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Mirrors in the studio – good or bad?

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e use mirrors every day when getting ready in the morning, making sure we look presentable throughout the day or to wonder how we can make ourselves look thinner, more tanned, smarter, more beautiful etc. Dancers use mirrors for similar reasons. Dance is a very visual art form and every dancer wants to make sure they look beautiful in all the shapes they make. But is it a beneficial tool? 

For dancers, the mirror provides on the spot feedback and allows them to self correct their technique. For teachers, it allows them to watch many students at the one time from different angles in the studio, as well as teaching a combination facing in the same direction as the dancers whilst watching them in their reflection. 

There are negative effects for a dancer using the mirror, however. Some dancers can become very focused on themselves in the mirror and can become obsessed with their body image which can lead to mental health and self confidence issues. Additionally, having a dancer look in the mirror can throw them off balance at times and ruin their “line”. 

Additionally, using the mirror can affect a dancers proprioception, which is the awareness of your body in space. Something I noticed when I was a dancer is that people used to “cheat” with their arabesque (when your leg is in the air behind you) which is traditionally directly behind the shoulder. The dancers would bring their leg out the side so it would go higher and “look better”. We called this “seca-besque” because it was between second position (straight out to the side) and an arabesque. I think this was a big contribution from the use of a mirror because you weren’t able to see the leg placement in a 2D image. It wasn’t until you saw a dancer face on or from the back that you would notice. So from the audiences point of view, it was a beautifully high leg! This trains the dancers muscle memory in this position so every time they do an arabesque, it will go out to the side.

You might be able to see it here, but on the right, the dancer’s leg is much higher than on the left. This is because it is easier to lift the leg up in second position than it is when it is behind. It is much easier to see this from a front on view but from the side, it is difficult to tell. 

Whilst training in front of the mirror is beneficial for visual feedback, it can be detrimental in the longer term. For example, without that trained proprioceptive awareness, a dancer on stage will not be able to see how their body is placed and won’t be able to fix their position as effectively. Improving a dancers muscle memory ensures that they have excellent kinaesthetic awareness which enhances a dancers artistic quality and expressive movement as they have a feeling for movement and don’t rely on themselves “seeing” the movement. 

Without the use of a mirror, a dancer is able to train their muscle memory more easily as they are only able to rely on what they feel. However the mirror can be beneficial for older dancers in particular to perfect their technique as they have that kinaesthetic awareness. It also gives the dancer autonomy with their body position correction so they don’t then rely on the teacher. The mirror is mostly used in ballet and used less in contemporary dance as improvisations and contemporary technique tends to focus more on sensations of the body which is more kinaesthetic. 

The mirror can also affect body image. Every time we look in a mirror we see our bodies and what we see may not be the image we would like to have of ourselves. Body image for a dancer is an important part of psychological health and wellbeing and it can affect how a dancer moves in the studio. Heightened awareness can cause a dancer to become overly critical of how she looks which can cause negative feelings towards oneself. Dancers spend hours in the studio seeing themselves in the mirror as they attempt to achieve the perfect “line” whilst being corrected by a teacher which as you can imagine, can cause negative feelings towards self image. 

Research has found that dancers taught without mirrors had a better self body image whereas dancers taught with mirrors generally felt worse about their body image. Higher skilled dancers that have a greater developed technical ability to assess their technical progress can be more critical of their bodies than a dancer with less experience in self evaluation. Not only can using a mirror cause negative body image, this is tied in with wearing tight clothes, the desire to be thin and long and comparing one’s’ body to the others in the room. 

Take away points: 

  • Without a mirror, only half of the students that were studied, missed it and some felt relieved not to have to address the relationship between their self-perception and the reflection of their bodies in the mirror. 
  • Educators are encouraged to find alternate strategies to help correct their students such as verbal imagery and include other somatic approaches so the mirror is not the only used tool in the studio. It should be emphasized the long term value of proprioception during teaching is imperative.
  • The mirror can cause a dancer to be overly critical of how she looks and may develop a negative self image.
  • The biggest stress point for dancers in the studio is the mirror and can become a crutch which then inhibits dancers from developing their body awareness which can inhibit their potential and growth. 

