IADMS CONFERENCE HUSTON 2017-09-17
Once again Susie is privileged enough to be presenting at this year’s annual IADMS (International Association of Dance Medicine and Science) conference in Houston, Texas, October 12-15. She will be co-presenting with her colleagues from Pro Arte Centre, Erika Mayall MPT, HBSc(Kin) and Astrid Sherman FISTD , Director of Pro Arte Centre.
This year’s presentation will be on “ Death of the classical port de bras. Smart exercises to correct a generational problem”.
A dancer will draw the audience in through their use of a beautiful port de bras (carriage of the arms) and clean lines in their upper body. Over the past few years however we have noticed a change the aspiring dancer’s ability to deliver this beautiful port de bras. Although it is the most obvious in the classical ballet dancer, the use of arms and spine in the modern and contemporary dancer appears to have become more and more restricted. So we started to investigate what some of the influences factors could be.
It is reported that upwards of 4 hours per day is the average time spent on smart phones and other mobile technologies. Higher usage was reported among female adolescents when compared to male. This increased rate of smartphone use carries a higher incidence of neck and upper extremities issues, for example, stiff necks, forward head posture, rounded upper back, postural headaches. Prolonged smart phone use can contribute to negative postural changes leading to adaptive shortening of soft tissues and associated muscle weakness, such as tight chest muscles, weak rotator cuff muscle)
In classical ballet this postural dysfunction does not allow for the achievement of the traditional port de bras lines. Extension in the upper back is compromised, as is the mobility of the shoulder blade on the ribcage. Unrestricted movement of the upper arm and forearm however depend on this free and unrestricted movement.
Compensations will be made in the forms of incorrect arm placement, poor ribcage placement. This affects the aesthetics of the port de bras and leaves the dancer vulnerable to injury.
We developed an exercise program designed to overcome postural dysfunction and enhance students understanding of how to achieve classical port de bra. Exercises are chosen focus on the artistic connection to classical ballet training to maximize motivation in students and increase the transference to dance specific training.