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Getting to know USTA Professional member Amy Bonaduce-Gardner( Tue, Jul 14 00:07:AM)

Getting to know USTA Professional member Amy Bonaduce-Gardner

“Getting to know you……… getting to know all about you.”

Amy Bonaduce-Gardner, USTA Professional from Oregon, has a unique background and method for teaching our youth in the sport. Inside Loop sat down with Amy and had a conversation about the “nuts and bolts” of teaching priorities. Here’s what she had to say.

1. Being a bodywork specialist, you know the advantages of dance training for the baton twirling athlete.  What would be your suggestions to a coach without a dance background as they continue to develop their students?

Amy: Start taking classes for yourself! It is very difficult to teach what you don't really know or have personally embodied. Consider adult ballet classes at a school associated with a professional ballet company, or modern or contemporary classes at a movement arts center. Start at the beginning and assume you know nothing. Listen to the details in the instruction and corrections and figure what they mean, how they feel in your own body, and observe what they look like on your own and other's bodies (as it will look different on everybody). Look not just at the big picture of what is being taught, but at all the intricacies within each movement and how they are being communicated. Notice the lines, shapes and energy of the person demonstrating. The air between their fingers, the tilt of the head, the pathway they take to arrive at a shape. When you think you’ve got it, keep going! There's still much more to learn!

Taking in live professional dance performances will also help train your eye in recognizing a variety of techniques, styling, artistry and athleticism.

Encourage your students to take dance classes to supplement their baton twirling training. Nothing replaces time at the barre!
2. We all have idols and people we look up to for inspiration. Who is yours?
Amy: Shanon Barker has been my teacher since I was three years old. As many of you know, she's a gifted teacher and choreographer, especially with younger and lower-level students. In addition, Shanon has a unique way of interacting with students so they are learning far more than a craft or sport (often despite themselves!) - life skills, responsibility, integrity, social skills, how to think of others, communication, negotiation, commitment, being a team player, pushing oneself outside their comfort zone. We work well together coming up with new material to entertain both us and our students, pulling stuff together at the last minute and having a good laugh over moments only we can appreciate.
3. Can you tell us three things about you that the twirling world probably doesn’t know?
Amy: 1. I own my own business teaching Holistic Biomechanics with additional certifications with NASM CPT and Pilates. I am currently pursuing certifications in Gyrokinesis, Gyrotonic and NASM CES.
2. I'm a belly dancer, taking classes regularly and performing at local restaurants. I have also competed and won a few times!
3. I married my high school sweetheart and we have two kids, Tristan (18) and Chloe (12).

Thanks, Amy, for your very informative insights!