The initiative led by Dance UK, the national voice for UK dance, in partnership with Birmingham Royal Ballet, Trinity Laban, the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital the University of Wolverhampton and University of Birmingham, will transform health support for dancers.
Video: Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital tour with Helen Laws of Dance UK
On 30 April, from 5.30 – 7.30pm, Dance UK and its partners will announce the opening of the first specialist dancers’ health clinic embedded in the NHS at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in London, with the vision to raise further funds to support the creation of similar specialist NHS services where there are concentrations of dancers across the UK through shared expertise and a network of multidisciplinary hub-sites
Research shows that 80 per cent of dancers suffer an injury each year that stops them working. In a profession that requires dancers to constantly push their bodies to physical limits, accessing speedy, affordable, specialist healthcare is important, although only the few major dance companies have in house health teams and as most dancers earn low wages, they cannot afford private health insurance.
The new NHS clinic has been funded by money raised by Dance UK and its partners and will be phase one of a national vision to provide all top level dancers with access to the high quality, comprehensive, dance specific healthcare and dance science support services that matches the same service enjoyed by elite athletes and dancers in the largest ballet companies.
The creation of the National Institute of Dance Medicine and Science has been made possible by donations by The Jerwood Charitable Foundation, British Harlequin plc, Society of London Theatres, Theatrical Management Association and Trinity College London, alongside donations from many dance professionals and individuals.
The National Institute of Dance Medicine and Science launch is part of the Dance UK Healthier Dancer Programme Conference 2012 which focuses on nutrition and disordered eating in dance.
More information about the conference is available at www.danceuk.org