Health professionals discuss foot flexibility with a dancer at a health-care event run by Boston Dance Alliance last year. Courtesy Boston Dance Alliance.

Calling All Ballet Dancers: Join Boston Dance Alliance for a Month of Virtual Health Workshops

After many months distanced from the studio due to the coronavirus pandemic, dancers across the country are sorely missing their regular schedule of class, rehearsal and performance. But staying home also means that dancers have lost out on a bevy of health and wellness services crucial to keeping their bodies in top shape.

October 7–30 Boston Dance Alliance aims to fill that gap with Dancer Health Month, a series of online workshops, conversations and presentations by dance medicine experts. Though it's taking the place of BDA's annual, locally based Dancer Health Day, Dancer Health Month is open to dancers everywhere. With topics ranging from foot and hamstring care to injury prevention, participants will have access to all three weeks of programming for $15. "Boston Dance Alliance knows in-person dancing will come back," says BDA executive director Debra Cash. "We want to make sure people, too, can come back as strong and healthy as possible."

Click here to register, and check out the schedule of events below. All sessions are in Eastern time, and more topics will be added throughout the month.

October 7, 3–4:30 pm: Getting Back to the Studio

Dancer Health Month's first session focuses on getting dancers back to class and the studio during the COVID-19 pandemic. The 90-minute workshop will be taught by Boston Ballet director of physical therapy, Heather Southwick.

October 13, 5:30–6:30 pm: Building Core Strength

Join Cambridge, Massachusetts–based physical therapist Melissa Buffer of Buffer Trenouth Physical Therapy and Wellness for an hour focused on building core strength.

October 20, 5:30–6:30 pm: Foot and Hamstring Care

Buffer returns to zero in on two areas paramount to dancers' physical health: feet and hamstrings.

October 24, 11 am–12 pm: Foot Strength and Control

Jumpstart your weekend with this workshop taught by physical therapist Michaela Main, of Newton, Massachusetts–based Girl Fit Physical Therapy, Inc., on the importance of foot strength and control for dancers.

October 25, 12:00–1:30 pm: The Ellové Technique

Get out your yoga mat: Physical therapist Stephanie Heroux of Active Motion Physical Therapy in Wakefield, Massachusetts, will teach a 55-minute conditioning class melding elements of ballet, Pilates and yoga aimed at injury prevention for dancers. Class will be followed by a half-hour-long presentation and Q&A on the benefits of cross-conditioning.

October 30, 11:30 am–12:30 pm: Energy Optimization

For the last session of the series, Boston Ballet company physician Dr. Bridget J. Quinn offers a talk on energy optimization for dancers. Quinn is also an attending physician in the Division of Sports Medicine at Boston Children's Hospital.

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