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Channel 4’s ‘Fat Fighters’

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Just checked out this programme on Channel 4, ‘The Fat Fighters’ – where do they get these people from?? I mean the trainers not the participants! I have never ever seen a trainer in the gym or park dressed as ridiculous as they!! If you have not seen it, have a look next week or on Channel 4 od just for the shear laugh. The trainers although know what they are talking about, dress up as crazy cartoon characters, and to be honest look horrendous!

If you are looking for a trainer at the moment please let me assure you that we are normal people and do not look as scary as they do!!

UNDANCE World Premiere

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Last Thursday night at Sadlers Wells I went to the world premiere of UNDANCE, a collaboration of Mark-Anthony Turnage, Wayne McGregor and Mark Wallinger.

Absolutely brilliant!! The visuals, music and performance by both Sarah Connolly and Random Dance were exquisite. Even my husband was astounded by the intriguing pieces. Visually both performances were breathtaking and of course the extremely talented dancers from Random Dance performed with power and grace in the way that only they can.

I would absolutely recommend seeing this if you can, it will be one you remember for a long time! Seeing the physical prowess of the dancers from Random Dance may may also motivate you in your exercise sessions!!!

From injury to performance: Lessons to share in dance and sports

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This one day symposium which was jointly organised by the Royal Society of Medicine and Dance UK, was held at the Royal Society of Medicine headquarters in London on Monday 4th April 2011. The event was sold out and attended by a diverse range of dance teachers / educators, doctors / surgeons and medics involved in sport.

The aim of the day was ‘to provide practitioners with an opportunity to share knowledge and expertise’ addressing ‘the causes, impact, effective prevention and management of injuries in elite dance and sport’.

The day kicked off with an intriguingly honest account from Angela Towler (Dancer for Rambert Dance Company) who suffered a potentially career-threatening injury. Angela recounted not only how the injury affected her ability to perform, but how she had to mentally process the severity and the repercussions of her injury. This account truly highlighted how devastating injuries can be not just to the physical body of a dancer, but also to them as a person and human being. Angela finally discussed with the audience the importance of spotting weaknesses or injuries early so they can be dealt with efficiently by the right professionals and thus preventing injuries from getting unduly worse.

Dr John Brooks (Rugby Union and King’s College London) and Dr Colin Fuller (Research Consultant for FIFA Medical Assessment and Research Centre) explained how they investigate and collect information on injuries within professional football and rugby in order to help them manage and prevent injuries and increase the quality of performance, career length and playing time for their athletes. Although coming from quite a different field from dance, there seemed to be some basic principles which the dance industry could implement and benefit from.

There were also various presentations given by some of the top ankle and knee surgeons in the country who gave us very detailed and graphic insights (footage from inside the body itself!) into what procedures they perform on acute injuries found in elite athletes and dancers. Although the word ‘surgery’ sounds quite scary, they somehow managed to instil confidence in these procedures and although invasive, the results post rehabilitation were excellent. They advocated the importance of taking enough time out for physiotherapy and returning to activity in a gentle staged approach.

The overwhelming feeling from the day, which Denise Lewis OBE (Olympic Gold Medallist and Strictly Come Dancing star) emphasised in her presentation, was how vital it is to have a dedicated team around elite performers. Dancers and sports athletes alike need a professional team of experts around them who are able to support, advise and rehabilitate them when injuries are sustained with both the physical and mental repercussions. As heavily discussed throughout the day, the practical implication of creating this team of medics for dancers seems to be the next challenge, which is why it is so important that the National Institute of Dance Medicine and Science is set into motion and eventually rolled out across the country for all dancers. The last point which Denise Lewis OBE emphasised was the importance of good communication within these medical teams as this can dramatically aid in the prevention of injuries, which is surely the future for dancer’s health and well-being.

Tasty Recipe Article!

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I was asked to share a recipe which is a favourite of mine for Fitpro‘s quarterly fitness instructor magazine! It was a dance focussed publication so me and Eleni from Levantes Dance Theatre submitted out favourite dishes!! There are some other recipes which have also been shared by other dance professionals so have a gander at the following link, then try and enjoy!

YouGotServedp1 (2)

Dance in Fitness

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Fitpro Life

I was asked by Fitness Professionals aka Fitpro (worldwide fitness association), to write an article on my career journey within the dance and fitness industry. It was a really good opportunity to point out that dance and fitness can be a great combination and careers can be aided by studying and practising in both industries. It was an interesting article to write as it got me thinking how closely linked they can be in a practical sense, but yet the lack of academic or experience  recognition each one has for the other. I had to study, train and work separately to get to where I am now, and even now REP’s (Register of Exercise Professionals) do not recognise my MSc in Dance Science as an equal to anyother Sports Science MSc. The only difference is that we apply the sports science principles to dance!

You can read the full article on the following link:

The journey to becoming a dance instructor: Rebecca Dalby

Fitpro convention

Safe dance practise videos online!

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If you are not sure where to start with all the safety and good dance practise advice, these three videos on You Tube produced by Power Dance System. They maybe the answer to your prayers if you want quick basic advice and ideas! Follow the links below and you have the basics covered – enjoy!safe dance practise

Warm Up and Cool Down in Dance Practice – Power Dance System

Relaxation Skills in Dance Practice – Power Dance System

Visualisation Skills in Dance Practice – Power Dance System

The dance theatre legend passes away

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Pina Bausch

Pina Bausch sadly died on the 30th of June 2009 aged 63. I went to her sell out performance in  Sadlers Wells last year which was incredible. As all dance students I was taught about her work and the way she introduced the world to dance theatre, fusing humour and strong power messages. Unfortunately I did not get to see her company Tanztheatre Wuppertal (founded in 1973) until 2008. I am so glad I witnessed such an epic occasion. We were hoping that she would be there but could not make it in the end as she was unwell. Apparently she had only just hung up her dancing shoes two weeks before the stint at Sadlers Wells! Pina Bausch

Seeing her company in the flesh was an amazing experience. With a standing applaud, looking around at the audience, there was not one person in the theatre who was not blown away by the two pieces (Cafe Muller and Rite of Spring).  My favourite was the Rite of Spring which totally blew me away. The power of the choreography and energy of the dancers was quite literally tangible! I have never felt that kind of all encompassing atmosphere in a theatre before and can still feel it now as I look back.

