First delivery of ISTD/SiDI collaborative Dance Science Unit

SiDI Registered Provider (RP)  Janine Bryant stepped in to deliver the ISTD Unit on Dance Science in August.  This unit has been written by Erin Sanchez (also a SiDI RP) on behalf of Safe in Dance International and the ISTD. The Unit, part of the ISTD level 6 teaching qualification, covers all of Safe in Dance International’s 10 Core Principles.  Janine travelled from her base in Pennsylvania to deliver the unit in London.  Kath Bye from the ISTD’s Education and Training Department said: “Janine’s lectures were insightful, dynamic and clear for the learners to understand. Janine’s approach looked at the important principles of Dance Science in particular looking at Safe Dance Practice core principles and ensuring that the learners were given the opportunity to explore topics that related to their own dance practice.”

Earlier this year Co-Founders of SiDI Maggie Morris and Sonia Rafferty delivered three separate tutor training days to the ISTD tutors delivering their Safe Practice Unit for their new Level 4 teaching qualification.

We are looking forward to continuing this positive collaborative partnership with the ISTD.

Janine and students from the ISTD

Spreading the word: The contribution of the dance floor in creating a safe environment for performing arts. By Mark Rasmussen

Mark Rasmussen and the Scottish Ballet

Harlequin Floors’ Mark Rasmussen is a familiar and friendly face at global performing arts events where he regularly lectures and advises architects, school administrators, local government, unions and teachers about creating a safe environment for dance and performing arts.

In his article below for SiDI, he answers some key questions and outlines the advice he gives to the dance world about the important role the floor has in contributing to safe practice.

Is it difficult to lecture and advise when you’re also representing a commercial organisation?

Not at all, Harlequin work closely with our friends such as you guys at Safe in Dance International, One Dance UK’s Healthier Dancer team and the wider international dancers’ health community to ensure that the advice we give is backed both by the latest research and, just as important, supported by health professionals who look after the needs of injured artists.

It’s also vital that our advice is neutral in tone as the people I’m presenting to are professionals who want information, not a sales pitch! It’s my job, even in a short presentation, to deliver some important “take home points” which enables people to ask the right questions when they find themselves in the position of specifying a space for dance, drama or musical theatre.

What sort of “take home points” do you give?

Initially, I point out the requirements for a space focusing on everything from ceiling height, barres, mirrors (including the arguments for and against), suitable sound systems and then, not surprisingly, floors. Various studies have shown that the wrong kind of floor is an injury risk and so, with current research highlighting that the majority of dance injuries are from overuse, a floor providing the right amount of force reduction is a vital contribution to the long-term health of the performer, student or teacher.

We put great emphasis on consistent force reduction rather the “trampoline effect”. Force reduction is key and we work from around 60% up to 70%. If you imagine how often a dancer will jump (or otherwise impact the floor) in their career, that level of force reduction will reduce the risk of impact injuries such as shin splints and stress fractures.

My second point is that floors for performing arts, particularly dance, and floors designed for sport, are not the same. Sadly, some architects, school managers and producers don’t know there are big differences between a sprung floor for performing arts and, say, a basketball court. This problem can be even harder to address when some floor manufacturers will confuse the market by taking products “suitable for sport”, and then, almost as an afterthought, adding “and dance”.

What isthe difference between sports floors and floors for dance?

In a nutshell, floors for sport tend to be harder or stiffer than floors for dance. They need to be because sports floors are designed to give adequate “ball bounce”, in fact “ball bounce” is one of the standard tests for a sports floor, a requirement that is irrelevant to dancers and performers.

According to Sport England surfaces designed for sports can be found with force reduction as little as 25% or less and still be considered suitable for single sports applications (e.g. Tennis and Bowls) although such hard floors do fall outside the standard which starts at >25%.

Even when a floor designed for sports is properly sprung, DIN standards start at around 46%, which is still too hard compared to the softer 60-70% I mentioned earlier.

In sport, the impact of harder or stiffer floors is offset because most users of sports floors are supported by cushioned footwear whilst performers regularly rehearse and perform in bare feet, socks, ballet or character shoes which don’t offer any protection at all.

What other points do you make when you present?

