The Acrobatic Arts Podcast
The Acrobatic Arts Podcast
Acrobatic Arts Inc
Welcome to the Acrobatic Arts Podcast! Join our host, Loren Dermody, as she interviews some of the top leaders and innovators from the dance and acrobatic industry. Acrobatic Arts is passionate about providing current and relevant information for everyone. If you are interested in hearing open and honest conversations with professionals from all over the world, then you are sure to find these episodes intriguing and full of inspiration!
Ep. 38 Drills for your Incline Mat with Vicki Fletcher
In this episode, Master Teacher Vicki Fletcher gives ideas for drills and skills that you can work on with your incline mat. You will find great ideas for building strength and confidence in little to advanced dancers! Vicki Fletcher was born and currently lives in Ontario Canada and has been dancing since the age of 2. She soon realized that her love for all forms of dance was something she wanted to share with others through teaching. She began teaching at the age of 17 and has been doing it ever since. Vicki brings 25 years of teaching experience in jazz,tap,acro,lyrical, stretch and conditioning and musical theatre. Vicki graduated from Dance Masters of America's Teacher's Training School at Kent State University and the University of New York in Buffalo and is also certified through the Ontario's Gymnastics Federation. Vicki has adjudicated dance competitions and has taught workshops at many studios in Canada. She feels it is very important to stay current with your training so attends workshops and conventions whenever she can. She has won many awards for her creative and innovative choreography and her students have won numerous awards,scholarships and titles. Many have gone on to pursue their own careers in dance whether it be performing in companies or on cruise ships, studying dance in University and becoming teachers themselves. Through her years of teaching Vicki has become more and more passionate towards the acro aspect of dance and has had great success in building a strong acro studio. This love for acro and the desire to see it done safely by teachers and students is what makes being a part of Acrobatic Arts so exciting for her. She is looking forward to working with students and teachers from all over the world who share her passion for acro. Need some visuals? Check out Vicki's Weekly Mini presentation, Many ways to use an incline mat, on YouTube! If you'd like more amazing content more tips and ideas check out our Acrobatic Arts Channel on YouTube. Subscribe Now! Connect with Acrobatic Arts on your favourite social media platform: Instagram: Facebook: Twitter: Learn more and register for our programs at
Jun 22
18 min
Ep. 37 One-sided Dancers: Is it a Concern? with Sandra Elliott
In this episode, Acrobatic Arts company Principal Sandra Elliott talks about the importance of balanced development in our dancers. Sandra offers insight and practical steps to help build balance from the beginning or to overcome deficiencies that have developed over time. Understanding imbalances and how to correct them can give teachers a strong foundation in helping their dancers find technical freedom to perform optimally. Don't miss this important episode! With over 30 years teaching experience, Sandra has also been enjoying her role as a course conductor and examiner with Acrobatic Arts since its inception in 2012. She assisted in developing the Module 1 Teacher's Certification Course. In addition, she developed the Graduate Student Teacher's Certification course, the Adjudicator Certification for AcroDance course and the Pin Examiner Certification course. Sandra is a registered teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance and has her Bachelor of Education Degree, with a major in dance. Throughout her teaching career, she has successfully prepared students for all levels of RAD exams. One of her students achieved her Royal Academy of Dance Solo Seal while another student participated in the RAD's Margot Fonteyn International Ballet Competition (formerly ‘The Genee') who later became a member of the Citie Ballet Company and is currently a member of Ballet Kelowna. Sandra has also been closely involved in the training of many students who have gone on to dance in professional shows including The Music Man (Broadway), Radio City Music Hall Rockettes, Movin' Out (Canadian Tour), Cirque Du Soleil (Las Vegas), So You Think You Can Dance Canada, Celine Dion and Taylor Swift. One of those students was the 2013 winner of UK's Got To Dance and a competitor