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Helen Shang
Helen Shang
08:07 11 Mar 21
After Oscar left the company, the staff there not really care patient, so disappoint
Howard Pink
Howard Pink
13:58 06 Feb 21
Dr Louis is the best! He fixed me so many times. Highly recommend!
B A
B A
01:39 22 Jan 21
Hopefully I'm never injured again, but if I am, Jay at BodyFocus will be my first point of contact. He helped immensely... with a nagging & long term Shoulder & Lower Back injury.I highly recommend him to anyone in need of a quality Physio.read more
NICHOLAS ABI ESBER
NICHOLAS ABI ESBER
09:41 21 Jul 20
I would highly recommend this Physio clinic as they prove to give results to their clients especially Jay!
rupsikha baruah
rupsikha baruah
11:26 25 Feb 20
Friendly staff. Lvl 8 in Rhodes Shopping Centre..accessible via lift. You have to pay..check for discounts.
Fahad Alotaibi
Fahad Alotaibi
00:10 28 Nov 19
Excellent service with dr Louis. Have really back pain due to having a bad massage previously. So he really... helped.Thanksread more
Mellissa Admin
Mellissa Admin
01:01 11 Sep 19
I work in the local area and have found Bodyfocus to be amazing and would highly recommend. I had the pleasure of... having Sarah as my physio and she was friendly, knowledgeable and professional. She explained my injuries to me in easy to understand language and was able to get me back on my feet quickly. Every interaction with staff at Bodyfocus has been extremely positive and helpful. Would not go anywhere else now for physio.read more
Vanessa reinmuth
Vanessa reinmuth
06:48 07 Sep 19
Would recommend this place in a heartbeat! The service and care provided is second to none. In particular, I'd like to... call out Lauren who has been nothing but amazing, supportive and genuinely interested in how I'm progressing. I injured my hip and initially went to a physiotherapist closer to where I live, but my condition didn't get any better, so I decided to come over to Rhodes and give Bodyfocus a try - right after the first session I felt an instant relief. That was a few weeks ago and my mobility has been steadily increasing, while the pain has become so much better. Lauren also motivated me to exercise and I actually enjoy it. Overall, it's just been a fantastic experience.read more
Yuyan Cai
Yuyan Cai
00:43 04 Sep 19
Highly recommend Sarah. Her attitude and knowledge has made my recovery a quick and easy process. She has a great... understanding of how the body works and teaches you the process to live life to the fullest.Do not hesitate to reach out and connect with this amazing physio!read more
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Lucy-May Pitt
Physiotherapist

Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Charles Sturt University)

Lucy is a passionate physiotherapist who graduated from Charles Sturt University Albury- Wodonga

With a background as a professional ballerina in both Australia and the UK, Lucy has gained an in-depth understanding of the demands that sport can put on the body and the physical and mental requirements to become a successful athlete. Unfortunately Lucy’s career was cut short due to injury, which is what inspired her to become a Physiotherapist. She is passionate about injury recovery and prevention and works with her patients to keep them as active as possible while they heal. 

With an interest in sports, Lucy was the Head Sports Trainer with an O&M league AFL team in Albury for 

2 seasons where she worked with the team on injury prevention and attended to the players injuries on

 the field. She also has experience in Women’s Health and Vestibular conditions as well as inpatient

 rehabilitation in hospitals. 

Lucy uses a combination of hands on therapy, taping, mobilisations and dry needling techniques to

 accompany her exercise based approach. She also has experience teaching both mat based and 

reformer pilates and believes it is an excellent way to aid in injury prevention. 


Having recently moved to Sydney, Lucy is on the hunt for the best hiking locations! In her spare time, 

you can find her at the gym exploring Sydney with friends of getting stuck in a good book

 

Lucy has completed advanced training in: 

  • Sports trainer level 1 
  • Trigger point Dry Needling 
 

Sabina Bireroglu

BHlthSc/ MPodMed Podiatrist

Sabina has completed a Bachelor of Health Science/Mastering in Podiatric Medicine at University of Western Sydney. She has experienced working in different treatment settings including private practice, hospitals and mobile care. One experience in which takes forefront in her experiences is working in Ireland at Merlin Park Hospital.

She incorporates evidence based treatment plans in all scopes of podiatry including the general and chronic foot, injuries and pain, nail surgery, biomechanics and paediatrics. Outside of the clinic environment Sabina enjoys running, playing netball and playing the violin.

Dr Louis Darmizin

Chiropractor

From early childhood, Louis was exposed to Chiropractic due to his scoliosis and constant back pain. Being only 10 years of age, he was unable to participate in social and sports activities in fear of being in pain. Upon seeing the benefits of Chiropractic for his back, Louis focused his life on helping others achieving a pain free and healthy lifestyle.

