THE COMPLETE 5-PART HEAL YOURSELF AND MOVE SERIES WITH MDM DANCEWEAR
Heal Yourself and Move as a philosophy and training programme is the culmination of years mastering multiple disciplinary fields in movement by Zac Jones. However, at its core, it is also the perfect conditioning regime for dancers looking to master their technique and to realising their body’s potential.
Over the month of September 2019 Zac was fortunate enough to collaborate on a 5 part training video series with MDM Dancewear about how some of the most fundamental Heal Yourself and Move exercises can help dancers everywhere. MDM is a leading innovator in perfecting dancewear technology for improving freedom of movement and safe dance practices, so to be able to work together with them in creating this video series was a huge honour. We’d like to thank MDM for their continued support and for their efforts in the journey to help dancers reach their potential without having to push their bodies to unnecessary extremes.
Today we’ll go through all of the 5 videos in one cohesive highlights package for anyone who missed the series or who just wants to have them all together to enjoy practicing with at home. Starting with working on improving flexibility and strength of the feet, all the way to unlocking the perfect Port De Bras and creating an effortless arabesque, this video series will give any dancer the perfect starting point for improving their capabilities safely.
Foot Flexibility – Part One
In the first video of the series, Zac and star pupil Maddison Bowyer take a look at integrating the intrinsic muscles of the feet with the rest of the body to increase the strength, the range and the flexibility of them.
This lesson takes a preliminary look into Zac’s techniques for mastering the proprioception of muscles in movement and creating muscular interaction in isolation before applying it to technique in motion.
The exercise covered in this video puts no pressure or strain on any of the muscles dancers might associate with increasing the flexibility of their feet, but instead awakens the underlying deep tissue so often forgotten about. Grab a swiss ball, set yourself up next to a wall for stability, and follow along!
Precision Plies – Part Two
In the second tutorial, Zac and Maddison delve into leg exercises as a continuation of improving the stability and flexibility of the feet.
Looking into increasing the depth and softness of a plie, Zac’s training conditioning techniques in this video demonstrate that adaptability in the hips, knees and ankles in connecting to the demands of the rest of the body is vital to avoiding injury.
Connecting the body as a unified system of motion, again through understanding proprioception, and integrating intrinsic muscles with the outer load-bearing muscles is reinforced in this video as Zac joins up the techniques for the legs and feet for a range of movement that can be used in performance.
Tackling Turnout – Part Three
Up next in the Heal Yourself and Move video series with MDM is that crucial element every dancer has to master, turnout.
The Heal Yourself and Move method defines turnout as; the ability to be aligned through hips, knees and toes in a way that allows individuals to adequately prepare for and support the body in dynamic movements. In this video, Zac unlocks the techniques behind releasing tension from the hips to help Maddison discover how to improve her natural turnout range without straining or twisting from her knees.
This tutorial hones in on integrating dynamic movements into the training so that the relaxing of tension and awakening of intrinsic muscles is always directly applicable to performance. Watch through to the end to see Maddison discover the difference in her Ronde de Jambe!
Perfect Port de Bras – Part Four
In Part 4 of our series with MDM, Zac looks at how to achieve an effortless port de bras. The ease and artistry a dancer can achieve with a port de bras in performance is heavily tied to their ability to activate the deep muscles of the back, while simultaneously releasing tension in the shoulders and pectorals.
This lesson covers some aspects of the Heal Yourself and Move method that are addressed more comprehensively in the advanced online training coming soon to our website in discussing how to enact precision in the lower body and upper body simultaneously. But where this tutorial works is in its fundamental messaging.
With just a swiss ball and a floor to sit on, you can start the process of releasing tension through your whole body and engaging your muscles through dynamic movement rather than using static stretches or strength exercises to warm your body up for the motions of performance.
Activating Arabesques – Part Five
In our 5th and final video, Zac and Maddison look at arabesques and the ability to effortlessly improve range and line whilst developing intrinsic muscle strength and mobility in the core muscles around the spine. Achieving a stunning looking arabesque can be fraught with difficulty and the risk of back injury increases if dancers do not naturally possess the requisite mobility in their spine and hips.
In this lesson Zac will show you how to attain that mobility safely while simultaneously strengthening the deep muscles of the core. Circling back to the throughline of this entire series, the Heal Yourself and Move philosophy of gaining strength and flexibility through enhanced proprioception and movement awareness is the core lesson component of this tutorial.
For people following along at home, it is very important you have something sturdy to lean on/hold on to when doing back bends and arabesques. All of the exercises taught in these videos only require one swiss ball to complete, however you may need to ensure you have enough space and a safe environment around you before performing the tasks these exercises are designed to help you with.
Thanks so much for watching our video series for MDM on improving your conditioning and technique. We hope you enjoyed learning about how to improve your range, flexibility and strength through implementing safe training and conditioning techniques.
If you’d like to find out more about how Heal Yourself and Move and MDM can help you realise your body’s potential, you can subscribe to our websites here and follow us on our socials here!
The Heal Yourself and Move Team