Conditioning & Injury Prevention

Conditioning & Injury Prevention

Dance Longer

Dance is a demanding activity where the body moves through a large variety of dynamic movements very different from day-to-day life which require very specific strength, control, coordination, and mobility. Often, all of these elements are required at the same time.

In order for dancers to reach their full potential and avoid injury, it is important that the right muscles are doing the right job at the right time with the appropriate amount of effort. It is very easy for the body to develop alternate and sub-optimal movement patterns naturally or as a result of some compensation activity in the body (often due to weakness or injury). Over time, these sub-optimal movement patterns can limit the dancer’s ability to progress or even contribute to over-use injuries.

The goal of the conditioning class will be to ensure that the correct muscles are activated, become engaged during simple exercises and are then incorporated into class movement. This will allow for efficient gains in technique and strength and reduce the likelihood of injury due to weakness or improper movement patterns.

Students will learn to work with their own bodies as we learn key anatomy and assess their bodies when standing, in plié, in relevé, with weight on one leg, moving towards those positions, and during jumps. This will allow the students to identify key areas and exercises to focus on for their individual circumstances. Students will tailor their rate of progression to ensure that foundation exercises are mastered prior to moving on to complex exercises.

We will work on topics such as posture, core stability, turn-out in the standing and working leg, foot control for pointe work and jumps, stretching, and mobilization.
The class will be geared towards ballet technique but will complement and provide benefit to other styles of dance. Class work is primarily based on exercises by Lisa Howell and Perfect Form Physiotherapy.

“Lisa is the owner and creator of Perfect Form Physiotherapy. She started the practice in 2005 with the mission to create the highest quality physical therapy care in a nurturing environment. Lisa has a strong history in classical dance and is well respected both nationally and internationally for her work with young dancers, professional dancers, and dance teachers. Lisa’s focus is on education to prevent injury and maximize performance rather than waiting for an injury to occur.”

Madelaine Lussier

will be instructing the class; recently Madelaine completed Level 1 of the Perfect Form Physiotherapy Dance Teacher & Health Professional Intensive Workshop. Madelaine has been trained in the Cecchetti, Imperial, and Vaganova systems of classical ballet. The class will be a progressive class and therefore important for dancers to attend weekly to move through the process of exercises as they are introduced creating an ongoing sequence for each dancer to personally apply to their needs.

Students will require a thera-band which may be purchased from the office for $12.00 to bring to class.

There is a $15 materials fee for this class to cover supplies (ie. foam rollers, exercise balls, yoga mat, etc)