Guelph Dance Attends Dancer’s Health Conference: “When the Artist’s Body Says No”

New Guelph Dance board member, Heather Finn, recently attended PAMA and shares her experience with us here.
Conference venue: 
The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto
Heather: As a new member of the Board of Directors of Guelph Dance, I am thrilled to join an organization with a solid foundation and a vision for the future of Guelph dancers.  

On February 16 and 17, Artistic Director Catrina von Radecki and I attended the Performing Arts Medicine Association’sregional meeting, “When the Artist’s Body Says No,” at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.  

PAMAis an organization comprised of medical professionals, educators, and administrators with the common goal of improving the health care of both musicians and dancers.
Highlights of the weekend programme included:

     * Tips on implementing a dancer screening program by Gary Galbraith from Case Western Reserve University in Ohio.  Dancer screening helps to collect information on a dancer’s flexibility, strength, technique, nutrition, general health, and wellness.  This information is used to set goals for the year, improve a dancers’ performance, and prevent injuries.
     * Recommendations on the prevention of stress fractures in dancers through exercise and healthy eating habits by Healthy Dancer Canada’s Carolina Rotondo and Stefanie Senior.
     * A panel discussion on “When My Body Said No” with professional dance artists musicians, and health professionals including contemporary dance artist, Peggy Baker (like most of us, her body said “Yes!” to dance, with a few aches and pains along the way).
     * A compelling lecture by Dr. Gabor Mate, physician and author of “When the Body Says No,” on mind-body wellness and how this affects the artist in particular.
I am pleased to report that we will be bringing these great ideas to Guelph; for example the Guelph Youth DanceTraining Program will implement their own dancer screening program.  By engaging in these discussions and conferences, Guelph Dance will meet their mandate to “[create] opportunities for artists to push the boundaries of contemporary dance”; not only creatively but physically, mentally and emotionally.
Anita Vandenberg (President-Elect of Healthy Dancer Canada) and Heather Finn
Heather Finn is a dancer and physiotherapist in Guelph and a proud Board Member of Guelph Dance.

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