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  • Diastasis Recti – unravelling the myths

    Part of our new Blog Take Over! series from Niamh Morrin, Baby and I @babyandi.herts See Lucy and Niamh talk about this new development on Dance Mama on IGTV “It’s all about the gap” “Once my gap has closed I am safe to do any exercise” “My rectus abdominal muscles tore during pregnancy” “I can’t do any front-loaded exercises with my diastasis” “I must do x,y,z to heal my diastasis” “I am too long postnatal to heal now” “A diastasis recti always looks like a distended tummy” “A diastasis recti is only related to the rectus abdominal muscles” There are many myths and misunderstandings surrounding the diastasis recti (DR). Myths can instil fear of movement and delay healing. The following article will hopefully disperse these myths and provide a fuller understanding of a DR. What is Diastasis Recti? Diastasis recti is the term used to describe the stretching and thinning of the connective tissue that runs down the middle of the abdomen between the two sides of the rectus abdominal or 6 pack muscles. Diastasis recti is a natural process and according to Mota et al., (2015) 100% of pregnant women will have it at their due date – some womens’ diastasis will heal on their own whilst many others will need specific exercises to help it heal. The connective tissue involved in a DR is called the linea alba. There are a number of abdominal muscles that contribute to the formation of this connective tissue. Most obviously the linea alba connects the two sides of our rectus abdominal muscles. In addition, tendon like extensions of our lateral abdominal muscles feed into and contribute to the make-up of the linea alba – these muscles include the external obliques, the internal obliques and transverse abdominals. The linea alba therefore acts as a midline anchor for all the abdominal wall muscles and it is therefore all these muscles that pull and generate force at the linea alba. What is most important here is an understanding that all our core muscles need to be involved in the postnatal rehabilitation of the core and successful healing of a DR. Figure 1: Core muscles to work on if you have a diastasis. Reference: Hudani, M (2020). Diastasis Rectus Abdominis: Start here (Part 1). Available at: https://www.munirahudanipt.com/single-post/diastasis-rectus-abdominis-start-here-part-1 What does a Diastasis Recti look like? As a dancer, aesthetics and how we feel about our body can be a big part of what we do and who we are. We can assume that all DR’s look like a distended tummy or pooch but understanding that it can look and feel very different from person to person is very important. You might have a “mummy tummy” or “mummy pooch” where the lower and/or middle part of the abdomen is loose and distended out. ·Your whole abdomen could look like it is still rounded out or distended. You might not have any abdominal distension but you might notice a vertical “gap” down the midline of your abdomen. You might not notice anything too different aesthetically, but you just feel much weaker and disconnected to your core. How do you check for a Diastasis Recti? It is usually best to have a postnatal exercise specialist, a pelvic health or women’s health physiotherapist check this for you – however, you might want to check it yourself also so let’s make sure you have a few pointers to get an accurate finding. What we are looking for when checking for a DR is any gapping between the two sides of the rectus abdominal muscles and any squishiness or sinking feeling in the linea alba. Traditionally a DR was only assessed by the “gap” however a DR is now more commonly assessed by width and depth. A DR is confirmed as having a gap of more than 2 finger widths and/or a sinking feeling down into the linea alba. A healed diastasis is firm or trampoline feeling for depth, and a gap that is under 2 fingers. You can do a self-check for DR by following these simple steps: Lie down on your back – it is best to get into this position by rolling from your side and over onto your back. Halfway between belly button and rib cage: Find a place in the middle between your belly button and your rib cage. Pick your head up a very small bit off the ground. With two fingers laid horizontally, feel the gap between the two sides of your rectus abdominal muscle. How wide is this gap? Do your fingers squish/sink in? Relax your head and note down what you felt. Above your belly button: Place your fingers right above your belly button. ­Pick up your head a very small bit off the ground. Feel the gap between your rectus abdominal muscles. How wide is is? Do your