After working with many dancers privately and in an group session over the years, it became evident that accountability is a huge determining factor on the success of the dancer.
A major roadblock for the developing and professional dancer is comparison. This is not surprising since training hours are for the most part in front of mirror.
Mirrors have a powerful influence to feed a dancer’s negative bias. This stunts a positive growth mindset. I’ve experienced this personally in my dance journey and also observe this in clinic and in the studio.
To offset this, I designed My Dance Goal Worksheets.
My Dance Goal Worksheets were designed for the developing and professional dancer who are looking to find clarity in their goals for their mind, body and dance movement. It is important to be able to track daily progress, create positive affirmations and to map out short-term, mid-term and long-term goals. This accountability is what turns the dream into a reality.
These sheets improve communication between the dancer and their conscious awareness, the dance teacher, parent, colleagues and health practitioner.
It brings the focus on what the dancer can do for themselves instead of prematurely “pigeon-holing” their baseline skills into a self-perceived trajectory.
In exchange for this resource, please take a picture of you using the sheets and post it on social using #mydancegoalworksheets and tag @drblessyl to help spread the word to other dancers who can benefit.
My goal is to create a workbook to make it easier for the dancer to track their progress. I would love to hear your feedback! Email me at email@example.com.
Magnesium Supplementation is often recommended to my patients for self-care. In truth, we don’t get enough of this important mineral in our diets even if healthy and balanced.
Magnesium is naturally found in green leafy vegetables, coffee and chocolate to name a few. Due to soil depletion and the fact that most of us just don’t consume enough leafy vegetables, supplementation is a viable alternative to ensuring that we get enough of this important mineral.
Magnesium can be found in many chemical forms, but Magnesium Bisglycinate has been found to be more bio-available. Most health food and pharmacies carry this supplement in pill, powder or liquid form to suit your preference.
Here are the reasons why I recommend this important mineral.
Magnesium help to reduce muscle pain when you are dealing with chronic pain and inflammation or recovering from overloading from physical activity. I’ve run distance races and used magnesium to help with delayed onset muscle soreness and found it very effective.
I always say, “Leave your bottle of Magnesium by your toothbrush”. That way you won’t forget to take your dosage. Within 30 minutes, you will start to feel drowsy. Remember, better sleep means better recovery, less stress and improved healing times.
Well, you know that if you are in less pain and have improved sleep, you will have an increased ability to focus during the day. When you feel good, you feel better. This also affects your mental health.
Overall, magnesium is important for general well-being.
When you are in the lifestyle of high performance or thriving for a new level of a better you, add magnesium supplementation.
Speak to your health care provider for how this can affect any medications you are taking.
What I’ve noticed with working with many dancers over the years is at times, ankle mobility, hip mobility or lumboplevic stability can negatively affect alignment during dance movement.
The plie is a fundamental movement not only in ballet but in all dance forms. It is the preparation for jumps, turns, acoustic sounds and all propulsion.
This is why regardless of the dancer’s main discipline, I assess plie.
Another common misconception is that turnout (external “outward” rotation of the hip joint) is generated equally by both hips.
This is not the case. The favoured gesture leg and vs supporting leg can present with contrasting mobility.
In this dancer, the right ilium has an anterior tilt due to tightness in the deep hip flexor (iliopsoas). What most forget is that the deep hip flexor is also an INTERNAL rotator of the hip. In other words, it opposes turnout.
During her dance conditioning session, we focused on the engagement of turnout from the deep external rotators of the hip joint using bands and tactile cues in addition to focusing on foot, spinal and pelvic alignment.
The result was level heels at the bottom of grand plie which improved a balanced turnout generation from not hips as well as stability from the lumboplevic area.
The awareness gained from this can continue to dance training in class and can prevent any injury from developing in the ankle, knee, hip or spine in the future.
Here is another example of dancer demonstrating similar alignment issues on the opposite side.
Being aware of these alignment issues can be overlooked in a class setting when the dance educator is responsible for a general overview of the movement. This is why private dance assessments and conditioning in conjunction with manual therapy by a knowledgeable practitioner is key to the success of a dancer with serious goals.
