Dance Medicine and Science Expert Panel

Dance Medicine and Science Expert Panel

We are excited to announce the formation of our Dance Medicine and Science Expert Panel who will specifically advise the Healthier Dancer Programme. Drawing upon the knowledge and expertise of this panel enables our Healthier Dancer Programme to offer the most up-to-date advice, informed by current practice and research, out to our members and the wider industry.

The panel members are drawn from various areas of practice including: academia, company healthcare management, nutrition and dietetics, orthopaedic surgery, osteopathy, psychology, physiology, physiotherapy, rheumatology, sports and exercise medicine, and sports therapy. All panel members have extensive experience of working with dancers of various genres, most notably including ballet, contemporary, and musical theatre.

Dr Nick Allen is the Clinical Director of the Birmingham Royal Ballet as well as the external consultant to the LTA’s High Performance Centre in Edgbaston. Alongside this he has worked as an external Consultant to British Athletics, Great Britain Gymnastics, and England and Great Britain Hockey. Prior to joining BRB he was Head of Medical Services for a Premiership rugby club. He is an Honorary Lecturer for Queen Mary’s University London and lectures on the M.Sc. in Sports Medicine QMUL and Nottingham University. He is on the Sports Advisory Group for ARUK’s Centre of Excellence in Sports, Exercise and Osteoarthritis. He completed his PhD in epidemiology and holds a Master’s Degree in Sports Medicine. His other research interests lie in optimising performance through screening, vitamin D, the management of tendinopathies, and cardiac risk. 

James Calder, qualified MB BS in 1991, obtained his MD at Imperial College, London following a research scholarship from the Royal College of Surgeons in 2001. Following a one-year foot and ankle fellowship in Australia in 2002, he won a travelling sports/foot and ankle fellowship in USA in 2004. He was appointed consultant orthopaedic surgeon at the North Hampshire Hospital in 2003; the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London in 2008; and visiting Professor at Imperial College in 2014. He continues to supervise and collaborate in PhD and research projects at Imperial College, AMC Amsterdam, Karolinska Institute Sweden and Harvard Medical School Boston. His main field of interest and expertise is in the treatment and outcome of sports-related injuries and is based at the Fortius Clinic, London. He looks after many professional athletes from various sports including most England and Premiership/Championship football and rugby clubs, UK Athletics and the British Olympic teams. He regularly manages ballet dancers from The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, The Royal Ballet School and English National Ballet. James Calder is immediate past chairman of the International Achilles Tendon Study Group, Vice President of ESSKA-AFAS and on the committee for the International Cartilage Research Society (ICRS). He is former Associate Editor of KSSTA and current Associate Editor of Bone and Joint Journal. James has more than 100 publications in peer reviewed journals and books mainly on sports-related injuries. In his spare time he plays cricket, sails, participates in triathlon and looks after a small herd of Dexter cattle!

Jasmine has an Honours Degree in Nutrition, a Post Graduate Diploma in Dietetics from the University of London, and is currently undertaking a MRes in Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Roehampton (part-time). She is registered as a dietitian with the Health Care Professions Council, is an Accredited Nutritionist (Association for Nutrition), and a High Performance registrant on the Sport and Exercise Nutrition register. Jasmine has a particular interest in dance, working with dance students, teachers and professionals for more than 25 years, but has also worked with athletes from a variety of backgrounds and continues clinical work in disordered eating and other medical problems. Jasmine was a key advisor for Dance UK and has given talks on ‘Nutri­tion and Dance Performance’ and on ‘Eating Disorders’ at various national and international conferences as well as running courses for dance teachers. She was the nutrition consultant for the Dance UK Information Sheet on Food and Nutrition for Dancers and co-author of the recently produced IADMS Nutrition Resource paper. Jasmine was part of the original team running a course on managing eating disorders for qualified dietitians and was a Council Member (Director) of the British Dietetic Association (board of directors) for over five years.

Joan Duda, PhD is a Professor of Sport and Exercise Psychology in the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences at The University of Birmingham. She is one of the most cited researchers in her discipline and has published over 300 scientific and applied papers and book chapters. Joan is internationally known for her expertise on motivational processes and determinants of adherence and optimal functioning within sport and dance. She also has an extensive applied background in the development of psychological skills/resilience in athletes and dancers, and has created the theory- and evidence-based Empowering CoachingTM family of training programmes that are being delivered to coaches, parents and dance instructors in the UK and abroad.  Joan regularly consults with performing artists, including dancers representing diverse genres, and has been the performance psychology consultant for the Birmingham Royal Ballet for many years. Professor Duda has ensured the University of Birmingham to be a founding member of the National Institute of Dance Medicine and Science and is a member of the NIDMS steering group.

Huw is a clinical psychologist, based in London and working in the NHS. He has worked in a wide variety of mental health settings across all age ranges and also brings with him a wealth of experience from the sport and exercise industry. Huw has delivered training workshops for athletes, dancers, coaches, teachers, and support staff on a variety of topics and has also worked directly with young athletes whom have suspected mental health difficulties. Prior to his clinical training, Huw worked at Loughborough University and coordinated the development and launch of the National Centre for Eating Disorders in Sport. This centre provided research and education of eating disorders in sport, as well as offered clinical input for coaches and athletes dealing with eating disorder symptoms. He had previously completed his PhD at Loughborough University, investigating the risk factors for compulsive exercise and has since published widely on the topic. Prior to his current career, Huw had been an athlete on a UK Sport Olympic training programme, as well as being a professional rugby league player before that. He is now a qualified coach in Handball, Rugby League, and Football, and is currently Head Coach of a professional player development programme in rugby league.

