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The Intensive Workshops allow you to focus and grow in each specific area of dance technique. Each one is delivered as a one or two day workshop, that can be taken in your area of interest. The classes typically run from 9am to 5pm, or 9am - 4pm for the two day workshops, which allows each area to be explored in greater detail and provides age appropriate progressions, modifications for injury & personal experience.

For the latest dates and locations of upcoming courses CLICK HERE or check out the individual listings at the bottom of this page.

Flexibility Intensive

& How to Train Extreme Mobility Safely

For Dance Teachers and Health Professionals

The body of research & development around the art of flexibility, and especially the fascial system and its relationship to our mobility, continues to grow. Flexibility, or lack thereof, is very rarely contributed to muscle tension alone. We must look at each individual more carefully to understand the true cause of any restrictions in range of motion.  Factors like joint shape or position, neural tension, fascial tension, breath, postural habits and even emotion can all contribute to lack of flexibility in an individual. Once the true cause is identified, efficient and safe techniques can be used to rapidly, and safely, improve mobility.

Understanding the relevance of this new information to the dancer is essential for all students, teachers and health professionals, especially those working with elite athletes and performers. Many traditional stretches, and even many ‘Myofascial Release Techniques’ taught globally may actually be doing more harm than good. Gone are the days of forcefully "releasing" fascia with deep foam roller work or massage techniques. The new work is far gentler, more effective, and less damaging to the tissues. However, this requires a unique, intelligent, multifactorial approach, with a deep understanding of human anatomy guiding its application. 

Due to popular demand – the original one day workshop has been extended into a new 2 day Flexibility Intensive, which also explores how to train extreme mobility safely!

Many dance teachers are concerned at the safety of their students who are working into the extreme positions require by some current choreography. They want to keep their students safe, yet do not want to hold their dancers back from suceeding in this ever competative world. While some young dancers struggle with their range constantly, others have excessive natural range, and will often perform "tricks" that make most adults squirm. How do you train this extreme mobility safely?

This intensive teacher training workshop with Lisa Howell will answer questions such as:

  • What make makes one person tighter than the other?
  • Why can one dancer do the splits without stretching while others can’t, even when they try so hard?
  • Why do students sometimes feel even less flexible when they are stretching?
  • How do I help student get their leg higher in second when it just feels like it’s stuck in the socket?
  • How do I deal with a class full of students with different levels of flexibility?
  • How do I deal with students who suddenly lose flexibility when they go through a growth spurt?
  • What is neural tension, and how can I work safely with students with tight nerves?
  • In students who have amazing range, how do I ensure they stay safe?
  • How do you work into deep back extensions without risk of stress fractures or spondylolisthesis?

Note: Please do not worry if you struggle with your own mobility!

We will have several student models as well as the course presenter to demonstrate some of the higher level elements so you will not feel obliged to perform any movement that is not part of your normal repertoire. However, many teachers are delighted at just how much they effortlessly improve their mobility during the course!

Aims of the course:

  • Increase the awareness of the multifactorial nature to flexibility training, that everyone is different, and may require different training techniques at different periods of time
  • Educate dance teachers and therapists that the traditional methods of pushing into restriction is often not the most effective way to improve, and in some cases may be counter productive
  • Explore safe way of assessing exactly where each individual is restricted in order to create the most effective program.
  • Learn safe ways of mobilising these restrictions to create more mobility.
  • Understand why these areas of tension build up in the first place, and how subtle changes to how we sit, stand and walk can make an enormous difference to our flexibility
  • Discover how to apply these training techniques to the extreme mobility demanded by many of todays performing artists
  • Help teachers manage the flexibility of adolescents safely through growth-spurts

Many traditional stretches and even many "Myofascial Release Techniques" may actually be doing more harm than good. Flexibility, or lack thereof, is very rarely contributed to muscle tension alone. We must look at each individual more carefully to understand the true cause of any restrictions in range of motion.  Factors like joint shape or position, neural tension, fascial tension, breath, postural habits and even emotion can all contribute to lack of flexibility in an individual. Once the true cause is identified, efficient and safe techniques can be used to rapidly, and safely, improve mobility.

If you are struggling to find exercises to fit all students or feeling frustrated because you feel helpless with a particular student who just isn’t making progress, this course is for you! This workshop will help you assess your students in detail and be able to offer them effective techniques in a logical clear order to get them on the way to achieving THEIR optimal flexibility. It is also for teachers who are concerned at the extreme positions young dancers are wanting to work into, as it gives you safe guidelines on how to guide their development.

This two day intensive workshop will change how you work with flexibility forever! 