in World of Dance Season 2. He is currently running his own contemporary company ‘Untitled' out of the UK. Sandra's choreography has won many overall, title and choreography awards. She is passionate about not only developing artistic dancers that have excellent technique but she also loves helping dancers to understand how the things they learn in dance can translate into their personal lives helping them to push themselves to be the best they can be. Email: If you'd like more amazing content more tips and ideas check out our Acrobatic Arts Channel on YouTube. Subscribe Now! Connect with Acrobatic Arts on your favourite social media platform: Instagram: Facebook: Twitter: Learn more and register for our programs at
Jun 8
23 min
Ep. 36  How Ballet Complements AcroDance with Mark Nash
In this episode, Acrobatic Arts US Division Manager Mark Nash talks about the nature of ballet and acrodance as complementary art forms in training and performance. Teachers and studio owners, this episode provides excellent insight for conversations with parents and dancers. Mark is the US Division Manager for Acrobatic Arts, as well as an acro adjudicator, educator and certified examiner. He enjoys choreography and has won the Josephine-Hermene Schwarz award as well as received commissions to choreograph repertory and full-length works for various dance companies throughout the US. He was a professional dancer and has danced for Dayton and Cincinnati Ballets, and Ballet West. Mark is also an eight-time Men's World Baton Twirling Champion, and has taught numerous world champions as well. He values education and has Master's Degrees in Business and Arts Administration, as well as many dance related certifications. Mark is also a devoted husband and father of three, and lives in California. Previous Episodes: Ep 5 Acrobatic Arts United States Division Manager Mark Nash Email: FB IG @nashmark23 Nash Twirling Academy Acrobatic Arts
May 25
18 min
Ep. 35 Hypermobility + the Dancer with Dr. Linda Bluestein
Linda Bluestein, M.D., is an integrative pain medicine physician and former ballet dancer who specializes in treating hypermobility disorders in dancers. Following-up from our first chat with Dr. Bluestein in Ep. 20, we dive deeper and explore her unique approach to the evaluation and treatment of this highly specialized population. This is a must-listen for all dance teachers! In addition to her private medical practice, Hypermobility MD, Dr. Bluestein is the founder and co-host of the podcast, Bendy Bodies with the Hypermobility MD, and former co-host of “Hypermobility Happy Hour.” Dr. Bluestein is the Director of Education for the nonprofit, EDS Wellness, Inc. and founder and executive director of Bendy Bodies, an organization dedicated to empowering hypermobile performing artists. She has published a number of original research papers; presents work at national and international conferences, and is a contributing author for the book, Disjointed - Navigating the Diagnosis and Management of Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders. Dr. Bluestein is a member of the Board of Directors for the Bridge Dance Project, the Allergy and Immunology Working Group for the International Consortium on EDS and HSD, the Advisory Board for Doctors for Dancers, and the Resources Committee for the Dance Healthy Alliance of Canada. More information about Dr. Bluestein can be found on her website, Links: Hypermobility MD Hypermodbility MD Podcast Bendy Bodies International Association for Dance Medicine & Science Ehlers-Danlos Society Social media:
May 11
37 min
Ep. 34 AcroDance vs Gymnastics with Wendy Holmquist
In this episode, Master Teacher Wendy Holmquist explains the difference between AcroDance and Gymnastics, including equipment, technique, expectations for performance and more! Need some visuals? Check out Wendy's Weekly Mini presentation, The difference between AcroDance and Gymnastics, on YouTube! If you'd like more amazing content more tips and ideas check out our Acrobatic Arts Channel on YouTube. Subscribe Now! Connect with Acrobatic Arts on your favourite social media platform: Instagram: Facebook: Twitter: Learn more and register for our programs at
Apr 27
8 min
Ep. 33 Katie Schaar: Endless Possibilities