Louis graduated with a Bachelor and Masters of Chiropractic Science from Macquarie University. After practicing in the best clinics in Sydney, he is now the founder of Dynamic Spine Clinic. He is a very passionate and motivated practitioner that makes your problems his own.

Louis has a extensive knowledge in posture and back related injuries. He combines his treatment with soft tissue therapy, acupuncture, rehabilitation and lifestyle advice. His treatments are individualized to suit each patient in order to achieve the best outcome possible.

Louis has a passion for soccer, tennis and rugby. He also earned local, regional and state level competition titles as a squad swimmer.

His goal is to inspire, educate and encourage his patients to reach a happy and enjoyable lifestyle. He believes that Chiropractic care is an essential tool to maintain wellness, improve posture, eliminate pain and stress.

Sarah D’arcy

Physiotherapist - General & Women's Health Physiotherapy

Sarah is a passionate physiotherapist who graduated with distinction from Charles Sturt University, Orange, NSW. Sarah has worked within the public health system and has experience in orthopaedic, fracture clinic, medical, respiratory, musculoskeletal, rehabilitation, hydrotherapy, emergency department, intensive care and women’s health physiotherapy.

Sarah has an interest in all areas of musculoskeletal physiotherapy and is always looking for opportunities to expand her knowledge to grow as a clinician. Sarah is highly ambitious and applies herself in all areas of work and life. She is driven by her desire to become a go-to physiotherapist by providing the best evidenced-based care to all of her clients to achieve positive outcomes. Sarah enjoys staying active, being outdoors, and socialising. Sarah enjoys new experiences and is always willing to try new things. Sarah believes you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it and are willing to put in the effort.

Sarah has completed training in comprehensive assessment and treatment of the pelvic floor. This includes complete subjective and objective (including internal examinations) of pelvic floor problems, such as:

  • Bladder and bowel issues
  • Antenatal and postnatal pelvic floor
  • Pregnancy related back pain
  • Pre and postnatal exercise
  • ProlapseTears during child birth

Sarah consults from our Rhodes clinic.

WILSON HUI

APA TITLED MUSCULOSKELETAL PHYSIOTHERAPIST

Wilson graduated from University of Sydney as a physiotherapist and he has always been keen on learning new things so that he can do what is best for patients. On top of ongoing professional development, he completed a Master in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy from University of Melbourne to gain further knowledge.

Wilson has worked in various private practices in the past and managed a variety of clienteles, from acute musculoskeletal and sports injuries to pre/post-op rehabilitation, and from injury prevention to performance enhancement. He has also done a range of sports coverage as a physiotherapist, such as City2Surf and Sydney Half Marathon etc.

Wilson has done extensive training and obtained certifications in multiple techniques and areas, below are some examples but not limited to:

  • Dry Needling
  • Mulligan’s Concepts
  • McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy
  • Kinesio Taping
  • Sports Level 1 and 2

When Wilson is not working and not injured (if injured, rest and doing own rehab), he plays competitive table tennis. He is also a recreational road and trail runner.

Wilson can speak Cantonese and Mandarin.

Jay Kasthuriarachchi Senior Physiotherapist

APA Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist
Masters of Sports Physiotherapy (La Trobe)

Jay is a relaxed yet attentive and thorough physiotherapist whose passion lies in sports and musculoskeletal physiotherapy. He has worked in private practices in North Sydney and Richmond, as well as doing sports coverage work over a variety of sports including Gridiron, Football (Soccer), Rugby Union, Rugby League, AFL and is currently the lead physiotherapist of the West Tigers Under 21’s (Jersey Flegg). This opportunity has allowed him to spend time with the NRL squad, assisting with the rehab of their injured 1st grade players. He was also recently part of the medical team working at the GoldCoast Commonwealth Games in April 2018.

Jay has recently completed his postgraduate qualifications in Sports Physiotherapy at La Trobe University. This course allowed him to learn of senior physiotherapists at the GWS Giants, and Rugby Australia, learning their rehab techniques and long term injury prevention strategies. Jay is extremely knowledgeable and skillful with the ability to lead you to excellent results. He will find out why you cannot perform at your peak and develop a treatment plan that addresses your goals.

Jay also has had experience playing cricket, having played 1st grade cricket for the North-West Sydney Hurricanes in the Sydney Shires Competition and understands the frustration that “weekend warrior” athletes have with missing out on playing sports due to an injury.

He has completed advanced training in:

  • Advanced Hip and Groin
  • Sports Level 2 (APA)
  • Trigger Point Dry Needling
  • Strength and Conditioning Coach Level 2