Dance and movement educator Zac Jones leads Heal Yourself and Move, a conditioning and strength training program which he teaches at a number of institutions. Heal Yourself and Move, developed by Jones, enables dancers and gymnasts to improve their flexibility and strength and rehabilitate after injuries. Because of COVID, Jones innovated his work to develop a digital platform to deliver his bespoke conditioning services online. Now, he not only offers this training through this bespoke platform, but other schools can use it to feature their online training work as well.
“We help dance schools that are wanting to move beyond simply replicating their timetable with Zoom classes and pre-recorded content, to recreate their unique teaching methodology and style with their own studio branded courses that share the flavour and feel of their school including the capacity to live chat with students and school community,” says Jones.
He adds, “We have developed a beautiful course building platform based on the structure of the bespoke Heal Yourself and Move online courses, where schools simply give us their video content and clear direction for what they want their courses to look and feel like and we do the rest. We house their courses on their custom built online school site where they can sell their studios message to a wider audience or simply offer premium quality online courses to their existing students.”
Jones says he is motivated by being able to “share the moment a dancer makes a breakthrough in their understanding of what they thought possible for themselves, and realises that transformation is to be expected every time they train.” This is based on learning from his own professional career. Jones trained at The Australian Ballet School and danced with Queensland Ballet, Expressions Dance Company and The Australian Ballet. The requirements of the dance forms he worked with were not a natural fit for him.
“I would often use excessive tension and strain to achieve the shapes and look of the ideal I was trying to conform to,” recalls Jones. “I’d have moments of hitting a sweet spot and feeling flow and ease, for instance, in a turn or jump. I would work even harder to recapture that elusive moment of effortlessness within technique, but at the moment I felt I was about to ‘break’ through to a new level, I would often sustain a strain or injury that brought me back to square one. After stopping full-time dancing, I discovered through the practice of somatics and martial arts a way to staying centred in the actual moment to moment happenings of my body. I began sharing this practice of ‘body-mindfulness’ that enabled the body to be understood first, before trying to achieve technical forms or shapes, and quickly began to see technical breakthroughs for dancers who had no previous experience of somatic practice.”
To find out more and participate digitally in the Heal Yourself and Move conditioning program, or to explore options for delivering dance studio programs digitally, you can visit healyourselfandmove.com.au.
By Tamara Searle of Dance Informa.