How Can I Help You?
Training Stronger, Safer and more Informed dancers.
4 Ways Dancewright can help you.
Master's in Clinical Exercise Physiology
Bachelor of Exercise & Sports Science
Diploma of Nursing
Certificate IV in Disabilities
Studio Pilates: Rehab 1 for Allied Health Practitioners
Studio Pilates: Small Apparatus (ball, band, circle)
Committed to ongoing education
My mission is to provide young dancers with access to strength and conditioning classes and instruction to both rehabilitate from injury and prevent it. I also aim to educate dancers about how their bodies function during exercise or dance.
I believe that with this information and access to practical sessions, young dancers can set themselves up to dance longer and with decreased risk of injury.
Many young dancers learning from local dance schools do not have access to this type of information or evidence based training like those in the larger, full time dance schools do. My aim is to provide this service to those students.
Like many dancers, I began at the age of 3 1/2 and progressed through the usual RAD exams at local dance schools. I was accepted into the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School when I reached year 7 and continued on until year 12. After year 12 I began studying the Diploma of Dance at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane but was forced to stop dancing due to injuries. During this time I participated in various competitions and many performances including performances at Rod Laver Arena with the School Spectacular and the MCG. I also performed in and choreographed in a number of local musicals during this time.
Life after Dancing:
Yes - there is life after dancing!
I continued to choreograph and perform in local musicals. More recently performing in Beauty and the Beast, Cats (as Tantomile), Wicked and Les Miserables with NOVA music theatre. Notable roles include The Wardrobe from Beauty and the Beast, Shell Dockley in Bad Girls the musical, Katie in Calamity Jane and Jean in Brigadoon. I also raised my 2 sons and worked as a nurse for a time until a neck injury forced me to change careers. Working in Administration has allowed my body to heal and study both my Masters in Clinical Exercise Physiology and Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science, bringing me back to my passion - working with dancers.
Why strength and conditioning for dancers?
My interest in the dancers body and how it functions began when I was in year 11 at VCASS, studying anatomy. Later, I extended that interest by becoming a nurse and helping patients to rehabilitate after chronic illness or injury. After performing in Cats, I realised that many dancers had experiences similar to mine, with poor rehabilitation and lack of understanding about their own body.
I discovered that there was no tertiary dance specific strength and conditioning or rehabilitation course available in Australia, so began studying the Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science. Throughout the course I applied my learning to dance contexts in as many assessment pieces as possible and in doing so found many 'Ah -ha' moments. So much of the information I gained through this course would have been so helpful to me as a young dancer. I then moved onto studying the Masters of Clinical Exercise Physiology to complete my training and allowing me to work with injured dancers in the way I would like. I have worked with all ages, dancers and non-dancers and people with physical and cognitive disabilities. I believe this makes me uniquely qualified to help you on your journey.
Identifying your weaknesses
Weaknesses may include flexibility, balance, muscle strength or other issues. Therefore, all students must attend a screening session before participating in either individual or group sessions. This session provides an opportunity to evaluate each student’s strengths and weaknesses individually and develop a training plan. Students can also identify their personal dance and fitness goals and provide information about any current or past injuries.
Working together to achieve your goals
After students are screened, goals are set and regularly evaluated. Even if you have no injuries, prevention is much better than the cure, and every dancer has their own goals they wish to achieve with their dancing including becoming more flexible to do those splits, improving their balance for turns, or gaining the strength to hold their leg up high.
Goals may be measured by taking photos allowing analysis of body angles or aesthetics or using tools such as tape measures or goniometers. Each session students attend will be tailored to their individual needs – even within the group classes. This assists students to achieve their own personal goals, rather than just increasing general strength or fitness.
Provide Strength & Conditioning you may not have access to at your dance school
Not every dance school has the expertise, time or teacher availability to offer specialised strength and conditioning classes. Dancewright allows students from any dance school access to strength and conditioning classes. As opposed to regular Pilates or gym sessions, Dancewright understands you as a dancer, from the terminology, to the frustrations of injury and the dedication to your art form.
Working with your doctor or physio to help you to return to dance after injury.
It is essential to work closely with doctors, physiotherapists and specialists in a timely manner to return you back to dancing after injury safely, minimising further injury. Too often dancers will return after having time off without maintaining their previous level of strength or fitness and before strengthening the injured site to a level that is safe to dance without risking a relapse. Working with practitioners allows better judgement and timing regarding the return to dance process.
Dancewright can also work with you while you are injured to maintain your flexibility and strength in non-injured parts of your body to facilitate your return to dance classes. Other identified goals can also be achieved during this time, so the 'down time' of being injured is not wasted.