fingers squish/sink in? Relax your head and note down what you felt. Below your belly button: Place your fingers right above your belly button. ­Pick up your head a very small bit off the ground. Is there any gapping here? How wide is it? Do your fingers squish/sink in? Relax your head and note down what you felt. Adding in the breath: Now check your DR whilst adding in a breath. This tells us what your breathing system is like and what your pelvic floor is doing. Take an inhale and on the exhale lift your head, think about drawing your pelvic floor up, drawing your hip bones together and bringing ribs in and down. What’s your gap (in all three areas) like now? Does it get more squishy or more firm? Do your rectus abdominal muscles pop up? Do you get doming out of the linea alba? We’re looking for the changes that happen here when you exhale and how well your system handles pressure. Figure 2: Location of a diastasis recti. Reference: Core exercise solutions, how to check for a Diastasis Recti. Available at: https://www.coreexercisesolutions.com/how-to-check-for-diastasis-recti/ Is your Diastasis Recti…Wide? Squishy? Below belly button? Above belly button? A DR can be noted anywhere along the linea alba. A DR can appear in different places on different people (Figure 2). Some will be wide but firm, some narrow but squishy and others wide and squishy. Some will just have a DR below the belly button and others will have it closer to the ribs – others might have it the entire length of the linea alba. Everyone’s DR can be different. It is because of these variations that individualised approaches to healing will be most beneficial – especially if you have tried a general exercise programme for DR healing and it is not working. In general, the depth or squishiness of a DR is affected by the function of your deep core (Transverse Abdominals and Pelvic Floor) and the width is affected by the function of your more superficial core (Rectus Abdominals and Obliques). Traditionally it was gap closure that was deemed most important in the healing of a DR – however, current thinking is less to do with the gap and more to do with firmness in the linea alba and the core’s ability to manage and regulate loads, pressures, and forces. I have a diastasis, can I plank / do front loaded core exercises as part of my training or choreography? Maybe! As mentioned above its important to know how well your core is managing and regulating pressure. Take for example, two different dancers, both with a 3-finger width diastasis – these two dancers might handle loads differently and therefore a plank type of movement could be good for one and poor for the other. What we are looking for is for the core to fire as a cohesive unit – if it is not firing cohesively we might get increased squishiness in the linea alba, doming of the rectus abdominal muscles or doming out of the linea alba (Figure 3a). If it is firing cohesively (Figure 3b) we should get a firmness in a linea alba and flattening across the abdomen – this is a sign that we are getting a more even core contraction. No matter the “gap” some women will be able to recruit the core well and do front loaded exercises whilst others might need to work more on establishing good core recruitment in easier positions first – regardless, each dancer will need to progress at their own pace depending on how the core is handling load and managing pressure. Figure 3: A) the rectus abdominal muscles are over recruited whilst the transverse abdominal muscles are under recruited. The abdominal wall appears domed out. Figure 3: B) The core is firing as a cohesive unit. The transverse abdominal muscles are recruited together with the rectus abdominal muscles. The abdominal wall has a flatter profile. Healing a Diastasis Recti – building the foundations first #1 Breathing Correct breathing is the foundation stone for correct core (and pelvic floor) function and therefore DR healing. For our core to function well we need our inhales and exhales to lengthen and shorten our entire core system respectively. Faulty breathing mechanics will disrupt this natural muscle function and prevent the core muscles getting the stimulus needed for adaptation. Example of faulty breathing mechanics: 1) Our inhale is all neck and shoulders 2) We maintain a constant level of tension in our abdomen (i.e. suck in our belly button, grip with our upper abs) 3) Our inhale is all belly 4) Our rib cage motion is limited and only moves up on an inhale (with very little back and side expansion) When we take an inhale we are looking for a 360 degree rib cage expansion – this encourages lengthening in the entire abdominal wall (and pelvic floor). Following the inhale, the exhale should provide 360 degree compression where the whole abdominal wall shortens – just like pulling a corset tight. #2 Core firing For good core muscle recruitment, we are looking for balanced muscle activity from the bottom to the top of your abdomen. This balance needs to be maintained so that pressure within the core system is maintained and stability is provided for your body (Figure 3b). So, for example, allowing the rectus muscle to become more dominant over the deep transverse abdominus will result in doming and pressure leaking out on the front of the core (Figure 3b). This is a sign that the deep core stabilisers aren’t fully on board – thus leaving you vulnerable to injury and stalling or regressing your DR healing. #3 Progressive overload There are many core exercises and there is unfortunately not one set of magic exercises to heal a DR – everyone’s DR could be slightly different and therefore different exercises would often be chosen based on the individual, their stage of healing and location of the DR. However, once good breathing mechanics and core firing have been checked and established, challenging the core in a progressive and varied manner is important. Progressing exercises based on achieving solid technique and good pressure management strategies would be advised. #4 Address the entire body Diastasis recti is a whole-body issue. Strengthening the abdominal wall without addressing poor movement habits and muscle weaknesses above and below the core could halt your DR healing. Working on good movement patterns and strengthening weaknesses whilst applying them to workouts (i.e. dance) as well as to day to day life and activities (lifting children, heavy shopping etc) can go a long way. So, for example if you are unable to move your hips and shoulders from a stable foundation (i.e. core) and independently from your rib cage then every time you perform an upper (e.g. port de bras, partner lifts) or lower body (e.g. plie, jumping) exercise or movement you might be failing to recruit your core appropriately and/or continually put pressure out on your DR. Diastasis Recti – myths unravelled Diastasis recti is a diagnosis that can be treated, no matter how new or old the diastasis is. Understanding that a diastasis is not just to do with the gap between the rectus abdominal muscles and entirely to do with our deep and superficial core muscles, our breathing systems, our core firing patterns and our whole kinetic chain is the first step to progressively healing a DR and improving the function of the core system. References Dufour et al., (2019). Pregnancy-related diastasis rectus abdominis: Impact of a multi-component group-based intervention. International journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 10(2). Dufour et al., (2019). Establishing Expert-Based Recommendations for the Conservative Management of Pregnancy-Related Diastasis Rectus Abdominis: A Delphi Consensus Study. Journal of Womenʼs Health Physical Therapy. 43(1). Mota, P., Pascoal, A.G., Carita, A.I., & Bø, K. (2015). Prevalence and risk factors of diastasis recti abdominis from late pregnancy to 6 months postpartum, and relationship with lumbo-pelvic pain. Manual Therapy, 20(1), 200-205. About Niamh Niamh is a graduate from a BSc in Sport Science and Health (Dublin City University) and MSc in Dance Science (TrinityLaban). Throughout her years working as a performance enhancement practitioner at the Centre for Advanced Training (TrinityLaban) and as a visiting lecturer in Dance Science (University of Bedfordshire) she continued her professional development and qualified as a Sports Massage Practitioner with Sports Therapy UK and completed a PhD in Exercise Physiology (Buckinghamshire New University). Her most recent stop along the professional development road was at a Pre and Postnatal Corrective Exercise Specialist course (Core Exercise Solutions) which has culminated in the development of her own business "Baby&I" - a business designed to coach, educate and inspire women to maintain strength and function and therefore participation in sport and dance during and after their child bearing years. https://www.babyandi.org.uk Niamh is passionate about the use of the right exercise prescription to increase strength, reduce pain and improve function in the pre and postnatal body. Niamh believes that pregnant and postnatal dancers should not be left to navigate the complexities of prehab, rehab and their return to dance without being given the tools to do so safely and effectively. Niamh is also a member of Dance Mama's Research Advisory Group

  • Whoop! and Argh!