Katie Schaar has nearly two decades of experience in the business and she's done it all as a dancer and a choreographer: movies, SYTYCD, music award shows, the Super Bowl, rock star world tours, and co-founding her passion project Sugarfoot Therapy. In this episode, Katie talks about her career and influences, as well as giving her best insight on setting dancer athletes up physically and mentally for whatever path they choose! Mentoring young people or interested in a long-lasting career? This episode is for you! Katie Schaar has nearly two decades of experience as a Los Angeles-based dancer, choreographer, & dance teacher. Credits include Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, the American Music Awards, MTV VMA's, the BRIT Awards, the Grammy's, films The Muppets and Rock of Ages, the 2015 Super Bowl Halftime Show, and world tours for P!NK, Katy Perry & Taylor Swift. She has a BA from Loyola Marymount University, where she studied Communications Studies and Dance. Katie co-created Sugarfoot Therapy, a physical therapy-based conditioning & injury prevention program for dancers; and she is the founder and Director of Operations at MOTI Physiotherapy in LA. Sugarfoot Therapy classes on CLI Studios: Sugarfoot Therapy, Online exercise platform and teacher courses: MOTI Physiotherapy, Los Angeles Physical Therapy facilities: Bridge Dance Project - Optimizing Performance for Competition - an event for competition dance studio owners / teachers / event planners. August 5-7, 2022. Denver, CO - USA If you'd like more amazing content more tips and ideas check out our Acrobatic Arts Channel on YouTube. Subscribe Now! Connect with Acrobatic Arts on your favourite social media platform: Instagram: Facebook: Twitter: Learn more and register for our programs at
Apr 13
36 min
Ep. 32 Common Corrections in Exams Primary to Level 3 with Sandra Elliott
In this episode Acrobatic Arts company Principal, Sandra Elliott, explains the most common errors we see in the Primary to Level 3 exams and how to fix them. Miss Sandra provides insight, common corrections, and tips to help you set your students up for success as the prepare for these exam levels. Need some visuals? Check out Sandra's Weekly Mini presentation, Most Common Corrections in Exams Primary to Level 3, on YouTube! Referenced Resources AcroDance Resource Center Weekly Mini Ep 2: Beginner Handstands with Loren Demody Weekly Mini Ep 16: Why is shoulder and hip flexibility important for Bridge Work? with Kate Evans Weekly Mini Ep 7: Skills and Drills for Folded Mats with Jill Ford Weekly Mini Ep 14: Many ways to use an incline mat with Vicky Fletcher If you'd like more amazing content more tips and ideas check out our Acrobatic Arts Channel on YouTube. Subscribe Now! Connect with Acrobatic Arts on your favourite social media platform: Instagram: Facebook: Twitter: Learn more and register for our programs at
Mar 30
16 min
Ep. 31 Overcoming Dancer Anxiety + Mental Blocks with Dr. Leisha Strachan
Are mindset and anxiety issues holding your dancers back? In this episode of The Acrobatic Arts Podcast, Loren talks to Dr. Leisha Strachan about ways we can help dancers overcome common mindset challenges. Don't miss this episode chalk-a-block full of tangible strategies that you can start using to help your dancers today! Dr. Leisha Strachan is a professor at the University of Manitoba with a research focus on positive youth development through sport. She is also interested in research with coaches and parents in the deliberate delivery of positive sport experiences for children and youth. Research Areas Positive youth development Sport participation Children Youth Sport psychology Education Doctor of Philosopy - Sport Psychology, Queen's University (2008) Master of Human Kinetics - Sport Psychology, University of Windsor (2004) Bachelor of Education, University of Manitoba (1999) Bachelor of Physical Education, University of Manitoba (1997) Leisha has been involved in sport and dance for the majority of her life. She began baton twirling at Crestview Community Club in Winnipeg at the age of 5 and continued for 18 years. She is a former Canadian Senior Freestyle Champion (1994), Grand National Solo and 2-Baton champion (1994), CBTF Senior Athlete and Overall Athlete of the Year (1994), and a 7-time Canadian Contingent member competing in freestyle (highest placing - 6th in 1994) and pair events garnering 2 world bronze medals for her efforts (with Kristin Macaraeg). In her time on the national team, she traveled to France, Japan, Holland, Italy, and Hawaii. Leisha is one of the founding coaches of Aerial Fusion Baton, which has been in existence for 25 years. In addition to being a Level 3 certified coach, she is also certified as a Module 1 teacher in Acrobatic Arts. She is also a certified M1, M2, M3, and Masters judge. She has had the opportunity to coach provincial and national team members and continues to choreograph for different athletes across Canada, England, and Scotland. IG @drls250 Previous Episodes Ep 4 Protecting Your Mental Health Dr Leisha Strachan Sources Referenced MindShift App AcroDance Resource Center Psyching for Sport - Terry Orlick The Mental Athlete - Kay Porter Sports Psychology for Coaches
