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.
In the age of constant smart phone use, raising young children or having a full-time job that requires the use of your hands, it’s not surprising that your wrists can hold you back when practising Yoga or Pilates. Repetitive strain can cause tension and pain in the flexor and extensor muscles that course along the forearm and control the movement of the fingers. You will also find that the muscles that control movement of the thumb are also stiff and painful. This chronic muscular tension can negatively impact the alignment of the carpal bones of the wrist, thereby reducing joint mobility.
This misalignment can be experienced as a “pinching” sensation when weight-bearing on the hand. Wrist extension is required while doing Plank exercises, Chatturanga or Downward Dog. Even more advanced asanas like Astavakrasana (Eight-Angle Pose) or Pilates Leg Pull Front depend on strong wrists.
If you can relate, warming up can help to improve joint mobility and reduce pain during your practice. Here are 3 exercises to do before your class begins:
Wrist rotations: Circle your hands clockwise eight times then repeat counterclockwise eight times. This improves circulation and warms up the joints.
2. Wrist flexor stretch with overpressure: Positioning yourself on all fours, place the heel of your hands on the mat in front of you with your hands palms down and your fingers pointing towards your knees. Place a gentle over pressure on your wrists by leaning forward and backwards. You should feel a stretch along the surface of your forearms that face away from you.
3. Wrist extensor stretch with overpressure: Positioning yourself on all fours, place your wrists on the mat in front of you with your hands palms up and your fingers pointing towards your knees. Place a gentle over pressure on your wrists by leaning forward and backwards. You should feel a stretch along the surface of your forearms that face away from you.
If during your practice your wrists are still sore, you can roll the end of your mat several times to create a cushion that will support your wrists in slight flexion. If it is still painful in certain poses, take a rest in child pose. As you continue to practice, stretch and strengthen, your tolerance in wrist weight bearing will improve. If recovery is too lengthy and you are starting to feel concerned, see your health care provider.
On Saturday, April 18th from 2:00-3:30pm, flow through a series of movements inspired by yoga flows, contemporary dance and floor barre choreography that transitions through a series of core strengthening Pilates exercises.
$25.00 for walk-ins, $20.00 for Iam Yoga members. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP.
Jump performance is not just about height. It’s about how your foot can articulate and push off the ground to initiate a chain reaction of movement, breath and core control. Learn to dissect the jump and how self-care tools and conditioning techniques can help you take off.
Register for part 1 of a 4 week Street Ballet Conditioning Workshop Series with Dr. Blessyl Buan.
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.
Dr. Blessyl teaches you imagery using everyday fashion to improve your alignment. Learn how to tap into your “Inner Queen” using your crown, chandelier earrings, statement necklace and corset! Learn Pilates exercises to strengthen these areas. Vivian Law shows restorative yoga poses that opens the chest and hips and strengthen weakened muscles from sitting all day! After this workshop, you’ll leave a little taller and more confident!
Wear your Body Well: Fashion meets posture 60 min
Learn how to pick the right bag for you. Understand what you plan to carry and how to effectively bring all of your stuff to and from the studio without hurting your neck and shoulders and compromising your posture!
When your body is tension free, you can carry yourself and your clothes in confidence. Yoga and Pilates with proper alignment in the neck and shoulder areas will teach you how to move well.
Wear Your Body Well: Fashion meets Chakras 60 min
Are you attracted to a certain colour lately? Your responses to colour are indicative of your health and areas that need special attention. Chakras are your body’s energy centres and each level has a specific colour attributed to it. Restorative yoga and Pilates help to open and strengthen these energy centres.
About the instructors:
Dr. Blessyl Buan says, “Posture is your Business Card.” She is a chiropractor, dancer and pilates instructor. Integrating her clinical experience with her knowledge of the body, breath and movement, her passion is to teach the world how to move freely tension free so that performance is optimized.
Vivian Law is a passionate wellness professional of nearly 14 years. She is a fitness trainer, nutrition consultant and yoga teacher. Vivian is constantly expanding and sharing her knowledge in health and wellness especially as it relates to alignment of mind, body and spirit, bringing yoga to life and Making Life Good.
Your posture produces a snap shot of your confidence and health in any given moment. Your breathing, vocal projection and ability to maintain eye contact are reflected and influenced by the way your body is aligned. Learn to recognize the way you carry yourself and the message that you are conveying to the world around you. Understand what lifestyle factors affect your posture such as work and family life and how you can correct it. When you’re not feeling so great, learn the tools to “fake it until you make it!”