Dancer Health
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It can happen so quickly. One moment a promising student is strong and pushing their way forward to success, and then suddenly they begin to evaporate before your eyes. Research has consistently shown that dancers are at least three times as likely to experience an eating disorder compared to the general population. So even if you are doing everything "right," you may still find yourself advocating for the wellness of a student battling disordered eating. By setting a proactive groundwork of support and confronting the issue head-on in the studio, you may have the power to change the movement of disordered eating in dance.

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Summer intensive season is just around the corner, which means it's time to begin prepping your students for the do's and don'ts of program etiquette. Of course your students know how to behave within the classroom (you've raised them right), but there are a few curveballs coming there way during their five weeks of intense training that you may need to give them a heads up for. After all, they're a representation of you and your dance studio every time they step out of your doors. Let's help them put their best foot forward!

We spoke with Pacific Northwest Ballet School managing director Denise Bolstad to get her advice for gracious summer program attendance. Be sure to share this with your dancers!

You're welcome!

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Dance Teacher Tips
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Working with a 9-year-old student, Alexandra Koltun asks the young girl to face the barre. She reviews fifth position, demi-pointe with the front foot and coupé devant. "I separate all the positions, so the student understands each one," says Koltun, founder and artistic director of Koltun Ballet Boston. She reaches down to shape the girl's foot into sur le cou-de-pied, leaving the heel in front and gently squeezing the toes around the ankle. "This position will equip the foot with more strength," she says.

Depending on a ballet teacher's preference and style of training, sur le cou-de-pied (meaning "on the neck of the foot") may be incorporated into class at different times and in various ways. From steps like pas de cheval to frappé and développé, the wrapped position can be fundamental to a student's technical development. Or it can be used less often and as a supplement to cou-de-pied front and back. Either way, the value of the position remains constant as a tool to mold and strengthen dancers' feet.

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Just for fun
Screenshot via YouTube

Stage fright is no joke! Any dancer who's experienced the sudden whirl of butterflies in the stomach that can make you feel slightly nauseous will agree that those nerves can hamper your performance, no matter how many hours you've practiced. So we can totally relate to the tears shed by this tiny toddler as she practices her dance on stage for the first time.

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Just for fun
Screenshot via YouTube

Stage fright is no joke! Any dancer who's experienced the sudden whirl of butterflies in the stomach that can make you feel slightly nauseous will agree that those nerves can hamper your performance, no matter how many hours you've practiced. So we can totally relate to the tears shed by this tiny toddler as she practices her dance on stage for the first time.

Keep reading... Show less

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