Ever wondered what physiotherapist’s take on West Coast Swing would be? It’s not easy to find one that really understands the nature of social dancing and the specific actions involved in WCS. But we’ve got one! Meet Ruth Norgaard, our WCS student for the past 3 years, who treats us when we are broken. We asked Ruth some questions about common WCS errors that lead to injury and how to avoid them. It was such a great resource, this interview is now also a chapter in one of the lessons in our Swing Literacy Development Method teacher training program.
Please note this is a long article, and it is not intended to be prescriptive nor instructional. For personal treatment advice, please visit your health practitioner. For instruction, please refer to the SLDM.
M&T: Let’s start by getting to know you. What is your profession and background?
Ruth: I am a Physiotherapist in private practice in Vancouver BC, I obtained my BScPT from the University of British Columbia in 2004 and then pursued post graduate studies in manual therapy from the Canadian Physiotherapy Association, Mulligan and Mckenzie techniques, Neurodynamic approaches and the Integrated Systems Approach (Lee & Lee) and Thoracic Ring Series “Connect Therapy” Part 4 TM (LjLee.). I don’t think the list will ever end! Like dance, Physiotherapy is a life long journey.
ruthPrior to Physiotherapy I was a professional ballet dancer. I had my first professional contract with Santa Barbara Ballet, then moved to Seattle for intensive training with First Chamber Dance Company and Pacific Northwest Ballet, then moved back to Canada and joined Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in Montreal Quebec. I also worked with Ballet Ouest and did television and theatre productions. While my primary technique was ballet, my movement and the demands upon me were from classic jazz, contemporary “modern” or “lyrical”, tap, flamenco, ballroom and latin movement. Part of my career was also as a rehearsal director, coach and teacher.