News: From injury to performance

Wednesday 20 April 2011

Dance UK/Royal Society of Medicine Conference, 'From injury to performance', 4 April. 
Angela Towler (Rambert), Helen Laws (Dance UK), Denise Lewis (Olympic Gold Medalist)

Dancers, athletes, medical practitioners and therapists took part in a conference organised recently by Dance UK and the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) – From injury to performance: Lessons to share in dance and sports. (4 April)

Olympic gold medalist Denise Lewis OBE said: “Getting the right kind of world class sports medicine support when I needed it was essential to achieving what I have in my career. It was great to be a part of the Dance UK / RSM conference and see practitioners from sports and dance sharing best practice in order to learn from one another to enhance the medical care of athletes and dancers. I couldn’t help but wonder how much longer I might have been able to compete at world class level, had there been the research, knowledge and multidisciplinary collaboration developing now, back in the earlier days of my career.”

Rambert dancer Angela Towler talked about her experience of battling a serious injury. After tearing the labrum of her left hip, painful enough in itself, she felt utter despair at the prospect of not being able to dance. She had carried on dancing with her injury long after she should, for fear of letting her colleagues and company down – “No one told me to stop“ she said. “I would like to see a centre where you can get quicker diagnosis…get from A to B quicker, with a psychologist on hand to help and a team to create a complete programme for recovery”’.

Dance UK has already raised £120,000 towards the creation of the proposed National Institute of Dance Medicine and Science. The vision for the future is that all top level dancers will have access to the high quality, comprehensive, dance specific healthcare and dance science support services they need, on a par with those enjoyed by elite athletes and dancers in the largest ballet companies. It is envisaged that this could be achieved through shared expertise and a network of multidisciplinary hub-sites. Dance UK is exploring the feasibility of dance and sport sharing facilities where appropriate in order to maximise medical and scientific resources, reduce costs, and benefit from the pooling of expertise.

_*From Injury to Performance* _was chaired by Dr. Emma Redding, Head of Dance Science at Trinity Laban, Dr Matthew Wyon, Reader in Performance Sciences, University of Wolverhampton, Dr Mike Loosemore, President, Section of Sports and Exercise Medicine, RSM and Dr Roger Wolman, Consultant in Rheumatology and SEM at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital. Speakers included leading experts in Sports and Dance Medicine including doctors, surgeons, physiotherapists and nutritionists.

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