Congratulations to HDC member, interdisciplinary movement artist Amber Downie-Back, who is the recipient of the Chrystal Dance Prize. The prize will support the project 'on the nature of...', an interdisciplinary work that explores themes of memory and nostalgia, while incorporating interactive and digital elements with dance performance and sound. Downie-Back will collaborate with Emilie van der Waals, a Netherlands-based contemporary dancer and choreographer from Sint Maarten, and sound designer Angus Gaffney, to push movement and sound in collaborative contexts with other media such as digital and video art. (Photo by Niks Vignal)
Congratulations to Jenna Magrath, recent graduate from University Calgary's combined BKIN/BA dance degree, who is the recipient of Healthy Dancer Canada's 2022 Research Award. Her study, Undergraduate contemporary dancers' perceptions of dance-related pain, injury, and fatigue, aimed to understand university contemporary dance students’ perceptions of pain, injury, and fatigue. It is known that dancers have high rates of injury, and that it is common for dancers to dance while in pain, injured, or fatigued. Cultural norms that promote dancing through pain, and fear and avoidance of disclosing pain, injury, or fatigue exist within dance contexts, and may contribute to injury risk. From our qualitative analysis, four themes were generated: (1) It’s more unusual for people to sit out than to dance through their injuries; (2) Pain, injury, and fatigue aren’t just physical; (3) Safe dancing environments are important; (4) Implementing dancer health knowledge into practice is complicated. Cultural norms of persevering through and normalization of pain, injury, and fatigue remain present in university dance programs. Findings highlight the negative psychological impact injuries can have, and that implementing knowledge into practice remains difficult. The role that dance educators play in dancers’ understanding of pain, injury, and fatigue was identified, and further emphasis on safe dance practice is needed to establish healthy dance habits. Change is still needed to foster physically and psychologically safe dancing spaces. Jenna also received a 2022 Student Research Award from IADMS for this research.
Congratulations to Dr. Bonnie Robson, recipient of Healthy Dancer Canada's Lifetime Achievement Award, 2022. Bonnie E. Robson MD DPsych DCP FRCPC has spent 40 years in clinical adult and child psychiatry and since 1983 specializing in performance arts medicine and performance enhancement for vocal and instrumental music students, dance students, teachers, administrators, and artistic directors. Until her retirement in 2013 she consulted to athletes and artists at Pivot Sports Medicine and Orthopedics in Toronto. She was a consultant to the National Ballet School of Canada from 1983-1995 and Quinte Ballet School of Canada from 2000-2011 and is currently on the Wellness team for Canada’s Ballet Jorgen. Her original arts-related research makes her a popular speaker/presenter at national and international conferences in such countries as Sweden, Spain, Netherlands, Cuba, Singapore, and USA. Recent presentations on Mindfulness approach to performance and Psychological Skills training have been presented university music programs for undergraduates and postgraduates and dance educators. She has published her research in such juried journals as the Journal of Dance Medicine and Science and Medical Problems of Performing Artists where she also serves on the editorial board. She was on the Board of Directors of PAMA and has served on the Board of NETWORK Schools and chaired their research committee. She was honoured by this organization with a lifetime achievement award for her contribution to arts education and from PAMA the Bill Dawson Award. She is a member of the Dance USA Task Force on Wellness, a board member of the Bridge Dance Project, and a founding member of Healthy Dancer Canada, as well as a member of its membership committee.
Join us from anywhere for this year's virtual conference, November 19 & 20.
High Tide Low Tide - Amber Downie-Back
Locust-Cry - Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre
In 2 Deep - SaMel Tanz
Healthy Dancer Canada seeks leaders in dance the health, wellness and performance of dancers for our Board of Directors, Executive and Organizing Committees in 2023.
National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) has made HDC founding member and Past President Andrea Downie's article Equity-Informed Dancer Wellness open-access for the months of August and September. Read the article at Journal of Dance Education: Full article: Equity-Informed Dancer Wellness (tandfonline.com).
Motor Development and the Young Dancer (by HDC members Dr. Donna Krasnow and Dr. Virginia Wilmerding) has been made available to the public on the open resources page of the website, while their latest resource, Motor Control and Dance, has been released with early-access to our members on the members' page.
On August 3rd and 4th, HDC participated in Dance Teacher Expo, which was held in Toronto. During the event, HDC member Dr. Tanya Berg gave a workshop on Dancer Screening for Dance Educators that was very well received! She was assisted by HDC Vice President Louis Laberge-Côté. Louis was also in charge of the HDC information booth on site. Many Dance Expo participants showed interest in our organization and asked for additional information. Thank you Tanya and Louis for representing HDC so well!
The BIPOC Advocacy Working Group is pleased to announce that our very first Emerging Artist Scholarship was awarded to Gabriela Ortiz! Gabriela Ortizis an emerging dance artist based on Treaty 1 territory and member of Mujer Artista, a Latin American group of artists located in Winnipeg, MB. She is currently obtaining her B.A in dance through the Theatre and Film department of the University of Winnipeg and the School of Contemporary Dancers. Gabriela has worked with choreographers like, Gaile Petursson-Hiley, Rossana Filomarino, Sarah Matry, Paula Blair and Jolene Bailie and has had the opportunity to collaborate with The Mariachi Ghost music band. Gabriela is the recipient of the "Talentos" scholarship provided by the Mexican government institution EDUCAFIN. Over the years she has also been a volunteer for different non-profit organizations like Mentores UG and Foro Inudacion located in Guanajuato, Mexico.
The BIPOC Advocacy Working Group was also able to offer another scholarship this year due to a generous donation from one of our members, K.V.K. Athletics Inc. Thank you so much for your participation in our program! Hayley Ng received this scholarship because of her desire dance but to also help dancers through herlove of science. Hayley is a Chinese Canadian ballet dancer, physiotherapy resident, and PhD student at the University of Toronto. She started dancing at age 3, and trained in pre-professional ballet throughout high school, where she competed in international ballet competitions and performed in various ballet productions. While obtaining her Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology at McMaster University, she performed soloist roles with Hamilton City Ballet in full length ballets, such as Coppelia and the Sleeping Beauty, with her favourite being the lead role of the Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker. Furthermore, she choreographed ballet pieces for McMaster’s Recreational Dance Team. During her master’s, she continued her ballet training and launched her professional dance career, where she performed in virtual dance projects with the Dance: Corps company, as a dance artist for the Youth Day Global event, and as an artist in the Quarantine Qapsule digital archive on the Museum of Toronto website. Hayley is passionate in both dance and physiotherapy, as they both fill her soul in different ways. Dance provides an opportunity for her to express herself artistically, while physiotherapy provides an opportunity to help others regain their independence and improve their mobility. As she works on her PhD in using dance as a rehabilitation tool for people post-stroke, while continuing her pursuit of dancing professionally, she hopes to integrate her passions together in her future career.
We would also like to acknowledge Emily Duckett and Swadhi Ranganee Thanabalasingam for their applications and participation in our Emerging Artist Scholarship application. All artists will be receiving an HDC membership as well as mentorship from some of our HDC members.
Longtime HDC board member, Nicole Inica Hamilton, and HDC member Amber Downie-Back were involved in the 2022 AMANI Project. AMANI (Artist Mentorship and Networking Interplay) shares intergenerational wisdom among African Diasporic artists and educators while creating an enduring archive of their contributions to the cultural fabric of the world. Programming includes recorded interviews and panel discussions, as well as a commemorative magazine.
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