When you watch a dance performance, what do you see?
OV and the Vernon Performing Arts Center have a close relationship where massage students regularly visit on site, to work with the traveling dance troupes prior to their upcoming shows.
Dancers are tremendously flexible athletes who take us on a journey through their movements. Students who treat these performers see deeper into repetitive strain, range of motion abnormalities, and scar tissue. OV student therapists assist the athletes in reaching their goals while experiencing the heavy demand of touring.
Students are trained to manage acute, sub acute and chronic exacerbation of injury and scarring that dramatically impact a performer’s ability to execute turns, balance and lift.
When a dancer is at home, they often have a regime of physiotherapy, massage, acupuncture, chiropractic and other care treatments. When on tour, these supports are absent. Moving frequently between cities, and finding a trusted therapist to book in with is very difficult if possible at all.
Our students work with athletic conditions as one branch of our second year outreach programming after being trained in sport massage techniques in term 1.
Recently, OV students have treated the cast and crew for modern dance & ballet troupes of up to 20 dancers.
"Everything you see is different when you watch a performance after treating the performers," shares Practical Director Robynne Madill who supervises the Vernon Performing Arts Center community events.
" I remember working on a troupe years ago who were performing Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat. They were down to understudies and still short on Joseph’s brothers for the routine - everyone was out with spiral fractures of the Tibia. Hearing the dancers talk about footwear choices, the angle of the stage ramp and the difficult choreography, made it very clear when watching the show, exactly when in the performance the injuries were happening. Knowing the back story, you could see it. I've never watched a performance the same way again."
Observation and assessment is a large part of our Registered Massage Therapy program, as well as treatment and designing remedial home care to strengthen and prevent further injuries. RMT's work in a wide variety of athletic settings making their job both challenging and deeply rewarding