A floor needs to be consistent with a force reduction variation of no more than +/- 5%. Dr Luke Hopper and his colleagues have researched force reduction variation – he tested a stage floor where a company was experiencing greater than usual injuries and found that, depending on where you landed on the stage, the force reduction could vary between slightly above 20% to around 60%. “This creates a problem biomechanically for the dancer” he explains, because the performer is pre-stressing their body to what they expect the surface to be”. I like to use the analogy of what happens when you land and you were expecting feathers and hitting concrete instead, which will send the shock of impact through your lower body.

Finally, I help to explain what the different types of sprung floors and vinyl performance surfaces are, and why you would specify one over another. For example, some vinyl surfaces have a cushioned foam backing which makes the floor more forgiving to the elbows and knees of contemporary or street dancers with their rigorous floor work, but that same cushioning will dampen the sound if used for percussive dance such as tap, flamenco and Irish dance.

Classical dancers tend to divide between the two surfaces with some preferring a cushioned surface and some preferring a floor without so we encourage companies to either test a sample first or visit some of our previous installations.

 

For further information, you can connect with Mark on LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/mark-rasmussen-ukor find details of your local team at www.harlequinfloors.com

 

References

https://www.sportengland.org/media/4553/floors-for-indoor-sports.pdf

Hopper, L.S., Allen, N., Wyon, M., Alderson, J.A., Elliot, B.C. & Ackland, T.R.  (2014). Dance floor mechanical properties and dancer injuries in a touring professional ballet company. J Sci Med Sp, Jan, 17 (1), 29-33.

 

Should I Ice an Injury? The Debate Continues…

By Sonia Rafferty, Co- founder Safe in Dance International

The debate on whether icing an injury is help or hindrance to the healing process continues.

At the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS) Annual Meeting in Houston, Texas in October 2017, a “duel”, entitled “Cryotherapy: Help or harm” was organised to try to persuade or dissuade therapists and dancers regarding the use of icing as a technique to manage injury.

Two physical therapists, Valerie Williams (PhD) and Rosie Canizares (DPT) were charged with putting forward evidence both for and against respectively. Arguments on both sides drew on research studies to support the different viewpoints.

The case FOR icing from Valerie Williams:

  • A decrease in pain, swelling and inflammation following injury is a positive thing
  • Swelling prevents the negative by-products of the injury leaving the site of the injury
  • There is less restriction caused by the increased and accumulated fluid in the injured joint
  • Intermittent application sustained over a few weeks (for example 6 weeks for an ankle sprain) decreases the speed of nerve conduction which increases tolerance to pain
  • Ice application decreases swelling over this 6-week period.

So her advice is:

  • An ice pack, crushed ice or an ice massage has benefits but….
  • The time and dose of cooling application can vary
  • 10 to 20 minutes is enough to reduce pain and swelling AND monitor the outcome.

The case AGAINST icing from Rosie Canizares:

  • Studies on the application of cryotherapy have been inconsistent, often based on anecdotal evidence, using small sample sizes and frequently done with animals – even the human subjects used have been healthy
  • There are many cryotherapy interventions but with so many unknowns, can it really be safe?
  • Ice should not be used on everyone, such as people with allergies, for example those who can suffer from cold uticaria (a mild or severe skin rash in reaction to cold), or individuals who suffer from Raynaud’s disease (a condition that causes reduced blood flow to certain parts of the body in response to cold or stress)
  • Ice can mask injury due to loss of pain sensitivity
  • Ice could actually increase swelling rather than reduce it due to increased permeability of tissues when damaged
  • Studies have shown that icing has a negative effect on strength, endurance and performance outcomes, such as reduced jump height
  • If people are icing on their own, do they really understand what they are doing?

So her advice is:

  • Dancers should be educated in the protocols before administering ice themselves
  • Consider more carefully when ice could be applied rather than simply using it as standard solution to any injury
  • Use re-warming periods after ice application

The question persists – can we continue to use ice safely or is cryotherapy counterproductive to the body’s natural processes?

Many studies supporting a detrimental effect on the body tissues are basing their findings on studies that involve cooling periods of 20 minutes or more. Systematic reviews of these studies on the effects of topical cooling (cold application directly to the injury) are directing that, until definitive evidence is available, short cooling applications with a progressive re-warming period are advised (Bleakly et al, 2012).

In sports, fitness and therapy articles and blogs, much has been made of the fact that the originator of the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) procedure, Dr Gabriel Mirkin, has now recognised that both ice and complete rest may delay, instead of assisting, healing (Mirkin, 2016).

