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Pre-Professional Dancer Preseason Screening Part 1: Stations 1-7

presented by Shaw Bronner

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial - Shaw Bronner receives compensation from MedBridge for the production of this course. She is a consultant to the Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation. Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exists.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

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Preseason screening serves several purposes. These include ascertaining past medical, dance, and exercise history, identifying red flags, measuring known risk factors for injury in dancers, referral for more specific evaluation, educating the dancers, and introducing the dance cohort to you as a knowledgeable dance medicine practitioner. This course will introduce important tests to determine dancer readiness for their workloads, covering aerobic fitness, posture and turnout, hypermobility, flexibility, strength, and balance. In Part 2, we will present a ballet-based dance technique screen and review how to present your screening findings in an active workshop format.

Meet Your Instructor

Shaw Bronner, PT, PhD, OCS

Shaw Bronner’s first career was as a dancer, performing nationally and internationally with several modern dance companies. Dr. Bronner earned her PhD at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (now Rutgers University) in rehabilitation and movement sciences, earned an EdM in biobehavioral studies at Columbia University's Teachers College, and did her physical…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Introduction to Screening

This course will focus on screening the adolescent pre-professional dancers. This screen is appropriate for ages 13 – 19 years. Adolescents will be at a different technical level than professionals, hence the need for a different screen. When we consider adolescents, recent research suggests several areas of concern. These include early specialization, excessive volume of training, lack of aerobic conditioning, and disproportionate focus on competition tricks to the detriment of sound biomechanical alignment.

2. Set-Up, Training, Execution, and Interpretation of Stations One and Two

When screening a group of 10-40 individuals, it is important to be well prepared to facilitate flow. The space can be set up into stations, each with the necessary equipment. We recommend a trained health professional supervises each station. Alternatively, the health care professional can conduct the full screen on each dancer individually. Make sure your personnel are trained and prepared to facilitate flow of the dancers through the seven stations.

3. Set-Up, Training, Execution, and Interpretation of Stations Three and Four

This chapter will address testing for joint hypermobility, posture and turnout. Norms for the dance population will be included in order to interpret your results.

4. Set-Up, Training, Execution, and Interpretation of Stations Five, Six, Seven, and Summary

This chapter will address testing for lower extremity flexibility, abdominal and lower extremity strength, and balance. Norms for the dance population will be included in order to interpret your results.

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With the recent popularity of dance reality shows, new dance studios seem to be popping up in every neighborhood, and PT clinics are seeing a steady increase in dance training as it is related to musculoskeletal injuries. While most therapists may be adept at treating the injuries, addressing the technique errors that cause the injuries may be a daunting task. This course will teach therapists how to identify and correct common errors in Horton, a modern dance technique. The information will be presented in lecture format with demonstrations of proper and improper alignment. Identification of the stressors and body regions affected most in the Horton technique is crucial to effective injury prevention and rehabilitation of dancers.

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Pre-Professional Dancer Preseason Screening Part 2: Station 8 & More

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We outlined and demonstrated setting up, administering, and interpreting the preseason screen of the adolescent dancer, with relevant tests and measures in seven stations, in Part 1 of this two-part series. In Part 2, we complete the screen with a dance technique analysis and interpretation, followed by educating the dancer in how to correct deficiencies.

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All dance forms require mastery of alignment and stabilization during drastically different types of postures and movements (e.g. relevé, battement, floor and kneeling work, back hinges, etc.). In order to develop effective injury prevention and treatment strategies, it is important that health care practitioners understand the vocabulary and biomechanics of exercises and combinations specific to each technique. The goals of this lecture are to expand the practitioner’s understanding about ballet, improve the level of communication between clinicians and dancers, enable the practitioner to structure a more functional progression following injury or surgery, and develop biomechanically sound technique corrections or modifications following injury.

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