Inside a Dance Studio is a blog hosted by Pegasus Studios with the aim of celebrating, discussing and learning about how dance can help support and foster healthy and happy children, adolescents and adults. This blog is inspired by our experiences as teachers and owners of Pegasus Studios, a dance studio primarily dedicated to art and health in children, from the ages of 2-20, give or take a few years!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Health Smart! Injury Prevention

Given that many dance studios take a few weeks off for winter break, January is a time when injuries are more likely to happen. This is because the body has not been actively engaging certain muscles with the same rigour as when dance classes are happening regularly. This post is a reminder of certain precautions to take in order to avoid injuries as dance classes and performances get started again.
The most important thing is to always listen to your body. Even though in December you may have been able to do the splits, that doesn’t mean that after a few weeks off you will still be able to do them. Pushing yourself to where you were before the break is bound to cause an injury. So take it slow and ease yourself back into the swing of things. It may take a couple of weeks, that’s okay.
Warm up gear is essential, especially in this cold winter weather. Warm up gear that follows proper dance attire can help to get your muscles warm faster. Muscles tear when they are cold and being pushed, so keep them warm until they can generate their own heat!
Drinking water before class is key. Although staying hydrated during a dance class is important, the body needs to be hydrated going in as well. It’s best to drink more about two hours before you take class and sip smaller amounts during class. Water will help your whole body work better, keeping it all safe.
Finally, if you get an injury, make sure it’s healed before you start using that body area again. A complete heal means that it has a better chance of staying healed. If you force yourself back before you are ready, you may create a recurring injury. So like that old saying says, better safe than sorry. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Spotlight on the Erik Bruhn Prize

The Erik Bruhn Prize is presented every year by the National Ballet of Canada and is always a night of amazing ballet, stunning choreography and fresh new faces. Erik Bruhn was one of the most highly regarded dancers in his time and that legacy has continued to this day. He began his career with the Royal Danish Ballet, but travelled to several companies around the world, and finally finished his career right here in Toronto as the Artistic Director of the National Ballet of Canada from 1983-86. Bruhn was praised for being not just a dancer with perfect technique but a dancer that embodied characterization and storytelling as the feature in his performances. His work went above and beyond the steps and touched audiences around the world.
The Erik Bruhn Prize was established by Bruhn in his will. Bruhn left a portion of his estate to be awarded to one male and one female dancer between the ages of 18-23. Today five companies participate in the Prize, the National Ballet of Canada, The American Ballet Theatre, The Royal Danish Theatre, San Francisco Ballet and Stuttgart Ballet. The Artistic Director from each company picks one male and one female dancer to send to the Toronto for the competition. Each pair dances a classical duet and a contemporary duet. Despite dancing in pairs, each dancer is judged individually. Last year Elena Lobsanova from the National Ballet of Canada and Cory Stearns from the American Ballet Theatre won the prize. In addition, last year a Choreographic Prize was added and Canadian choreographer Matjash Mrozewski won.
The Erik Bruhn Prize will be held this year at the Four Seasons Centre on March 5th.  

Monday, January 10, 2011

We Are Looking for Inspirational People (Under 18!)

This spring we are talking about what inspires us; our heroes, teachers, friends, anyone who gives us the drive to be the best that we can be! I’m sure you are already thinking of someone! But are they under 18? We hear about many people who are inspiring, but often they are adults with incomes, resources or large support systems behind them. We are looking for the younger inspirations, people who are under 18 years old but that are doing something inspirational with their lives. We are not talking about superheroes here, but someone who goes out of their way to help people or tries to make a difference in someone’s life, or even someone who provides you with the fuel to keep reaching for your dreams. Maybe they have achieved things you look up to or maybe they volunteer. Whatever it is, we want to hear about it. Have someone in mind already? Nominate them here on this blog! Just leave us a comment in the section below!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Coming Up in January

This month we will have four blog posts for you. We are kicking off the new year with four areas we want to address each month; things that inspire us, a spotlight on a certain artist, company or event, a health smart section and lastly a little thing we like to call the parent toolbox which will have lots of information on aspects of being a parent in a dance studio.

This month look for:
The search for inspiration under 18 years old
Spotlight on the Erik Bruhn Prize
Injury Prevention Techniques
Parent Toolbox on Pointe shoes