While he agrees that there are now pertinent questions raised regarding the efficacy of ice application following injury, a personal appraisal of the recent studies has led Dr Mirkin to make the following recommendations:

  • Since applying ice to an injury has been shown to reduce pain, it is acceptable to cool an injured part for short periods soon after the injury occurs
  • Apply the ice for up to 10 minutes, remove it for 20 minutes, and repeat the 10-minute application once or twice
  • There is no reason to apply ice more than six hours after you have injured yourself (Mirkin, 2016).

 

Until studies show definitely one way or the other, SiDI’s advice is similar to that offered the previous 2016 blog:

SiDI says:

  • Use ice with caution and question WHY, HOW and HOW OFTEN you are applying it
  • Follow recommendations more carefully rather than simply grabbing an ice pack and using it as a quick fix “solution” when something hurts
  • Apply ice for up to 10 minutes immediately following an injury to initially slow down the blood flow to the area to limit swelling and reduce pain Remove the ice for 20 minutes so that the blood flow can return to the area and the body’s natural healing response can take over to remove waste and excess fluid
  • Repeat the whole procedure (10 minutes on, 20 minutes off) once more
  • Progressive re-warming of the body part is advised but….
  • Remember, don’t return to dancing immediately following application of ice or use ice to numb pain so that you can continue working!
  • Take advice from your therapist as to how the application of ice will affect your specific type of injury in the short and long term. This implies that you have followed the PRICED recommendations and taken action to get a Diagnosis, something that, for several reasons, dancers are often reluctant to do!
  • If ice is freely supplied in your school or studio for injury management purposes, ensure that everyone who has access to it understands and can put into practice these recommendations.

 

References

Bleakly, C.M, Costello, J.T & Glasgow, P.D. (2012). Should athletes return to sport after applying ice? A systematic review of the effect of local cooling on functional performance. Sports Med, Jan 1:42 (1), 69-87.

Mirkin, G. (2016). Why Ice Delays Recovery. Retrieved from http://www.drmirkin.com/fitness/why-ice-delays-recovery.html

Williams, V. & Canizares, R. IADMS “DUELS”: Cryotherapy: help or harm? IADMS Annual Meeting, Houston, TX, USA, October 2017.

#TopTipTuesday

Planning a balanced dance session…

Get the best results from your dance session by planning effectively and regularly evaluating your methods and strategies. Try to take into account your own and your dancers’ health and wellbeing as you plan – overfilling the session, repeating material too much or favouring specific movements or muscle actions in your choreographic choices can have a negative effect on bodies. Less can often be more, think quality over quantity.

Supporting safer dance

Following the launch of People Dancing and Safe in Dance International (SiDI)’s new online learning course, SiDI’s Co-Founders, Maggie Morris and Sonia Rafferty, explain how safe dance practice is vital for optimising performance, minimising risk and supporting the wellbeing of every dancer
Lots of people see ‘health and safety’ as a set of rules that are necessary to protect workers but nevertheless can be restrictive and stifling. Certainly, in terms of artistic and creative practice, there are worries that overtly focusing on safety may be detrimental to innovation and risk-taking. But healthy and safe dance practice is so much more than industry regulations; it is the best way to optimise performance and to reduce injury risk.

In the 21st century, there is the research and the technology to move beyond tradition and look deeply into how we dance in order to be more effective practitioners and dancers. Dance leaders benefit from a greater understanding of the different types of dancing body and how the needs of dancers change with their development, level of participation and the stylistic demands of an ever-growing range of genres. We now know more about physiologically effective ways to warm-up and cool down, when and how best to stretch in order to recover and improve flexibility and how to support our bodies with proper nutrition and hydration. By understanding how to structure dance sessions from a physiological perspective, we can enhance the dancer’s learning and experience, making it not only safer but more productive. Effective communication will help to nurture a positive environment.

Health and safety guidelines for the physical environment are also important to protect people and this includes knowing how to prepare the spaces in which we dance, ensuring that the facilities used for dance are suitable: the temperature right, floors sprung and so on.

Everyone involved in dance should be able to train, teach, rehearse or perform in a physiologically and psychologically safe and supportive environment. Rather than limiting creative risk, healthy and safe dance practice will support the artform as it continues to develop, enhance performance and, most importantly, support the wellbeing of every dancer.

To keep up to date with the latest recommendations, all dance practitioners – including choreographers, artistic directors and managers as well as teachers and dancers – can refresh their safe practice through continuing professional development (CPD) activities that have distilled research into knowledge that can be applied to everyone’s everyday dance practice.