    Welcome to 2021! A delayed post due to the insanely busy start to the year thanks to a fantastic cocktail of events both positive and challenging in equal measure. I was very grateful to receive my Arts Council England National Lottery Grant for Dance Mama Live! which has been a 'thing' since 2019, but is now an actual tangible 'thing'! There's the WHOOP! I am working like the clappers behind the scenes to bring you the best programme possible with partners Sadler's Wells, One Dance UK, Yorkshire Dance, DanceXchange and Clearcut. The ticket release is coming imminently, and for more details on this FREE progressive and much-needed programme of monthly activity of webinars and creative workshops with experts and artists from across the organisations click here - where you can also sign-up for updates. However, hearing this a mere four days after our third national lockdown was announced has been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. When ole BoJo sent us back into our hibernation (and let's face it, we had all seen it coming, but like each time the rules have changed is always a total downer) I was at the hob and just cried out, 'For ****'s sake! What was the point of me doing a flippin' degree and wanting a career if the government insist on giving me no time to do it, ARRRGHHHHH!!!!!' I know that a good group you out there probably feel the same. This is also said with the respect and grace of our fellow comrades working full or part time in jobs they are less passionate about, and those homemakers too - I doff my cap to you. With respect to that and being more than happy to do my part and do my duty to my children and family and help the national effort. I just want to highlight what this looks like from a freelance dance sector working parent. May I introduce to you the uninitiated, the time sponge that is homeschooling - which is putting enormous, unsustainable pressure on all involved. Like oil and water, I vowed not to try and do both work and homeschool at the same time. They do not mix. Inevitably someone is left frustrated and crying (usually me) when those pinch points occur, so I do my best to avoid it. So that makes for a really long day. Like really long. Today I started at 5am when I was awoken by my 4-year old and couldn't get back to sleep thanks to the Hamilton soundtrack ear worm and ideas for this site, da-da-da-dah-da... This is just my take, and there is a plethora of circumstances, situations, furloughs, redundancies, technical poverty and gender equality that is being cranked up to the max... Joeli Brearley and the good folks of @pregnantthenscrewed and Anna Whitehouse @mother_pukka have been doing an amazing job highlighting that it is not possible for parents (mainly the Mums) to be doing homeschooling and work, and running a house. Some solutions have been furlough or increased flexible working. If your self-employed like me, and just been giving a wonderful gift to get cracking on your business, stopping is not really an option. I mean I could? But where does that leave you, with the content and programme I am creating for you that's taken years to build. Mmm...(plus I enjoy it). So what does it look like in reality? I feel inspired to write this as I just don't feel that there is enough empathy. Something I touched on with Danielle Jones today on her brilliant project Artists Exchange Programme's Instagram live. E to the M to the P to the A to the T to the Y. Sure, all circumstances and all backgrounds are under so much pressure - non so-much as the frontliners. Big love to those working tremendously hard to keep us safe. I can only write what I know, and this is a little window what our week looks like: Monday 9am - 3pm Homeschool, with a bit of emailing and site updates in and around year 3 maths (God I was so happy o have left maths behind in year 11 and it is back, BACK with a vengeance) and maybe a drop off its one of the pre-school days for kiddie number 2 (who is like a WWF wrestler and a pinball at the moment - really conducive to concentration). 3 - 4.30pm Juggling playing with/entertaining the kids, with a few work calls and more admin. 4.30 - 6pm The dinner jive 6 - 8pm The put down jam 8 - 10pm + More admin Then - Schitts Creek break (what is it about our generation and programme's with Creek in the title - go Dawsons!) Repeat until Friday .... Saturday 9am - 5.30pm Work uninterrupted and sigh. Sunday Family Day - nature walk and get those incidental steps up! Now, I don't have an aversion to working. I have a strong work ethic, and sometimes that can get me into trouble. However, the expectations on all working parents needs to change. Remember last year when everyone was super supportive when your kid walked in on a call? That was shortly after laughing at that poor woman wrangling her kid of a BBC news interview (man, how irritating was that reaction). That is still definitely OK by me, but I'm not so sure that this is the case across the board. Talking to PiPA Campaign this week and from the general mood of looking at the stats around women in the pandemic, COVID-19 is definitely highlighting gender inequality in terms of choices being made around parenting , domestic and job responsibilities that could potentially drag us back to the 50s for longer than lockdown. Now, I love Elvis and a bit of doo-whop, but I definitely want to leave the lack of progress on the equality front there, thanks. I may be jesting here, but I don't say this lightly. So, I shall finish this 'insight' with a huge amount of gratitude to the teachers and the children who are doing their level best to navigate this tempestuous waters (often simultaneously teaching on Zooms whilst homeschooling their own kids) and to you, comrade - I see you! You now know what the beavering away looks like from the Dance Mamaship - duplicated I'm sure in households up and down the UK. So I implore us all - be kind, everyone is fighting a battle. I have created Dance Mama Live! for you - yes you! And it's FREE! Have a gander at the info page and sign up for guaranteed creative time, inspiration, information, connection and community.

