As many people have probably guessed by now... I am not a Dancer and never have been... never will be.
I had the "pleasure" of watching Advanced 1 and 2 Cecchetti from the age of 5 onwards when my Grandad would pick me up from school and drop me off at what was then... "Kate Simmons School of Classical Ballet" now KS Dance.
So it's no secret that I have grown up amongst the theatre and Ballet and my passion for is like anyone that enjoys Dancing and partakes in a career in the profession... just one simple difference... I can't bloody do it.
As a result of this up-bringing I have had the privilege of observing some amazing Teacher and Dancers both at home and around the world: Gillian Hurst, Natalie Leger, Peter Parker, Jonathon Payne, MY MUM, Tracey Moss and many more plus Teachers from Italy, USA, Australia, South Africa.
By observing their delivery I have not only gained the idea of what a jeté is, but their ability to coach and educate has influenced my practises as well.
A great Dancer does not necessarily make a great teacher. As a young budding national level Swimmer... one of my best coaches couldn't actually swim. Similarly, as a Strength Coach now, I have athletes working with me who are a lot stronger than I am. But thats the idea right?
One thing I have learned and my first piece of advice today is this...
Whether you are a Dance Teacher, Dancer, or Dance Parent... judge your Dance education by the quality of the coaching you are receiving... not the list of Ballet or Dance Productions that you see on their CV.
Coaching is an art in itself... Demonstrating something is one thing but explaining and educating for understanding and ingraining habit is a completely different skill.
What drives my daily endeavours is the desire to educate the world of Dance about how to look after themselves on daily basis.
The reason I get out of bed is to offer provision to those that need to increase their capacity to perform and rehearse regularly. We have often discussed the intensity and volume that Dancers put themselves through. One of the most important aspects to grasp is that this volume of Dancing and the intensity of it needs to be manipulated in order to facilitate progression.
It is almost humanly impossible to push the body to the edge on a daily basis and keep improving whilst remaining injury free.
In the modern age of Dance, I do believe the majority of people understand this. Dancers should respect their bodies as such they understand when to push forward and when to recover. Dance Teachers should be able to observe when Dancers are fatigued and might be at more risk of injury.
The road to improvement is not a straight one. There will be complications and bumps.
This bring me to my second tip for young Dancers in high pressure environments. Speak Up!
If there is an issue, you're in pain, you feel ill, you cannot walk without discomfort... Tell someone and expect to have your training and plan modified so that you can recover and get back to progressing how you would like to. DO NOT let your niggle go unheard or unrecognised because of peer pressure or because you are worried what someone will think or say. YOU ARE ONLY SLOWING DOWN YOUR OWN PROGRESS.
SO far my journey continues to take me through sport and education whilst working with Dancers for Science in Dance but I wish to expose yourselves and many more to education and practises within Healthcare provision in Dance, Sport Science, Strength Training, Injury prevention and rehabilitation.
So... we have an event coming up with guest speakers from around the globe and from very prestigious positions.
The next Science in Dance conference takes place 22nd April at KS Dance and is open to anyone that wishes to learn more about getting more from Dance Training and wants to progress their own career by learning about Training, Athleticism, Recovery, Flexibility, Nutrition and Injury Prevention.
Join me on this one... my aim is simple... Keep Dancers Dancing.
I have come up against barriers and I will come up against many more. Not everyone believes in it yet. But open mindedness and a will to learn from some "Non-Dancers" might just make you, your Dancer Offspring or your Dancers more successful than you ever imagined!!
Book a space at our next Event HERE.