Based in Ottawa, Ontario, the Linda Jamieson School of Dance has trained world-class dancers in a variety of styles for over 30 years. Among other styles, the Linda Jamieson School of Dance offers classes in jazz, which are taught based on the ADAPT system of training.
Created in 1979 by prominent Canadian choreographer, dance teacher, and director Brian Foley and his wife, Faye, ADAPT (Associated Dance Arts for Professional Teachers) is best suited to jazz and tap classes. After creating the syllabus, the Foleys presented it to a small group of teachers. Those teachers returned to their local studios, where they utilized the ADAPT syllabus in their own classes and found it to be a challenging yet fun curriculum.
With a focus on better preparing students for a career in dance, ADAPT has risen drastically in popularity throughout Canada and is now employed in 175 dance studios worldwide. It has also expanded to include a certified ballet system, implemented with the help of professional Russian dancers Vladimir Iablakov and Larissa Kouznetsova, while students in some Canadian provinces are eligible to earn high school credits through its dance examination program.
The Linda Jamieson School of Dance offers dance training as well as performance and competition opportunities for students at a variety of levels. All students at the Linda Jamieson School of Dance receive training in technique and conditioning, including flexibility training, from skilled and experienced instructors.
When you stretch, you work to extend the range of motion in a particular joint by lengthening the muscle attached. The exact process by which this occurs is uncertain, though studies indicate that the effect is largely neurological.
Data suggests that stretching can temporarily increase the elasticity of a muscle, in that the muscle displays lower resistance after a stretching session. However, studies have found this effect to be transient, in that repeated stretching is necessary to retain the effects for more than 24 hours.
Changes in pain threshold and stretch tolerance appear to be significantly more lasting. This is because instead of physically extending the muscle fiber on a long-term basis, the process of stretching allows for more motion in the joint before the dancer feels pain in the muscle itself.
Experts recommend that an athlete take advantage of this process by extending the muscle from the center of the muscle belly out to its most distal points. This typically requires the holding of a static stretch for 60 seconds or more. Because this can also have a relaxing effect on body and mind, such flexibility-focused stretches may be most effective at the end of the dancer’s day.
At the Linda Jamieson School of Dance, students have the opportunity to pursue dance as either a recreational or a preprofessional activity. Students from the Linda Jamieson School of Dance have gone on to successfully audition for Broadway productions, national ballet companies, and Hollywood films.
Whether you are auditioning for a competition team, a college dance program, or a professional company, the people watching want to see who you are as a dancer and what it might be like to work with you. Courtesy and professionalism rank among the most important qualities that you can show at any audition, and this means arriving well before the sign-in time and being fully warmed up when the audition begins.
Professionalism also means being courteous and warm to everyone you meet in the building, from the moment you enter to the moment you leave. You never know who is going to be a decision maker in the future, and those who are in that place now will be looking to see how you interact with others. Choreographers want dancers who are pleasant to work with.
The way you take constructive criticism says a lot about how you work, so be sure to accept correction graciously and make any changes that the choreographer asks you to make. Similarly, if you have questions, ask them respectfully and incorporate the answer into your performance. Your attitude will also be evident in how you handle the inevitable mistakes, so try your best to let them go and move on with an air of confidence.
Those leading the audition will also assess your commitment to your dancing. You show a strong work ethic by fully committing to each movement and by watching others carefully when it is not your turn on the floor.
It can also benefit you to have researched the school’s or company’s style, so that you can work within that aesthetic, but take care not to be a mimic. The choreographers or teachers want to see you, not a copy of someone they already have.
At the Linda Jamieson School of Dance, students Level 2 or higher in the pre-professional senior program may take contemporary dance classes. The Linda Jamieson School of Dance centers its contemporary training on the techniques of professional dancers such as José Limón.
In 1928 the Mexican-born José Limón moved to New York City, where he encountered the work of modern dance innovators Charles Weidman and Doris Humphrey. Limón went on to study with both artists and ultimately drew on these experiences to create a dance technique that emphasizes breath, weight, and fluidity of movement.
Limón technique requires the dancer to observe not only his or her body and its capabilities, but also how concepts like gravity and momentum work in ordinary activities. Limón and his mentors believed in using the body’s natural movement and its relationship to the forces of the Earth, and these manifest in the exploration of the extremes of movement.
Limón dancers immerse themselves in experiences of fall and recovery, suspension, rebound, and successive movement. The floor becomes a home base that the dancer emerges from and returns to in many different ways, exploring the potential of falling and rising. Breath informs each moment, and musicality helps to keep the work continuously connected with the human spirit.
The result of this work is a dance experience that connects the physical aspects of humanity with the emotional and spiritual. Feeling becomes of primary importance, and technical capacity is not an end in and of itself, but rather a means toward expression.