In the art and practice of dance, one’s instrument and medium is the body. A painter, sculptor, or musician must know intimately the tools of his craft, and so it is with dancers as well. However, the human body is an intricate organism and science is continually learning new things about the way in which it functions. Therefore, it is important for the dance community to have members that have one foot in the dance world and the other in the world of physiological and kinesiological science and medicine. Two members fitting this description have a foot (well…) hand in yet another world – the internet. For quite some time these two women have been offering their knowledge and expertise to a wide range of the dance community via the world wide web. If you don’t already know their names, you should!
Meeting of the Minds
They are Deborah Vogel and Lisa Howell, two women from opposite sides of the world who have a similar vision and purpose- that is to educate dancers and teachers, arming them with information to improve the quality of health and understanding of the body in dance education and practice. In each other it seems they have recently found a kindred spirit and have decided to join forces on some projects that will further their mission.
I’m sure these two have several exiting things in store for us, but it seems their first collaboration will be monthly podcasts that seek to answer questions from dancers and teachers like yourselves. In the video below Lisa Howell describes a bit about the project and lets you know where you can go to submit your question:
Who Are These Partners in Crime?
Just in case you are not familiar with these two women, I thought I’d share some information about who they are and what they do.
Deborah is Neuromuscular Educator and author of several books who studied under Irene Dowd (author of Taking Root to Fly). She was a co-founder of the now defunct Center for Dance Medicine in New York City. Deb currently resides on the faculty at Oberlin College and Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. Her website The Body Series offers articles, products, and a blog (a transmutation of her Dancing Smart Newsletter), the purpose of which is to answer readers’ questions regarding body health and training issues in dance.
Lisa is a physiotherapist specializing in educating and treating dancers and founder of Perfect Form Physiotherapy, a clinic in North Sydney, Australia that, according to Lisa’s website, “focuses on educating dancers and providing one-on-one rehabilitation and technique correction in a caring and holistic environment.” She has also generated a series of resources, including the Perfect Pointe System, designed to help dancers safely and conscientiously improve their dancing and prepare for pointe work. Lisa’s website, The Ballet Blog, offers articles, products, newsletter updates, workshop information, and answers to your questions, and her video podcasts can be seen on the site or at her YouTube channel.
All Things to All People
While, of course, here at Dance Advantage, I strive to provide a comprehensive resource of articles and information for those involved in dance education, I realize that it is impossible for one place to be all things to all people. I am one person and there are limitations to what I, personally, can provide. It is for this reason, that I feel compelled to share other great resources on the web. If I’ve saved you time by linking you to another site that provides truly useful news, guidance, products, or services, I feel I am closer to meeting all of your needs as you participate in dance.
In addition to my college coursework in teaching and kinesiology, I have often drawn upon the work of Deborah and Lisa as I sought to provide quality information and advice to my dance students. I believe in their mission and these ladies know what they’re talking about!
If you have personal experience with Deborah Vogel, Lisa Howell, or their products. Or, if you’ve participated in any of their workshops, please share your observations with us.
If you want to know more, please visit their respective web sites.