students continue to train with their local teacher and us, before going to vocational school in year 9 or 10 (Elmhurst, Tring, YDA, Hammond) so we are well-versed in making sure students are keeping up with the standard required to then allow them to join at a later date. Some teachers just don't have an idea of the level of progress required to ensure that students can 'slot into a year group' later. I'm always happy to advise parents, give private coaching or training programmes. Please drop me a message if you are interested.
  10. drdance


    Ice baths work by several mechanisms - one is rapid narrowing of the blood vessels anywhere near the cold, first reducing the flow of blood and other nutrients (including oxygen) to the limbs. In an adult with a fully developed circulatory system this 'shock' is beneficial but can be harmful for anyone with circulatory problems. The extreme cold also reduces spasms and cramps in muscles because the cold limits their ability to maintain contraction/tension. Once the person gets out of the ice bath, the blood vessels widen up again and this causes a 'rush' of blood to the limbs again which kind of kick-starts the circulation and speeds up supply of nutrients and removal of waste products. The circulatory system needs to be robust enough to cope with this and I wouldn't think that a childs body would cope very well with it.
  11. Speaking from the perspective of someone who receives video auditions every year (and is likely to have a lot this year!) it doesn’t matter whether someone does their video once or 10 times. It will still be enough to make a judgement on the candidates suitability. In an audition class we often repeat an exercise several times, with the students in groups or rotating lines etc so they always get a second shot at something so in that respect it’s not like an exam anyway.
  12. Yes the set up is designed for teaching - I have always made that clear. It was really a video in response to those people who asked about the clip on lense for my camera. Laptop to tv gives me a big gallery view of my students, yes. It's vital. I tried using my ipad alone and mirroring it to my tv but by having it in portrait view limited the number of students I could see. As a teacher - I prefer my students to have portrait view from either a phone or ipad because I can see them better. Either that or their laptop needs to be a long way away!
  13. Hi Peanut and Confuddled, and anyone else who's interested - I have done a little video demo for you all
  14. I'll try and record something to show you my set up later on, once I'm ready to teach! I have classes from 3-7 tonight...
  15. I clip mine over the camera and it does allow a bigger field of vision. It varies depending on whether you use zoom or ipad's own camera or for photos or videos etc but I can try to do a demo?!
  16. Confuddled: I bought this one https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01N48IJ2M?ref_=pe_3187911_248764861_302_E_DDE_dt_1 and use it with the wide and macro lenses together and it seems to help!
  17. Students and teachers are feeling it too! I'm pretty disheartened by it all and it takes vast amounts of energy to teach online classes. I started back last week and my experience was mixed and I was left feeling tired and emotional. After getting feedback from parents, I'm trying a new timetable this week and I'll see how it goes. I just can't wait to be back doing actual, real, face to face classes. The world is an overwhelming place right now and we just have to go with it. Some days will feel awful, and the only way to get through them is making sure our basic needs are met (nutrition, safety, love). Other days might feel less scary and it's only then that we can do things above and beyond our basic needs (hobbies, work, chores, learning etc).
  18. You can buy lenses to clip over a webcam or ipad that makes the angle wider... I bought a set off amazon which helps make the view from my ipad better. For teaching I have a laptop connected to the computer which enables me to see the students in gallery view, then I also log into the meeting on my ipad in portrait view with a clip on lens which ensures the students can see me from top to toe. For younger classes I put myself in spotlight view so they can only see me and no-one else, but for older students they benefit from seeing the whole class including themselves.
  19. Ponklemum - I reiterate that students should be guided by their regular teacher at their dance school or associate programme. These teachers know your child and most are offering some way of giving feedback either by doing age appropriate zoom/skype classes or as in my case (as I've had the virus and been too ill to teach) I'm having video sent to me from students and giving feedback by email or video message. A LOT of the online offerings are not designed for children, nor are they taught by people who are used to working with children (ie they are used to working with advanced students and professionals and both physically and mentally, children are NOT mini adults!).
  20. I think they don’t participate in it but they offer places and scholarships to competitors/ prize winners.
  21. From next term I've asked for a £5 contribution from anyone who can afford it. But there are a few who have contacted me to say they can't and I completely understand.
  22. I'm not saying don't do any of them - just exercise caution. Those that are aimed at young people from a reputable source like NYB and EYB will be great! My post was really aimed at all those who feel the need to join in with every single thing going - every professional ballet dancers' class, every Instagram live, and every opportunity to get a name check or a shout out from someone on social media!
  23. Thank you Alison for sharing my post. Please look after your bodies while enjoying access to the wealth of online classes now available! Not all are suitable for children/adolescents or adult beginners. Not all are delivered by people who work with children or adult beginners. This would be the WORST time to get injured!
  24. Pleasure! Please do share the post on social media if you can. Thanks
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