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Register HERE for the next Building Your Optimal Health Workshop.


Workshop Topic:  Supplementary Training for Maximizing Performance

This portion of the workshop will focus on ways to develop and improve posture and alignment, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, cardiorespiratory fitness, kinaesthetic awareness and neuromuscular patterning to support dance and athletic performance. Warming up and the use of imagery in training and performance

preparation will also be explored. 

Attendees are invited to come prepared to move for the experiential component.

(participation in movement is optional)

Andrea Downie is the Founding Director of EnhanceDance, an initiative established in 2017 to enhance dance teaching, training and performance. She is also the President and a founding member of Healthy Dancer Canada, a non-profit organization established in 2008 to enhance the health, well-being and performance of all dancers. A dance educator, choreographer and kinesiology instructor with 25 years of experience, Andrea received her HonBFA in Dance Performance and her MA in Dance Studies from York University. She completed her professional training at Dance New Amsterdam (Dance Space Centre) in New York City, and performed with Jody Oberfelder Dance Projects while there. Andrea is one of only a few certified teachers of contemporary Simonson Technique in Canada. She is also a certified Level 1 & Level 2 Conditioning-with-Imagery (C-I) Training teacher and the C-I Training Course Administrator. Andrea specializes in motor learning and developed the Multisensory Pedagogical Model for Dance Skill Instruction to Enhance Dance Skill Learning. She has experience working in post-secondary dance and kinesiology programs, secondary school dance programs, pre-professional dance programs, and at arts centres and private dance studios. She works actively as a guest dance instructor, teacher tutor, choreographer and speaker across Canada, enthusiastically sharing her passion for dance with teachers and dancers of all ages, levels and abilities. Her dance classes are intelligently-structured, founded on evidence-based principles and best practices, and integrate dance history. She encourages somatic awareness, movement efficiency and effectiveness, and individual artistic expression within a safe, supportive and inclusive learning environment.





Workshop Topic:  Psychological Skills Training for Maximizing Performance 

This portion of the workshop will focus on sports psychology and techniques that have been useful for elite dancers and athletes.  Physical development, physiology and reaction to stress such as competition and audition will be reviewed.  In addition skills such as mindfulness, breathing, and body scan which can enhance focus, will also be explored.

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 post graduates 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 life time 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 and a member of Healthy Dancer Canada.

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