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IADMS 2018: Summary of the conference

In October 2017 students and professionals from the international dance medicine and science community attended the 27th Annual Conference of International Association for Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS) in Houston, Texas, USA. Delegates gathered for four days to discuss, learn, and debate whilst choosing from a wealth of lectures, workshops and seminars to attend from across the conference programme.

National Institute of Dance Medicine and Science (NIDMS) partners Dr Emma Redding, Dr Roger Wolman, and Professor Matt Wyon presented at the conference. One Dance UK’s Healthier Dancer Programme Manager, Erin Sanchez, and NIDMS Manager, Stephanie De’Ath, were also in attendance to represent the two organisations and gather information to inform our ongoing work.

Dr Redding presented an interactive workshop with colleagues from Trinity Laban and Coventry University to explore ‘Collaborative research in dance science and creative practice’, following on from the Musical Impact research project findings. Dr Wolman presented data on 800 dancers gathered over the past five years at the London NHS Dance Injury clinic, sharing injury trends, treatment strategies and recommendations for similar models. Professor Matt Wyon presented with Nico Kolokythas, PhD Student at University of Wolverhampton and Performance Enhancement Coach at Elmhurst Ballet School. They discussed strength training for dancers, including debunking strength training myths, clarifying terminology and sharing how to successfully construct a strength training focussed research project. You can find more information about strength training for dancers, written by Nico, in previous issues of One.

Some highlights from the medical strand include Dr Meghan Brown from the University of Gloucestershire who looked at 'Nutritional Strategies for Recovery', sharing fascinating insights from her intervention studies using protein hydroslate and tart cherry juice during recovery and Brooke Winder, DPT, from California State University, who discussed pelvic floor dysfunction and why it is so prevalent amongst dancers. This year, IADMS also featured contributions from Irene Dowd, a kinesthetic anatomy and neuromuscular re-education pioneer who has contributed hugely to the integration of somatic practices into dance training. She presented two fascinating sessions on ‘Enhancing shoulder joint kinematics of the hypermobile dancer’ and ‘Optimizing scapula/thorax relationships while dancing’.

In true IADMS fashion, the conference also offered many social and networking opportunities to make new acquaintances and catch up with old friends, including a welcome reception at The Health Museum and a well-attended Saturday evening party which even included line dancing! The team look forward to the next annual conference to be held in Helsinki, Finland in October 2018.

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