Through shared expertise and a network of multidisciplinary partners NIDMS works to provide the dance sector with access to high quality, affordable, dance specific health care and dance science support services in private practice and the NHS. These services are underpinned by dance medicine and science research, including that developed and implemented by NIDMS partners. Best practice, information and resources are disseminated to the wider dance and health community through educational workshops, conferences and publications.
Aim: Providing access to timely, affordable, specialist healthcare for all professional and vocational dance artists
Provides multi-disciplinary care, including physiotherapy, physiological, psychological, nutritional elements etc.
Focussed on the prevention (via screening and training interventions) and treatment of injuries (via dance specialist care).
Addresses compromised mental/emotional health and diminished performance.
Aim: Information and educational resources for dancers, dance students, teachers, choreographers and management
Disseminates state-of-the-art information to dancers, teachers/instructors, artistic directors, choreographers, etc.
Continually develops educational/training programmes and professional development opportunities for current and future researchers, practitioners and dancers.
Provides recognised higher education study to the highest of standards at postgraduate level.
Aim: Facilitating and applying the latest dance science research to improve dancers' health, wellbeing and performance
Investigates basic research (looking at cause-effect relationships, mechanisms) and applied research (examining efficacy and effectiveness of interventions).
Studies the areas of; physiological/metabolic, biomechanical, psychological (including motor learning/control, perception-action, and psychoneurological perspectives), sociological, and pedagogical research.
Collaboration between researchers and dance organisations will further our knowledge base of what it takes to create and maintain elite dance performance.
The focus of research populations ranges from recreational, community, grass-roots, students, professional and retired dancers.
NIDMS was founded in 2012 by One Dance UK, Birmingham Royal Ballet's Jerwood Centre for the Treatment and Prevention of Dance Injuries, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, University of Birmingham and University of Wolverhampton. This was born out of a need for greater provision of dance medicine and science services for performers, identified through research carried out by Dance UK since 1990;
The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH) was one of the founding partners of NIDMS and housed the first NHS dance injury clinic in the UK (opened 2012). This was unfortunately closed by the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in 2019 (see #dancersmatter campaign) meaning that the RNOH is no longer a NIDMS partner.
The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH) is the largest orthopaedic hospital in the UK and regarded as a leader in the field of orthopaedics both in the UK and world-wide. It provides a comprehensive range of neuro-musculoskeletal healthcare, ranging from acute spinal injuries to orthopaedic medicine and specialist rehabilitation for chronic back sufferers. This broad range of neuro-musculoskeletal services is unique within the NHS. Patients benefit from a team of highly specialised consultants, many of whom are nationally and internationally recognised for their expertise. Clinical effectiveness is enhanced by working in partnership with University College London and in particular UCL’s Institute of Orthopaedic and Musculoskeletal Science (IOMS). The RNOH operates from its main site in Stanmore, North West London and its central London Outpatient Assessment Centre in Bolsover Street. The central London Outpatient Assessment Centre offers modern healthcare facilities, which include clinics, imaging (both X-ray and ultrasound), orthotics and physiotherapy.
The RNOH was the base for the first specialist dance injury clinic available to dancers on the NHS, headed by Dr Roger Wolman. This was set up in 2012 seeing approximately 150 dancers each year.
Dr Roger Wolman was Consultant in Rheumatology and Sports, Dance and Exercise Medicine and is now Medical Advisor to NIDMS. He has been the Medical Advisor to One Dance UK (Dance UK) for many years and has provided medical support for numerous dance companies in London. He set up the weekly specialist Dance Medicine Clinic on the NHS. His Doctoral Thesis was on Osteoporosis in Dancers and Athletes and he now runs a specialist Bone Clinic to deal with these problems as well as other bone-related injuries. He also has a particular interest in the Joint Hypermobility Syndrome and runs a specialist clinic for patients with this disorder.
For more detail on the history of NIDMS please refer to the below publications
Updated information based on the Dancers’ Charter (the small booklet Dance UK published originating from the delegates at the first Healthier Dancer conference in 1990)
Cowl, C. (2008) The Royal Ballet Benevolent Fund - Insult to Injury?, Dance UK News, Issue 61, Winter