Raising the Barre for Mental Health – A Dance Teacher Workshop Series - February 6 to April 3

Mental health is as important as physical health for healthy, happy dancers. Minding the Gap presents a workshop curated in five sessions, each presented by an accredited professional.

All sessions online from 12:30pm–1:30pm:

#1 – February 6, 2022
Common mental health challenges for dancers, signs of distress, and what actions can be taken.
Presenter: Josh Spell MSW, LICSW– consulting mental health professional to Pacific Northwest Ballet.

#2 – February 20, 2022
Tough love in teaching. What is it? How is it done correctly? Unlearning problematic methods from our past and moving on with a mental health approach to dance pedagogy.
Presenter: Jo-Anne La Flèche, MPsy, MA Dance – consulting psychologist to l’École supérieure de ballet du Québec.

#3 – March 6, 2022
Language Matters: Shifting how we speak about food and bodies to prevent eating disorders and improve dancer health.
Presenter: Monika Saigal, MS, RD, CEDRD-S, CDN – nutritionist and eating disorder expert based in New York City.

#4 – March 20, 2022
Productive, proactive communication. How to engage students and dancers on the tough topics and disappointments.
Presenter: Jackson Jirard, M.Ed – Education psychology specialist and dance educator, associate director of Urban Improv at Rehearsal For Life in Massachusetts.

#5 – April 3, 2022
How to support an injured dancer. Best practices to get the dancer back into the studio strong both mentally and physically.
Presenter: Marissa Schaeffer, PT, DPT, CSCS – licensed physical therapist and NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist in New York City.