A great artistic mind, a great dancer, a great pioneer and a great lady. Her influence has shaped what we see at the theatre and I am very grateful for that! Watch the below videos on some of her most epic pieces.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXVuVQuMvgA

www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2009/jul/01/pina-bausch-clip-dance-guide 

Pina Bausch

Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing – Theatre Faculties Congress @ Laban

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ISTD Imperial Society of Teachers of DancingTheatre Faculties Congress @ Laban

This year the Theatre Faculties Congress was held at Laban (London) which, following the success of last year, the ISTD felt it was a well suited venue and had great adaptability for the needs of this diverse and large scale Congress.

Once again the Congress was a huge success and the variety of the lectures, demonstrations and workshops were impressive. The day was run with a high level of professionalism but also offering a lovely open and personal approach as the presenters and lecturers created a fun and welcoming atmosphere to all.

Laban

I attended five sessions on the day which included:

Tap class by Douglas Mills – Excellent, great fun! Amazing tapper and choreographer. (Tap Faculty)

Classical Greek: A Musical Approach  – Ancient to Modern by Amanda Wilkins and Carol Vasko – Fantastic! Incredibly informative, well presented and beautiful dancing! (Classical Greek Faculty)

Classical Ballet: Demonstration Class Year 11 Girls from White Lodge with Diane Von Schoor – Talented young dancers taught by an incredible and entertaining teacher. An eye opener into the training of young ballet professionals. (Imperial Ballet and Cecchetti Faculty)

National Dance: A Polish Experience by Wlodek Lesiecki – Two words describe the presenter ….. interesting and crazy! This was a lot of fun to watch, mainly because of the way it was presented and taught. Not perhaps the most conventional way of teaching, but a nice change from the norm! (National Dance Faculty)

Kathak Workshop by Urja Desai Thakore  – Excellent as we got chance to have one on one tution with Urja Desai Thakore! She was also very articulate in answering the questions the audience threw at her. (South Asian Faculty)

Classical GreekISTD Cassical Greek

My personal favourite from the day was the Classical Greek lecture and demonstration.  I had never atcually seen any Classical Greek dance before then and was totally blown away! Four styles of Classical Greek was shown and explained. The first being Lyrical which was very exspressive, worshipful and elegant. The movements were heavily linked with the music and orginally back in Accient Greece, the dance would have been accompinied by live singers. The physicality was incredible. Clearly strength, balance and great flexibilty is needed to perform this style well. Alot of back work and spinal curves were involved in the chorerograhy. You could also see Balletic and Release style qualities (Release technique from the Contemporary Dance).

The second style was Bacchic. This style represents the extremes of human nature. The movements looked animal-esque! The dancers were transformed through the movements into dark and grotesque looking creatures!

The Tragic style was very emotional and perhaps a more maturer way of moving as the dancers had to really engage in what they are dancing for and the story that they were trying to portray. Classical Greek

Last of all was the Piric style. This movement vocabulary is drawn from the days of war and battle. Props such as swords and sheilds were used to convey the intensity and the physicality of battle.

It is easy to see how Classical Greek can enhance a dancer’s way of movement and control. The technique encompeses many qualities and skills which are crucial for many forms of dance inculding Ballet and Contempory. The performances which were shown were beautiful and totally engaged / connected with the audience throughout.

Classical Greek

If you have not seen any Classical Greek  or would like to know more about it then visit the ISTD Classical Greek’s website and have a read. There are many ISTD schools which offer lessons in Classical Greek and I would definatly recommend having ago!

Dance Medicine: the female athlete triad and hypermobility

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OverviewDance Medicine: female athlete triad and hypermobility

The day was set in the Royal Society of Medicine which was a fantastic back drop. The building and the conference room was laid out beautifully with fantastic portraits of the great figures in medicine. The food was great and refreshments served throughout the day. There was a lovely atmosphere where around 80 people involved or interested in the Dance Science and Medicine industries gathered. I saw some old friends and tutors there which was lovely and met a handful of new experts who hopefully I will be working with at some point.

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Protein – Dear Body

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Protein - Dear BodyI really enjoyed this performance. It started out entertaining and continued throughout the whole perfromance! I felt the work was incredibly accesible to all audiences,  so no matter who you were, you could understand and follow the piece with great enjoyment.

The beginning drew on simple, stereotypical ‘gym user’ movements which the audience found very amusing as they were easy to  identify with. Gradually the piece’s story and movement vocabulary became more challenging and in depth, however at no point did you have to desperately try and figure out what was going on.

The piece was about how a lady who joins the gym for the first time and how different emotions and pressures  bombard her as she explores  the gym environemnt in her persuit of ‘body beauty’. These fears, pressures and feelings are something which I have found to be incredibly common with my clients.

Personally, I felt this was probably one of the best pieces I have seen this year. It was refreshing to simply enjoy the work and let it take you on a journey which was both hilarious and poignant.  

I would strongly recomend anybody (not just theatre goers!) to see this. I beleive this was movement based communication and theatre at its best which could have been enjoyed by everyone – not just the dance academics! And at the end of the day,  is that not what it is all about??

To read more about Protein go to www.proteindance.co.uk

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© Copyright Rebecca Dalby 2015

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