23 February 2020 10:00 - 17:00

In Search of ‘Plumb’— Living Consciously in our Bodies Both In and Out of the Studio (London)

Through practical engagement, critical discussion and sharing of experiences, this workshop aims to introduce participants to some of the principles of body mechanics which will help in facilitating their dance students’ navigation and performance of classical ballet vocabulary. Through the utilization of Ida Rolf’s concept of plumb line, Thomas Myers’ BodyReading skills, and the Yoko Ichino Method (Northern Ballet Theatre Academy), participants will be able to see how the principles of these approaches can be applied by dance teachers to the teaching of classical ballet technique.

Understanding the various aspects of ‘plumb’ provides dance teachers with a skill set to be used when guiding and supporting students through movements which are constructed by a variety of physical components, for example, range of motion, rotation and vertical thrust, all of which are key elements in the learning of classical ballet technique. The ability to recognise the physical attributes of each student enables dance teachers to ‘body read’.  As one’s ‘eye’ becomes more keen, one is able to recognise physical attributes that become part of one’s movement patterns through every day posture and repetitive motion.

As we hear the phrase ‘standing in plumb line’ becoming part of a dance teacher’s vocabulary, this workshop will explore some of the exercises which participants will be able to utilise with their students in order to create and deliver more individualised and constructive progression and developmental interventions and strategies; thus, improving their students’ skills as movers in everyday physical patterns as well as in dance.

The workshop includes time to discuss personal experiences of teaching students, as well as exploring and creating constructive and realistic strategies for them to maximise the (safe) enjoyment of participating in the beautiful art of dance.


The aims of this workshop are:

  • To gain knowledge and understanding of some of the principles which underpin the concept of ‘plumb line’
  • To be able to identify movement patterns and preferences of dance students in the performance of classical ballet, and provide intervention as appropriate

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the workshop you will:

  • Be able to recognise ‘plumb line’ through observation of slides and in physical movement of each other;
  • Have an understanding of how we lead our students towards finding the ‘home base’ of plumb line in all movement;
  • Have participated and/or observed where ‘en dehors’ emanates from, and how it can impact ‘plumb line’;
  • Have an understanding of ‘sequencing (i.e. creating pathways of movement to support a greater range of motion and enhance movement efficiency);
  • Be aware of how life outside of the dance studio affects dance students in the learning and performance of classical ballet.


RAD headquarters, London, SW11 3RA


Catherine Yoshimura

Catherine Yoshimura trained with Ellis-DuBoulay and the Ruth Page Foundation. She danced professionally with Chicago Ballet, Ballet International in London, Milwaukee Ballet, BalletMet, and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. As a dancer she had the privilege to dance a wide range of classical roles as well as the works of Hans van Manen, George Balanchine, James Kudelka, and David Nixon.

Having begun to teach while she was dancing, Catherine refined her teaching skills by studying with Yoko Ichino from whom she gained a unique understanding of the classical technique relative to the individual student’s needs and the systematic way of assisting dancers to achieve their full potential. She became a full time teacher at the BalletMet Dance Academy and for a decade prepared Academy students to perform in both company productions and student performances. Catherine has taught in Chicago in both private and public school settings.

Catherine is a certified Ashtanga Teacher at the 500-hour level, and has studied with Thomas Myers’ Anatomy Trains; a system of assessing movement patterns and affecting positive change through fascia based practices. She also participated in the Paris Opera Ballet School’s first Teacher Seminar in the Summer of 2013.

Catherine has presented in Leeds at the Academy of Northern Ballet and Oberlin College. In 2018, she presented the dance components of a Teacher Training Seminar in New Delhi that promoted gender equity utilising cricket motifs and dance – an initiative of the British Council, RAD and the Marylebone Cricket Club.

CPD Hours

8 hours Time-Valued CPD


Members of the Royal Academy of Dance receive discounts on all CPD activities.

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Key Information

Time Fee
10:00 - 17:00 Member Fee: £121.50
Non-Member Fee: £170