  • The 6-month Mark

    So, what the blazes has been going on since I last blogged? Part of my brain is still stuck in March to be fair. We have reached the 6-month mark in this situation known by many names; pandemic, global crisis, COVID-19, COVO, The VID etc. With my limited, but interested knowledge of crisis response, is an important step to acknowledge. I thought this would be a pertinent time for me to pen a few reflections I have had on this period and highlight some moments that have occurred. Part of my brain is still stuck in March to be fair. Like with most families, a major one has been settling the children back into school and I guess I haven’t really had the bandwidth to write a blog until now, 4 weeks in. Looking back at my last blog (an aeon ago otherwise known as March 2020) it is clear to see how much energy the home schooling was taking up. Being pragmatic, the threat of this is something that still hangs over our parental heads, and is something some parts of the world are still experiencing. So, my thoughts on how I have kept going are ‘make hay while the sun shines,’ in that in the snatches of time that have been available, I have asked myself the question, ‘How can I best serve?’ So, in spite of the times, I have cracked on as best as possible with pushing Dance Mama forwards to best serve you. I have also made sure that I pace myself and have ‘buffer time’. Practice what you preach, sista. I have asked myself the question, ‘How can I best serve?’ Here are some highlights: Dance Mama now has over 50 stories, with a couple now on YouTube with staff from New Adventures (including Associate Artistic Director, Etta Murfitt) and Ruby Wolk, Senior Ballet Learning Manager, Royal Opera House. This month we have a very generous offering coming this month from Leila McMillan in support of #BLAW2020 Dance Mama has worked with more mentees who have taken advantage of the 1-hour pay what you can session for newbies (still available) and other session discounts, to support them to also crack on with their creativity in this difficult moment. The Project Management Masterclass has moved online to support dance folk and beyond as an education about the ins and outs of bringing their creative ideas to life, whilst merrily singing the praises of Excel. Whoot! Free ‘Community Chats’ have been provided on Zoom to connect dance peeps in a fun and friendly space with like-minded individuals to discuss issues of the day. I have been speaking about being a #dancemama in online forums across our fair nation to some frankly, brilliant people (like Mothers Who Make and Jude Kelly CBE) through Birmingham Dance Network, Parents in Performing Arts Campaign and WOW Foundation. Following an ‘in conversation’ with Active Pregnancy Foundation and a failed but enjoyable attempt at a PhD scholarship, I was invited to join them as Secretariat to the Scientific Advisory Board. Rejection is redirection people! Set up a wellness sister site Spirit Mama to divulge and explore further my approach to life. I do hope that somewhere along the way with all of this, I have been able to give you some succour, either remotely by my ramblings and posts (or the odd Facebook Live video), or in person through any other aforementioned programmes. I do what I can to consistently look to the future with as much optimism as possible to muster. In spite of everything, it is imperative that we do whatever it takes to healthily feed our inspiration and passion for our artform as a down payment on creating some smashing experiences for those in greatest need now as well as when we can all freely dance together again. Have on repeat in your minds ‘This too shall pass.’ #dance #dancemama #parenting #COVID19 #Zoom #Googlemeet #YouTube #optimism #mentoring

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  • HOME | dancemama

