Biomechanical Analysis, Correction and Retraining consultation with Student Emily Patterson, Joffrey Ballet, IMDB, The Company (2003),  Save the Last Dance (2001).


Stephen M. Apatow
Biomechanics Specialist & Technical Consultant
Founder, Director of Research & Development
Sports Medicine & Science Institute
International Dancescience Development Program
Phone: 203-668-0282
Email: s.m.apatow@edancescience.org
Internet: www.edancescience.org
Facebook: edancescience

United Nations Arts Initiative
Internet: www.unarts.org
Facebook: unarts
LinkedIn: unarts

Biomechanical Analysis, Correction and Retraining: Reaching the Next Level of Performance in Classical Ballet and Olympic Development Programs.

Following a sabbatical from his medical studies in 1984, Stephen Michael Apatow spent close to a decade as a competitive athlete, coach and consultant, pursuing advanced training in ultra distance running and cycling, martial arts and Soviet ballet training to international competition in cycling, cross country skiing and rowing.  See: HRI:H-II OPSEC: Lead from the Front: HRI, 14 September 2016.

During this training period the continuation of intensive studies of myology, anthrology, osteology, neurology, exercise physiology and biomechanics, in conjunction with scholarships in dance and ballet training, led to further research of the ideal postural alignment objective in the classical ballet development program. This research encompassed an intensive analysis of the first through eighth year of the pedagogical system and Vaganova based training methodology as taught at the Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts in Torrington, Connecticut. The result of this research led to the development of a specialized program that encompassed (1) the analysis of a joint complex by comparison to the classical ballet mechanical ideal, (2) the integration of corrective procedures to increase the elasticity of muscle-tendon restrictions associated with a malalignment pattern, (3) functional restoration of joint range of motion and flexibility and (4) retraining to enable postural control utilizing the ideal classical ballet based alignment as the objective.

In 1990, this experimental program was utilized to enhance the postural alignment mechanics of an elite dancer Cheryl Madeux, a Nutmeg dancer who was preparing for international ballet competitions in Lausanne and Paris.  The program yielded immediate results, including increased hip range of motion (turnout), correction of knee, ankle foot malalignment problems (that result from turnout below the knee), spinal and shoulder alignment (restrictions of the shoulder complex that affected port de bra and cervical spine alignment). Corrections were then integrated into a concentrated retraining program that consisted of fundamental exercise sequences at the ballet barre and integration into all choreographed movement. A nutrition and classical ballet specific aerobic training regimen was also developed to enhance conditioning and bodyline. The results of the one-month intensive program yielded a rapid progression to the next technical level of performance, an accomplishment not considered attainable through the classical ballet daily training program alone.
The Madeux case served as a starting point for the integration of this work into all levels of the pedagogical program at Nutmeg Ballet.  Today,  In the early 90's the biomechanical analysis, correction and retraining program was adapted for athletes in Olympic and sports development programs and at the request of the medical community, orthopedic applications that included entrapment neuropathies, scoliosis, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, fibromyalgia, friedreich ataxia, multiple sclerosis and veterinary cases (canine, equine).

The course "
Optimization of Classical Ballet and Sports Development Programs" was first introduced in 1999 at the National Conference for the Society of State Directors of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (SSDHPER - 73rd Annual Meeting Program) for U.S. Board of Education offices and health educators representing all 50 states. This course was formally presented as an accredited course at the 11 state American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) Combined Convention on February 12, 2003 in Reno-Sparks, Nevada.

The International Dancescience Development Program is a collaborative initiative of the Sports Medicine & Science Institute, Pathobiologics International and United Nations Arts Initiative.

Stephen M. Apatow
Founder of Humanitarian Resource Institute (UN:NGO:DESA), United Nations Arts Initiative, Pathobiologics International, and Sports Medicine & Science Institute International Dancescience Development Program.

Sports Science: Professional and Academic Experience includes:

  • Academic: Exercise Physiology, Sports Medicine, Sabbatical 1984.
  • 1984-90: Full time training for ultra distance running, ultra-distance cycling, national & international level competition in cross country skiing and rowing.
  • 1985: Accepted to the national development camp for cycling, Olympic Training Center, Colorado Springs, Colorado.
  • 1986-89: Through the help of Tony Johnson, heavyweight rowing coach at Yale, began cross training sweep rowing and sculling with the New Haven Rowing Club.
  • Studied modern, jazz and ballet training at the Lee Lund Academy from 1985-88 and the Soviet System of Ballet Training at the Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts from 1986-89. Graduate of the Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts Professional Program in 1989. 
  • 1987: Presentation at Rossignol Cross Country Ski Clinic, speakers included Bill Koch and Lyle Nelson coordinated by Mike Gallagher, (former Olympian and Olympic Cross-Country Ski Coach), Mountain Top Inn, Chittenden, Vermont.
  • Martial Arts: As a participant in the study of martial arts for over 20 years, classical ballet training provided a scientific method (utilizing a similar approach used in eastern bloc development programs) to optimize speed, strength, leverage mechanics, force generation and technique. Current training emphasis is Judo/Jujitsu. Founder: JudoSport International. 
  • Technical consultant for Cheryl Madeux, Finalist, Lausanne International Ballet Competition in 1990. 
  • Technical consultant for U.S. National Team athletes from Harvard University, members of World and Olympic Festival Teams. Sports applications include professional football, national level wrestling, hockey cross-country and downhill skiing, skating and martial arts. 
  • Speaker at 1990 Coaches Association Meeting for Sport Canada at the Olympic Complex in Ottawa, Canada. 
  • Upon request, applications of the analysis correction and retraining procedures to enhance the joint flexibility and technical performance for classical ballet training have been applied to musculo-skeletal disorders that include entrapment neuropathies, Scoliosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Asthma, Fibromyalgia, Frederick's Ataxia and Multiple Sclerosis. One of our cases with Rheumatoid Arthritis was submitted to the National Arthritis Foundation Peer Review Board in 1990. Analysis and corrective procedures have been adapted to help spinal herniations for physicians at Yale Medical School. 
  • Small animal veterinary application of human biomechanics procedures leads to work with hundreds of horses in dressage, hunter-jumper and western training programs. (See: Expanding Human to Veterinary Biomechanics Applications)
  • 1994-98: Corrective procedures developed to enhance the technical ability of the international level dancer in ballet were adapted into dressage and hunter-jumper specific training programs for both horse and rider. This work was formally introduced as an equestrian development program at the USDF Adult Camp in Boise, ID in 1997. In 1998, the USDF Region V Adult Camp in Jackson Wyoming provided USDF University Credit for the lecture presentation on "Biomechanics and Structural Analysis of Both Horse and Rider." 
  • 1999: Presenter at Society of State Directors of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation Annual Meeting, Boston, Massachusetts.
  • 1999 - Present: Research and development of programs associated with the optimization of classical ballet training, Olympic development programs and specialized orthopedic applications.
  • 2002 International Sports Science Association Fitness Therapist Review: The Science and Practice of Rehabilitative Exercise integrate theory and practice in the health care arena. This specialized field utilizes information from the world of rehabilitation, pathology, functional anatomy and physiology and blends it with the world of fitness training dealing with aerobic conditioning strength training, skill development, exercise progression and prescription for special population groups. 
  • 2003: "Optimization of Classical Ballet and Sports Development Programs" workshop was introduced at the 11 state American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) Combined Convention on February 12, 2003 in Reno-Sparks, Nevada.
  • Consultancy work with all sports and Olympic development programs continues through the Sports Medicine & Science Institute.

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