With this in mind, Safe in Dance International (SiDI) and People Dancing recently launched their new interactive online learning programme, Preparing for Safer Dance Practice, at the Jerwood DanceHouse in Ipswich during the first regional meeting in the UK of the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science (IADMS). Held in partnership with One Dance UK and DanceEast, the event focused on The Adolescent Dancer and was a perfect venue and setting to launch this new initiative.

Available to all dance practitioners internationally, Preparing for Safer Dance Practice is relevant to those delivering or dancing in any dance style, from classical ballet and ballroom to Hip Hop and Zumba. It works for anyone – teachers, choreographers, directors and dancers – working in any context and at any level, with children or adults, beginners or professionals.

Dance injuries can happen to anyone at any time but they don’t have to be inevitable. Of course, being safe is not just about injuries – being healthy in dance also means having the best experience possible. Simple things such as dancing on the right kind of floor, warming up properly, or maintaining a safe environment, both physically and mentally, will all help. In this way, any dancer, whether a professional performing to thousands on stage, a three year old at her weekly local dance class or an older adult dancing for their health and enjoyment, will be able to get the most from their dancing. Preparing for Safer Dance Practice will help all dance leaders provide an effective and enjoyable experience for all those who dance, regardless of age or experience, at the same time as being mindful of injury risk.

Anna Leatherdale, Producer at People Dancing, describes the new learning package as “every dance leader’s passport to safer dance practice”. She says, “This is all about ensuring dancers’ safety and wellbeing, creating and managing hazard-free environments, being risk aware, becoming familiar with safety laws and regulations and always upholding the principles of safe practice, including when conditions may be less than ideal.

“In joining forces with Safe in Dance International we have pulled together the knowledge and experience of both organisations to ensure that this online course is universally relevant and integrates the most recent dance science research into practice.”

The programme puts safe practice at the heart of all dance contexts and is built on four key learning units:

  • Preparing the Dance Space
  • Protecting the Dancer
  • Protecting the Dance Leader
  • From Preparation to Application.

The course can be used as a stand-alone learning resource or to support practitioners when registering for the Preparation for Healthy Dance Certificate (PHDC), which is administered by SiDI. The PHDC gives any practitioner an international professional evaluation of their knowledge and understanding of preparation for healthy dance. It gives the practitioner evidence for parents, employers and students that they can prepare effectively and safely for leading or delivering dance. The evaluation also offers a unique CPD opportunity – the course plus evaluation awards six hours of CPD from SiDI as endorsed by the Council for Dance Education and Training.

Preparing for Safer Dance Practice is available online at an introductory offer of £59.50. The course and evaluation, awarding six hours of CPD, and the Preparation for Healthy Dance Certificate is now being offered for only £84.50.

To sign up, visit www.safeindance.com/preparing-for-safer-dance-practice or www.communitydance.org.uk/saferdance

Info


maggie@safeindance.com
sonia@safeindance.com

PDF Available here:
This article, first published in the Summer 2017 edition of Animated magazine, is reproduced by permission of People Dancing. All Rights Reserved. See www.communitydance.org.uk/animated for more information.

Congratulations to Charlotte

Many congratulations to our Associate, Charlotte Tomlinson for winning the’ Inspirational Community Dance Practitioner’ at the One Dance UK Dance Teaching Awards.
On receiving the award Charlotte said: “I am speechless, those who know me know just how much this means”

Charlotte is an independent dance teacher who embeds Healthy Dance Practice in everything she does. After achieving her MSc in Dance Science from TrinityLaban Charlotte lectured at Chichester College before combining her role as freelance dance practitioner with lecturing at Leicester College. She has been part of the SiDI team since the beginning, becoming our first registered provider and delivering one of our first courses. She also co-authored Safe Dance Practice, An applied dance science perspective with Edel Quin and Sonia Rafferty which is sold world wide as a key text in Healthy Dance Practice / Dancer Wellness. This book is used the core text for all the SiDI Certificates.

Charlotte has presented at the IADMS Annual Meeting several times. She has delivered courses on Healthy Dance Practice for 4 years, this year providing the first European course for the Healthy Dance Practice Certificate. Charlotte also delivers Healthier Dancer talks for One Dance UK. She also co-founded SideKick Dance, running dance activities for young people and adults with additional needs.
An incredible advocate for dance as a whole and for healthy Dance Practice, we are proud to have Charlotte as part of our team.

