About Me

Julie Wright

Why Dancewright?

  • VCASS Graduate

  • Qualified Personal Trainer

  • 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 (Currently PBT and small ball Pilates)

My Mission

My mission is to provide young dancers with access to strength and conditioning classes and instruction, as well as educating 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.

My History

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 (now teenagers) 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 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 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 have now worked with all ages of clients wanting to become stronger, fitter or recover from an injury. 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.

 

There are still a lot of misunderstandings and misconceptions around strength and conditioning for dancers, but more research is being done in this area. We are finally starting to catch up to the sports world with regards to education, training and knowledge. I love that this provides me with an opportunity to help you with your goals and understanding of your body as a person and a dancer.

How Can I Help You?

01/

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.  

*Please note that any current injuries must be currently being managed by a doctor or physiotherapist and they must approve participation in strength and conditioning classes. Dancewright will work closely with other health practitioners to ensure best results for students.

02/

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.

03/

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.

04/

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.

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