    Get a taste of our unique programme this summer ahead of registration opening again Sept 1 WATCH INFO ON DANCE MAMA LIVE! Welcome! ​ How I can help you? STORIES Be Inspired Our unique collection of 50+ stories from Dance Mamas across the industry and beyond. LEARN Be Involved Flagship online programme for Professional Dance Parents to one-off workshops MENTOR MAMA Be Motivated One-to-one, group and organisational mentoring sessions - COVID offer available BLOG Be In The Know Straight from the horse's mouth, follow Dance Mama Founder, Lucy's adventures RESOURCES Be Informed Sign-posting you to the latest information and people who can support you Community Be Connected Join our community of dancing families to share, connect and be inspired Curated CLASS PROGRAMME TRAIN ONLINE

  • WORKSHOPS & EVENTS | dancemama

    ​ WORKSHOPS & EVENTS Connecting in person From workshops, seminars and online courses there are many ways you can connect with Dance Mama live Invited by the ISTD, Lucy speaks to members on Aug 9, 4pm Up and running... ELIGIBILITY POLICY FAQs AUG 10, 4pm - BOOK BOOK Previously... project management masterclass Night time course: Wednesdays 23, 30 September and 7 October, 8- 9pm ​ Day time: Thursdays 24 September, 1 and 8 October, 10.30-11.30am. Now Online! ​ Dance Mama (aka Lucy McCrudden) will lead you through 3, glorious hours of training online (1 hour a week over three weeks), on the ins and outs of project management in a dance learning and participation context. Following the success of transferring the course on line this summer, Dance Mama is offering two more opportunities to learn Lucy's approach to project management the Autumn. Covering everything from initial ideas, to building partnerships, finance, delivery and evaluation. With over 18 years’ experience in leadership and project management in high-profile projects with world-class organisations (including the Royal Opera House, The Place and Rambert), Lucy will give you a good understanding of best practice on how to get your idea up and running. Who’s this relevant for? Anyone who wants to up-skill their project management, confirmation of best practice for new and early career project managers and a fresh perspective for the seasoned project manager. The added bonus of networking with other like-minded individuals who have the desire to deliver artistic projects of this nature. You do not need to be a Mama! All project managers are welcome. Course Fees Collaborating with One Dance UK I have also arrange the following offer: £105 General Admission £55 One Dance UK members, or employees of member organisations £25 Students ​ ​ ​ Bring Your Own Beverage and have a chat (FREE) Friday 31st July, 5:15 - 5:55pm Zoom ​ I am inviting you, the Dance Mama community, to 40mins with me to have a chance to reflect on what’s happened in these last weeks. By ‘long spooning’ our experiences with each other it will aim to give us some empathetic ears, identify some really key issues emerging and ideally spark some ideas of what can do to progress as healthily as possible in this new era. If you fancy joining state your interest here and I’ll send you the Zoom code/ password with a bit of a structure of how it will work. If the time doesn’t suit (as no doubt juggling everything it may not), there's another chance later in the month. I’m pretty sure the 40 minutes will fly by! Needless to say, the presence of your children on Zoom is a non-issue, as is cats, dogs and other inhabitants of your home. This is aimed at parents who work in dance, but if any other dance folk want to come along and join in that is A-OK. project management masterclass Tuesday 28th Janaury, 10am – 1pm Farnham Maltings, GU9 7QR ​ In association with Surrey Dance Connect , the Dance Mama (aka Lucy McCrudden) will lead you through 3, glorious hours of training at Farnham Maltings, on the ins and outs of project management in a dance learning and participation context. Covering everything from initial ideas, to building partnerships, finance, delivery and evaluation. With over 16 years’ experience in leadership and project management in high-profile projects with world-class organisations (including the Royal Opera House, The Place and Rambert), Lucy will give you a good understanding of best practice on how to get your idea up and running. Who’s this relevant for? Anyone who wants to upskill their project management, confirmation of best practice for new and early career project managers and a fresh perspective