One Dance UK announces shortlisted nominees for its first-ever Dance Teaching Awards

One Dance UK today announced the names of 27 shortlisted nominees, across nine award categories, for its inaugural Dance Teaching Awards. One Dance UK received 886 nominations from pupils, parents, colleagues and friends of hundreds of teachers, practitioners and dance organisations across the UK, that provide opportunities for children and young people to dance.

The shortlisted nominees were carefully chosen by a selection panel made up of industry professionals brought together to represent a broad range of education knowledge and expertise. The selection panel of Geoff Barton, Althea Efunshile (CBE), Linda Jasper (MBE), Carolyn Lappin and Piali Ray (OBE) said:

We are very proud to have been asked to select the finalists in this ground-breaking first year of the One Dance UK Awards. We were overwhelmed by both the quantity and quality of the 886 nominations. They demonstrate just how important dance is in our schools and how keen the profession is to celebrate the many individuals and organisations who are using dance to transform the lives of young people. We are delighted to be able to recognise so many amazing people doing so much to communicate the inspiring power and relevance of dance across the UK.

Claire Somerville, Head of Children & Young People’s Dance at One Dance UK added:

I’m delighted by the level of interest we have had in the Awards and see them as a key way for us to champion dance education and participation, particularly in challenging times for dance provision in school. The Awards have provided a wonderful opportunity for people to express their gratitude for the dance teachers, leaders and organisations that dedicate their time, energy and expertise into furthering opportunities for young people and we’re looking forward to celebrating with all the shortlisted nominees in July.

The winners of the One Dance UK Dance Teaching Awards will be announced at an afternoon tea and ceremony on Sunday 16 July at Birmingham Hippodrome on the final day of U.Dance Festival 2017.

The three shortlisted nominees for each of the nine awards are:

Rising Star Award – sponsored by Trinity College London

Louise Lloyd, Cardiff
Jaina Modasia, London
Anya Zhavoronkova, Kent

Outstanding Primary Dance Teaching Award – sponsored by dancewear Central

Bobbie Gargrave, St. Michael’s C of E Primary School
Julie Guile, Saughall All Saints Primary School, Cheshire
Samantha Swallow, Rosehill Primary School, Yorkshire

Outstanding Secondary Dance Teaching Award

Rhys James, St Teilo’s High School, Cardiff
Gemma Richards, Matravers School, Wiltshire
Harriet Simmons, Wildern School, Southampton

Inspirational Community Dance Practitioner Award – sponsored by People Dancing

Meara O’Donnell-Webb, Skye, Scotland
Adam Rutherford, Birmingham
Charlotte Tomlinson, Leicester

Inspiration Work in Education Award – sponsored by Safe in Dance International

DanceEast, Ipswich
Greenwich Dance, London
Hertfordshire County Dance Teachers’ Association

Inspirational Lecturer at College, University or Conservatoire Award – sponsored by DWFM Beckman Solicitors

Anna Hall, Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts
Edel Quin, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance
Lara Walczak, Leicester College

Most Supportive Senior Leader or Governor Award

Joy Ballard, Ryde Academy, Isle of White
Paul Clark, Matravers School, Wiltshire
Lisa Kattenhorn, Harris Academy Tottenham, London

Above and Beyond Award

Janet Marmot, South East
Pippa Salter, Isle of Man
Lindsey Wise, London

Lifetime Achievement Award – sponsored by Harlequin Floors

Sujata Banerjee, London
Avril Hitman (BEM), Kent
Veronica Jobbins, London

#TopTipTuesday

Fuel effectively

Think about the energy requirements that you need for the day and fuel up effectively. Try consuming complex carbohydrates for sustained energy, protein for effective recovery, and plenty of fruits and vegetables for overall well-being.

Also try to avoid sugary snacks and energy drinks which will provide sugar rushes, particularly in the evening as these can prevent you from gaining a good nights sleep.

Today’s Top Tip is from Charlotte Tomlinson, SiDI Associate and Registered Provider.

Launching our new online course this week; Preparing for Safer Dance Practice

Launching this week: Keep an eye out for the launch of our new online course; Preparing for Safer Dance Practice, which has been developed by us and in partnership with People dancing.

Whatever your genre or style, this programme will support your practice and offer CPD that you can do from home. This programme is relevant to all dance practitioners world-wide.

If delivers all the content for the Preparation for Healthy Dance Certificate, which offers 6 hours of CPD.