Dance is a form of art, but also a high skill activity. Dancers just like professional athletes push their bodies to their limits to reach the highest level of performance for shows, auditions and competitions. However, dancers only focus on the artistic component of dancing and neglect the physical and psychological aspects of dance( Wyon, Redding, Abt, Head and Sharp, 2003). Hence, studies show that 80 % of professional dancers suffer from injuries every year, preventing them from dancing (National Institute of Dance Medicine and Science, 2012).

Objective

The aim of the scientific approach of dance is the analysis of the elements that are related to 

   - maximum performance, 
   - dance teaching, 

   - dancers’ health and 

   - the prevention and treatment of injuries               

The application of the scientific knowledge of physiology, psychology, biomechanics, somatics, and movement learning process can enhance dance training and performance. Dance Science can help dancers dance longer, better, and in a healthier way. The scientific knowledge that she gained from her Msc in Dance Science from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, City University in London, gives her the ability to apply science in dance, designing special programs and seminars to guide and help dancers such as:

1.   Profiling/Screening of dancers, by measuring musculoskeletal and anthropometric characteristics, turnouts (hip external rotation) and assessing the aerobic fitness level using the DAFT (Dance Aerobic Fitness Test), in order to identify potential hazardous elements or weaknesses, that can lead to injuries or impaired performance. Screening is really important before the beginning of new dance season after vacation.

2.   Nutritional and energy needs for dancers- personal diet planning for a healthy body. 

3.   Prevention and treatment of overuse and acute injuries- transitional class for safe rehabilitation before getting back to the normal dance routine 

4.   Supplementary training for enhancing performance- scientific consultation (eg. flexibility, agility, balance, strengthening, higher jumps etc.)

5.   Application of psychological skills and consultation for dancers’ specific problems (eg. performance anxiety before competitions/auditions/ shows, confidence issues, obsessive perfectionism etc.) in order to reach maximum performance in a healthier way.

The seminars and programs are addressed to dance teachers, dance institutions & schools, amateur and professional dancers of all ages. As part of the improvement of dancers' health and performance, she has designed a series of natural products to cover dancers' demands Maris Natural Remedies Dancer's Edition. You can book an appointment by e-mail and discuss any issue that you are interested in.

References
Wyon, M., Redding, E., Abt, G., Head, A., & Sharp, N.C.C. (2003). Development, reliability, and validity of a multistage dance specific aerobic fitness test (DAFT). Journal of Dance Medicine and Science, 7, 80-84.
National Institute of Dance Medicine and Science, (2012). Six major dance organisations, universities and a hospital unite to launch the first National Institute of Dance Medicine & Science. Retrieved December 5, 2012, from http://www.danceuk.org/healthier-dancer-programme/national-institute-dance-medicine-and-science/
 
Copyright: Dafni Mari