Overview of the content covered:

Day One

Day One focusses on understanding the nature of flexibility, how to assess each individuals particular restrictions and the order of progression of which restrictions need be worked on for optimal efficiency and safety in flexibility gains. We explore the importance of the breath, how to work with ‘bone-on-bone’ restriction, the nervous system (on multiple levels), the fascial system and the influence of muscle tone on mobility. We explore how each of the components of flexibility can be worked with intelligently to create lasting change in flexibility.

Due to the subtlety and gentle nature of each of the releases,the exercises in this level are suitable for all attendees, and many teachers who have not moved well for years discover are surprised and delighted that  carefully chosen assessment and ‘treatment’ techniques can open up their range in a pain free way!

The very nature of the course is all about carefully analysing each restriction and unravelling it in a very specific order, with the least amount of effort, so there is no force involved at all. However, the number of teachers who end up delighted at the end of Day One is extraordinary, due to the fact that they can fold in half once more!

Day Two:

Day Two includes a revision of Day One – with a discussion of ways of including the various techniques and progressions in a class situation and we run a ‘real time’ mobilisation session to get everyone feeling great.

The rest of the day is spent exploring how to use modifications and very specific sequences of exercises to train dancers, gymnasts, contortionists and martial artists into the extreme positions that they require for high level competition in the safest way possible.We look at the elements that are required to achieve many soough after popsitions or movements, and then break each one down explicitly. 

Safely improving and maintaining extreme range is highly dependent on subtle segmental stability of local stabilisers to control joint position, and understanding this can not only help performers achieve phenomenal range safely, but can also help extend their career potential, and live a pain free life following retirement from competing.

Using the mantra of Mobilise - Isolate - Integrate - Function we go through a comprehensive series of exercises that can help master control in extreme positions, which helps give a frame work for working on any other position. 

The extreme positions discussed in the manual are delightfully illustrated by Mike Howell, Lisa's Dad, allowing us to look at the issues surround each one in detail, without harming any more young dancers!

Overstretching splits lisa howell mike cartoon ballet blog
warm up fire stretch stretches lisa howell mike ballet blog oversplit

The following videos give a review of some of the relevant information from the Level 1 Teacher Training course, to review before attending the two day Flexibility Intensive

Is Over-Stretching Bad?

 

Why do hypermobile people get more pain?

Completing the 3 Day Level One Teacher Training is recommended prior to attending any of the more detailed intensive Teacher Training courses, but it is not essential. If you have yet to attend the Level One course you may sign up to our Level One Online Teacher Training Portal prior to the workshop going ahead. For further information about this, please contact us on workshops@theballetblog.com. 

Two Day Teacher Training Intensives

  • Pointe & Flexibility Intensive, Brisbane, AU, September, 2020

    Location: Bayside Dance

    Address: 2/264 Tingal Road, Wynnum, Brisbane, QLD, 4178

    Pointe Intensive – Wednesday 23rd & Thursday 24th September 2020
    Flexibility Intensive – Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th September 2020

    ** Registration Open **

    ( Strictly limited to 15 participants per workshop)

    At this stage we are still hopeful that by September we will be able to resume some normality to our lives and this workshop will be able to go ahead. We will however honour any governmental restrictions in place at that point in time.

    We advise that if you are coming from interstate and intend on travelling to QLD for the course, it may be better to book your flights and accommodation closer to the time. Bookings are still open however, we have now limited attendees to just 15 participants per workshop as we anticipate small groups will still be required at this point in the year.

    By ticking this box, I understand that any of the material gained from these workshops can exclusively be used for the educational purposes of my teaching. Redistribution of this material, either electronically or physically, is not allowed as well as dissemination of the information within these courses for personal profit.

    $450.00 AUD
    Select options
  • Pointe Intensive, Sydney, AU, August, 2020

    Location: En Pointe Dance Academy
    Address: 9a Resolution Drive, Caringbah, NSW,2229

    Saturday 29th August, 2020 9am to 4pm
    Sunday 30th August, 2020
    9am to 4pm

    ** Registration Open **

    ( Strictly limited to 10 participants)

    At this stage we are still hopeful that by August we will be able to resume some normality to our lives and this workshop will be able to go ahead. We will however honour any governmental restrictions in place at that point in time.

    We advise that if you are coming from interstate and intend on travelling to NSW for the course, it may be better to book your flights and accommodation closer to the time. Bookings are still open however, we have now limited attendees to just 10 participants as we anticipate small groups will still be required at this point in the year.

    By ticking this box, I understand that any of the material gained from these workshops can exclusively be used for the educational purposes of my teaching. Redistribution of this material, either electronically or physically, is not allowed as well as dissemination of the information within these courses for personal profit.

    $450.00 AUD
    Add to cartMORE INFO

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