If you are reading this, then you are part of the new website launch! Yay! And thanks for visiting/reading. I am excited to share with you my thoughts, ideas and concepts about ballet, movement in general, and how I have integrated science to streamline not only ballet technique itself, but bodies too! I want to make this an interactive blog so you can respond and give me feedback about any ideas, questions, topic suggestions. I ask all of my students to actively engage with me, and I hope that you will too! My only request is to be kind and patient in your communication. You may find an idea that challenges one of your core beliefs. I’ve been there. I’m asking you to take a breath, consider what’s being said, and hopefully, there may be some kernel that you can take with you on your dance journey, whatever that may be!
My ballet/dance/theatre knowledge is a constant and continuing accumulation of experiences and schooling covering over 60 years. From personal experience and years of teaching, I had often wondered if there were ways to prevent common dance injuries and promote longevity. Can we train both artistically and scientifically and not take away from either? The answer is yes!
It occurred to me that there had to be an underlying cause for the injuries that plagued me while dancing in my early twenties. At first I went about this in a very casual manner. But as the years passed I made it my mission to delve deeper; I was not only protecting myself but now I had to think of my students! Teaching dance is a HUGE responsibility. Not one that I take lightly.
I’ve been so lucky/blessed to have Dr. Gordon Grannis, chiropractor, and Dr. Kenneth Laws, dance physicist, in my life. They both have contributed significantly to my understanding of not only how the body works, but also how the body works in space. Without them, I would have been unable to analyze inefficient movement that potentially could cause injury. Together they have helped me immeasurably to arrive at logical and informed conclusions about ergonomic and fluid movement. When it comes to SuganoSystemBallet, gravity and its effects on the human form are the basis of understanding a dancer’s capabilities. Honor gravity and the verticality of the skeleton!
Dance, as everything, evolves. Which is a reminder to keep the mind and heart resilient. Over the months, you’ll see that some of the ways that I approach ballet may be unorthodox. I believe that there are many ways to peel a tangerine and sometimes the traditional methodology can be streamlined or changed altogether to produce the desired result. Many of my most ardent supporters are students who initially resisted my non-traditional technique but as they say, the proof is in the pudding. When balancing, turning, jumping and extensions become almost effortless, one must consider the reasons this has come to be.
The past 4 years have been interesting waters to navigate in terms of my professional life. My blog posts came to a standstill. A brush with cancer led me to take a break and assess what was truly important to me. For now, I appear to be cancer-free. Nevertheless, if I am to leave a legacy – applying this body of research to help dancers have greater longevity and safety without sacrificing artistic sensibilities – how should I best do this?
I have decided to resume my blog, sharing my knowledge with you who are able to keep an open mind. I hope to share my past and present so you will get to know me, my influences, and my thought process. I envision webinars and a youTube channel in the not-so-distant future but I don’t want to get ahead of myself!
Always stay open-minded, honorable, respectful and kind. Thank you for reading and being part of this journey!