Unlock facility to unlock artistry.
If you are or have a dancer that would like to be assessed, book your appointment online.
Initial visits are typically longer because it is important to gather information about your symptoms to create a diagnosis.
The history is where you tell your story.
This is the part where you tell me where it hurts, when it started to hurt and what makes it worse.
Then, I will ask you to go deeper.
There are injuries and medical conditions in the past that can have an impact to today’s issue. For example, being an elite figure skater during childhood can create issues with the way you activate your core at the gym. We develop motor patterns that become subconscious and as adults, we don’t know how to adjust these patterns to different types of activities. This “go to” motor pattern, can cause injuries like hip and knee pain for example.
I know, it’s hard to recount past traumas, however even the smallest perceived trauma can have lasting effects. I’ve had patients in my office who downplayed past accidents where they lost consciousness, the car flipped over and the “jaws of life” were required to remove them from the scene. As they recounted the trauma, they said it was “no big deal” and that “no follow up treatment was required.”
Trauma gets stored in the body.
And so, as the holistic detective I gather information about your lifestyle, level of activity, quality of sleep and stress levels to get the whole picture.
In this phase, I do a postural assessment as well as a joint specific assessment in the areas that need to be assessed.
Chiropractors assess beyond the spine. I also assess shoulders, wrists, ankles and hips. Basically if it’s a joint or a muscle, I will assess it if it part of your symptoms.
Specificity and Big Picture
I also investigate kinetic chains. In this way, I don’t “spot search” or “spot treat”. I keep the biomechanics of the movement in mind.
The goal is to improve performance, therefore if you have knee pain, but we don’t address foot posture or the stability in your spine and pelvis, then we won’t get a full reason why your body is functioning the way it is.
After the assessment is complete, I will sit with you to discuss the findings and teach you a mini anatomy lesson so that you understand WHY and WHAT is happening.
When you are empowered to know what is going on, then you can make a positive change.
Report of Findings & Consent
A copy of the summary of findings will be emailed to you with a list of self-care action steps to support your treatment plan.
Treatment options like: Chiropractic, Medical Acupuncture, Myofascial Release, Kinesiotaping and Prescribed Exercise Rehabilitation will be offered.
Once you decide which tools you feel comfortable to heal your issue, then formal consent it taken.
Then it’s healing time.
Treatment is always offered at your initial visit.
Every new patient will be prescribed a curated set of exercises and stretches that will support the healing of their condition via the Physitrack app. The app is free and you will get a complete video library through which you can track your pain levels and your attendance.
It’s all about accountability when you want transformation.
Well there you have it.
The initial visit is all about:
Assessing your body’s mobility, strength and neurological signs
Empowering you with information
Tools for your successful transformation
Now over to you.
If you have a goal that you want to accomplish, comment below.
With over three decades of dance experience, she completely understands the journey of the young dancer, the audition process, and the demands of the professional. While studying her Bachelor of Kinesiology at McMaster University, she was scouted by a talent agent and began her professional career as a commercial dancer. Select credits include: Dairy Farmers Milk Rap Commercial (2002), Step Up Revolution Flash Mob: New Music Live-Much Music (2012), and the biggest highlight was the opportunity to dance with Madonna at her Grand Opening event-Hard Candy Fitness (2014). She is a member of ACTRA (Apprentice).
Using the Merrithew Tower Trainer™, Dr. Blessyl fuses her clinical expertise with dance conditioning and pilates. This innovative equipment allows the dancer to work through barre work and matwork with access to elements of the reformer and cadillac using resistance from body weight and springs. Her work is profiled on her Instagram and Youtube channel.
Outside of the studio, she is the contributing writer on dance health & conditioning for The Dance Current and is active with Healthy Dancer Canada (HDC). She is a former faculty member of Equity Showcase Theatre and was a presenter for HDC and the Performing Arts & Medicine Association (PAMA). She was also a guest teacher at York University’s Dance Program.