for the seasoned project manager. ​ Come make those ideas a reality! ​ ​ ​ the creative genius show hosted by Nicolette Wilson-Clarke ​ 1-2pm, Friday 25th October 2019 riversideradio.com ​ Lucy chats dance and mamas in Nicolette Wilson-Clarke's (aka The Creative Genius Coach ) weekly show about Dance Mama's development exactly a year on since its re-launch. ​ Tune in live, or listen to the podcast. LISTEN MORE CREATIVE GENIUS SURREY DANCE CONNECT Saturday 19th October 09:00-15:00 (FREE) ​ Lucy will outline the progress of Dance Mama, dubbed ‘a unique and vital resource’ by One Dance UK, solely for dance professionals with families. Lucy will take you through her journey with the project, her career at large and what’s to come. In the second part of the session Lucy will help you refresh your strategy on where your career is heading to assist you in some valuable take aways that will directly support you in their own personal development. ​ Contact Emma Jones to reserve your free spot - surreydanceconnect@gmail.com ​ ​ ​ WANT SUPPORT? CHECK OUT MENTOR MAMA Building a Portfolio career Tuesday 11 June 13:00-15:30 (£20) ​ Overwhelmed about how you're navigating your career in the dance world? You’ve got big ideas, but you just feel a bit stuck? Or you just need some support with how to fit it all together? Then help is at hand... ​ Lucy McCrudden (@thedancemama) will guide you through this friendly, dynamic and energising session. ​ ​ ​ inspire connect share This event is curated by Dance Mama in partnership with Sadler’s Wells and will address some of the challenges for parents working in dance and will include case studies, panel discussions and networking. It is an opportunity to bring together parents who work in dance to share their experiences with each other as well as organisations including One Dance UK and Sadler’s Wells and is particularly relevant for anyone working in a freelance capacity. Children Welcome! CATCH UP #IWD2019 Dancing Through Motherhood Wonder Woman Sunday March 17, Royal Opera House, London Family Sundays: Discover more about opera, ballet and the Royal Opera House in fun-packed Sundays, ideal for all the family, with a range of exciting and creative activities. 'Dancing Through Motherhood' were two inclusive 45-minute discussion and creative session celebrating three Royal Opera House mothers - Royal Ballet Company First Artists, Tara-Briggitte Bhavnani , Nathalie Harrison and ROH Choreographer, Kate Flatt . Designed for all family members, including very young children from all backgrounds, Lucy McCrudden (Dance Mama ) hosted and led on the shaping of the sessions delivered with Bim Malcolmson (Dance Artist, Choreographer and Mother) who will led the creative dance tasks, accompanied by Music Mama pianist and songwriter, Frances Yonge . READ ABOUT IT IN BLOG

  • DANCE MAMA LIVE! | dancemama

    PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME FOR DANCING PARENTS ​ WELCOME ​ Dance Mama Live! is an online, pioneering, 10-month programme of much-needed inspirational, informative and creative activity designed specifically to empower parents working in dance. Supported by Arts Council England, Dance Mama is working in partnership with One Dance UK, Sadler’s Wells, DanceXchange, Yorkshire Dance and Clearcut to bring the nation’s dancing parents the very best content they deserve in a FREE, digestible, monthly programme. We are now on summer break - why not check out some of our Summer Releases to give you a taste of what happens on our unique programme? Registration for Autumn opens Sept 1 register for updates WEBINARS LIVE & REPLAY REGISTER FOR UPDATES WORKSHOPS Dance Mama Live! Session #1 March 28 #1 REPLAY COVER - ARTWORK DML SESSION 2 Dance Mama Live! S5 Cover Dance Mama Live! Session #1 March 28 #1 1/5 SUMMER RELEASES Webinar - Dr Steve Ingham Released this summer so you can taste what our unique programme is like before Autumn registration opens Sept 1 ​ WHAT DOES EACH MONTH INCLUDE? ​ A 1-hour webinar from one of the country’s leading specialists from a variety of backgrounds with proven experience in supporting working parents in physically reliant careers including Dr Steve