Why work with Dancers...Because it's Awesome!
I am going to attempt to reflect on my observations of the KS Dance Annual Show in this week's article. From both a Dance Science point of view and my own.
First realisation for any coach or health professional that works in Dance... Sit back and enjoy watching! This past weekend, I actually did very little apart from the odd massage, release/activation work and mobility routine. It is quite apparent that no warm up I set will mean that someone wins a world championship or have the performance of a life time. All I did, personally, was act as a sounding board and advice centre upon which the Dancers could build their own fantastic performances.
Some individuals, needed pumping up! Some needed calming down, some needed relaxation and visualisation. Fact is, as a strength coach... the job for me was already done in the weeks leading up to the tour and performances and in all honesty, who really knows what difference that made on the night.
Each Dancer that came to me needed something different from me and that just shows that treatment and coaching should be individualised to the needs in front of you. There is no one size fits all template to aiding Dancers or Athletes.
Secondly... it is quite apparent that marginal gains are important in Ballet and Dance. Having read the famous book, Four men in a Boat... written by members of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Gold Medal Winning Mens Coxless Four (Rowing)... the expression and question "Will it make the boat go faster?" seems particularly applicable.
IS what we are about to do in this moment going to mean that we achieve our goal or not...? will it make me feel better about what I am about to do...? Do I feel that this foam roller or chocolate bar or release work will help? If it will then do it... if it wont then do not do it. On this principle, we have encourage Dancers at KS Dance to reflect on what they are about to do and what they have done previously, using video feedback and reflective practise. Two very powerful tools and the Dancers feel that they definitely helped them get it right on the night.
SO.... Dancers watch yourselves back no matter how hard it is.... It will help you improve. Teachers... Video your Dancers and to help them understand your corrections.
On a personal note... I am really amazed by the standard of Dancing I witnessed this weekend from individuals that are not yet Pros. Performing Don Quixote and Jazz and Tap and Musical Theatre. When it all came together under the lights it definitely made me realise how fortunate I am to work in such a wonderful Art form.
Thanks to all those Dancers that have asked us to be part of their journey. Completely speechless after the weekend with a tear in my eye last night when it was over. So PROUD.