Mar 16
29 min
Ep. 30 Progress Cards with Heather Lawrence-Thomas
In this episode, Master Teacher Miss Heather Lawrence-Thomas explains how Acrobatic Arts progress cards can keep your classes organized, your dancers motivated, and the expectations of dance parents met! Mrs Thomas has extensive training and knowledge in BATD (British Association Teachers of Dancing), ADAPT (Associated Dance Arts and Professional Teachers) AG (Al Gilbert), RAD ( Royal Academy of Dancing) covering Jazz, Lyrical, Modern, Tap, Ballet, Acrobatics, and Musical Theatre. She has personally trained with well known dance masters such as Joe Tremaine, Bryan Foley, and Al Gilbert. And continues to immerse herself in diverse studies around the globe.She has had the opportunity to choreograph over twenty full length stage shows, which have been performed in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan, England, Scotland, Germany, France, Spain, Greece and the USA. Heather believes strongly in exposing herself, and her students to new challenges. In turn they have been awarded many high-score and title awards. As a direct result of Heathers professional and personal nurturing many of her students have gone on to enjoy professional careers performing with Brittney Spears, Queen Latifah, and Wayne Brady just to name a few. Other students have loved performing with numerous Cruise Lines, The Second City in Toronto, On and Off Broadway productions incorporating dance, theatre, Ariel Acrobatics, Circus Arts often whilst travelling to all corners of the world. Mrs Thomas is in constant demand across Canada and the USA as an adjudicator, teacher and choreographer, but her heart always lies within the studio! Need some visuals? Check out Miss Heather's Weekly Mini presentation, Progress Cards, on YouTube! If you'd like more amazing content more tips and ideas check out our Acrobatic Arts Channel on YouTube. Subscribe Now! Connect with Acrobatic Arts on your favourite social media platform: Instagram: Facebook: Twitter: Learn more and register for our programs at
Mar 2
11 min
Ep. 29 Physiotherapist Tim Buckley: Listener Questions, Pt 2
Following up on Ep. 28 Physiotherapist Tim Buckley: Dance Injuries, Pt 1, Loren and Tim dive into answering listeners' questions with specifics and practicalities to the unique challenges dancers face. Tim Buckley is a Physiotherapist from Melbourne, Australia. He has worked exclusively with elite ballet dancers, circus artists and orchestral musicians during his 15 year career and has spoken twice at IADMS conferences in Australia and the USA. He was one of two full time physios with The Australian Ballet from 2006-2008 and toured Australia, China, England and France. He joined Cirque du Soleil in 2009 and toured Japan, South America and North America with ‘Corteo' and ‘Quidam', before settling in Montréal to work at Cirque's international headquarters as the Supervisor of Performance Medicine. Tim then toured again as the Head Physiotherapist on Cirque du Soleil's production, ‘Kurios – Cabinet of Curiosities' in 2014-15, before moving back to Melbourne in 2016. After another year at The Australian Ballet and completing a Masters of Sports Physiotherapy, Tim re-joined Cirque du Soleil where he worked as a ‘fly-in' Head Physiotherapist on several touring shows including Amaluna, Volta and Crystal as well as in Montreal on various creation projects, until March 2020. Tim now co-manages the Australia / New Zealand / Asia divisions of Acrobatic Arts as well as Aerial Arts. He is our consultant Physiotherapist, providing input on the continuing development of our syllabus and programs. Now based in London, Ontario, Tim and his wife Meaghan own/operate ‘The Academy' - an aerial and acrobatic studio with two locations. www.theacademycircus.comFacebook: The Academy CircusInstagram: @theacademycircus Previous Acrobatic Arts Podcast Episodes: Ep 7 Acrobatic Arts Australia, New Zealand and Asia Division Managers Meaghan Wegg and Tim Buckley Ep. 28 Physiotherapist Tim Buckley: Dance Injuries, Pt 1 Connect with Acrobatic Arts on your favourite social media platform: Instagram: Facebook: Twitter: YouTube: Learn more and register for our programs at
Feb 16
17 min
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