Ingham (UK’s eminent performance scientist, leader & author) and Laura Godfrey-Isaacs (Artist, midwife, birth activist). ​ A 1-hour choreographic workshop from a spectrum of dance makers from across the organisations to give participants the opportunity to have space, explore and fuel their creativity (to be announced). ​ Engagement is preferred live , and also on replay via email and/or the Private Facebook Group , making it convenient for many parents whose schedules are busy with their responsibilities – especially now! ​ The final session will culminate in an informal sharing online to allow participants the opportunity to share their work with each other in a supportive and relaxed environment. ​ FAQs Photo credits, Etta Murfitt (Stephen Berkeley White), Erin Sanchez (Dani Bower) Lucy McCrudden (Pierre Tappon) ‘This is amazing! I wish I had this sort of organisation when I was a young Mum.’ – Etta Murfitt Wanna try before you sign-up? We ran two, FREE taster sessions with special guests, Etta Murfitt (Associate Artistic Director, New Adventures) and Erin Sanchez , Manager of Health, Wellbeing and Performance (One Dance UK) joining Dance Mama Founder, Lucy McCrudden, to give a flavour of what's to come. register for updates IS THIS FOR ME? ​ Dance Mama is committed to being inclusive for parents from all backgrounds working in dance and extends this definition beyond performers to those working in studios and off-stage in professional contexts including state and private education. Yipee! ​ We warmly welcome participants who have had to step away from the industry for a period of time due to the pressures of parenting (this was a driver for the project) as well as welcoming those with sustained careers to build further on their skills with the potential for all participants to make connections that will be of benefit to them and the industry. ​ Disclaimer: Always check with your healthcare practitioner before starting a new activity programme. You are responsible for your health and safety. Dance Mama is not liable for any injury or harm sustained whilst taking this programme. If you are a new parent, you will not be eligible to take part if you have not passed your 6-week health check. This opportunity is only availble to people aged 18 years or over. ​ ELIGIBILITY ‘Thank you SO much for initiating this platform. Now that Dance Mama is alive, it makes me realise what a drought there was...so thank you from the centre of my heart for enabling us dancing mums (and dads) to feel held and heard and help us to boogie on’ – Polly, Taster Participant CREATIVITY re-ignite your dance creativity or drive it further in an empathetic space CONNECTION link up with other professional parents in dance online and in real life COMMUNITY supporting women beyond dance INSPIRATION learn from pioneers in sport, medicine and arts who care deeply about dance parents futures ‘This is a landmark step for Dance Mama...this transformative programme will give many parents across the sector and beyond access to high quality, tangible and bespoke support. It’s a much-needed opportunity that removes the barriers so many parents face to developing their dance careers, simply because of their circumstances.’ Lucy McCrudden, Founder register for updates SIGN-UP FOR UPDATES ​ Please complete and submit the form below to be notified of Dance Mama Live! updates on news about artists and guests taking part. ​ ​ I know! Exciting! Notify me of updates & info: Your Full Name Email Post Code Job Title / Role Employment Status Self-employed / Freelance Part of a company or organisation Not currently employed Years of professional dance experience Parenthood stage you identify as Already a parent Aspiring parent Not a parent Top 3 dream Artists/Guests you would like to see on this programme (no promises! but would be good to know): Please describe how you identify your ethnicity (for equal opportunity monitoring purposes only) I am over 18 years of age Dance Mama's GDPR policy Submit Thanks for submitting! We will be in touch with you very soon. Got a burning question? Drop us a note! Workshop - Rosie Kay

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