Amal has a background in dance, and is now a fitness instructor and medical doctor, working in Sports & Exercise Medicine at Imperial Healthcare NHS Trust in the departments of Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Radiology. She grew up following the ISTD syllabi for ballet, tap and jazz, and was the ISTD Star Tap Award Senior winner in 2001. She went onto study Medicine at the University of Bristol where she continued to dance, joining the Latin and Ballroom team and competing at National Varsity level. She is a student of the Queen Mary University London, at the Centre for Sport & Exercise Medicine, where she is completing her Masters and undertaking research in dancers’ health. She is also a visiting lecturer on the Dance Medicine module. Her research interests include hypermobility, low bone mineral density, and overtraining in dancers and other aesthetics athletes, including those working in the health and fitness industry. She is a medical doctor, trained in Cardiology and Respiratory medicine, as well as Rheumatology, and is committed to delivering the highest level of healthcare to injured dancers and athletes.

Kim is the Lecturer in Physical Support at London Contemporary Dance school, where she is responsible for the treatment, rehabilitation and physical health of all dance students at the school. Kim trained at The Royal Ballet School and Central School of Ballet. After a professional career as a dancer she gained a BSc (Hons) in Sports Therapy, a post graduate teaching certificate in higher education and an MSc in Dance Science. Kim was previously a senior lecturer in Sports Therapy degrees at London Metropolitan University and went on to develop a course designed specifically to work with injured dancers. Kim is regularly invited to guest lecture at other dance schools, universities and colleges, is an internal moderator for the Society of Sports Therapists, a reviewer for the Journal of Dance Medicine and Science, and a registered provider of the Healthy Dancer Certificate for Safe in Dance International. Kim’s research interest is exploring ways to prevent dance injury and promote healthy dance practice.

Moira McCormack trained at the Royal Ballet School and danced professionally with the Royal Ballet Company, National Ballet of Canada and London Festival Ballet. She is a qualified ballet teacher and taught internationally before embarking on a Physiotherapy degree and a Masters in Sports Physiotherapy. A driving interest is classical ballet technique, biomechanics and teaching methods. She believes that excellence in teaching produces the robust dancer with reduced risk of injury. She lectures on the Diploma in Dance Teaching at the Royal Ballet School and has lectured worldwide to improve teachers’ education in anatomy, dance technique and injury prevention. Moira works for the Royal Ballet Company where she was Head of Physiotherapy for many years. She believes that professional dancers deserve the holistic care, attention and financial outlay afforded professional athletes and has worked to that aim. Moira has served on the Board of the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science and is an active member attending and presenting at annual conferences. She is an invited lecturer for University College London and Queen Mary’s University. She is currently working on her PhD at UCL on hypermobility in classical ballet dancers.

After graduating from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance with a BA Hons Dance Theatre, Emma went on to complete an MSc in Sports Science and a PhD in Biological Sciences. She is now Head of Dance Science at Trinity Laban and, alongside her management and research work at Trinity Laban, she lectures in physiology and teaches contemporary dance technique. She co-created the first Masters degree in Dance Science, and has since played a key role in developing dance science as a recognized field of study through her research and teaching internationally, as a founding partner of the National Institute for Dance Medicine and Science, and as a member of the Board of Directors and Past President of the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science. She is currently one of the Principal Investigators of a large-scale musicians’ health study funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Co-Investigator of a dance creativity and imagery study, in collaboration with Plymouth University and Coventry University.

Greg joined the Royal Ballet to take up the new post of Clinical Director in October 2013. His background is in sport, where he had previously managed the British Olympic Association’s Intensive Rehabilitation Unit for elite Olympic athletes, based at Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre. He has a long association with Team GB having worked as a Headquarters Physiotherapist at five Summer and Winter Olympic Games, starting with Sydney 2000, and culminating in London 2012. Greg’s passion lies in accurate clinical diagnoses with comprehensive management of a dancer’s rehabilitation utilising a full team approach. He believes that the success of rehabilitation depends on building a strong foundation of support across all areas from Sports Science, through Pilates, Gyrotonic, Psychology, Nutrition, Soft Tissue Therapy and Sports Medicine, at all times placing the injured dancer at the heart of the process. Greg’s role at the Royal Ballet is to oversee and lead the Healthcare Team, consisting of 15 talented individuals across this wide range of disciplines, as they deliver a world-class service to the dancers of the Company. As a representative for this team within the expert panel, Greg hopes to leverage the collective expertise across the disciplines at the Royal Ballet Company and input this into the panel.

Tommi originally trained at the Royal Swedish Ballet School and worked as a performer in dance and music theatre for over 20 years;  internationally and in London’s West End (Cats, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Fame). He trained as a masseur and Pilates instructor whilst still performing, and later at the British School of Osteopathy, graduating 2009. In 2013, he graduated from University College London as one of the first students with the new MSc degree in Performing Arts Medicine, the first course of its kind in the world, focusing on the specific issues concerning actors, singers, dancers, instrumentalists and other performers. He regularly treats freelance performers in West End and visiting UK tours (recently, Funny Girl, Richard III, Guys and Dolls, Cats, Dirty Dancing, Priscilla, Thriller, Singing in the Rain). Areas of special interest include breathing and voice and his MSc research project involved a previously untested and researched area: breathing whilst singing and dancing simultaneously, testing West End Musical theatre performers as they performed extracts from their shows, a study that now has been accepted for publication in The Journal of Voice.

Britt originally trained as a physiotherapist and began working with the Royal Ballet Company in this capacity in the early 1970’s. This work lead to a fascination with the psychological aspects of injury and recovery and eventually undertaking a second degree in psychology and an MSc in occupational psychology. Britt then returned to the Royal Ballet working as a consultant psychologist, a position she has now held for over twenty years. Britt also has extensive experience working with Olympic athletes, previously holding positions with the British Olympic Medical Institute and the Norwegian Olympic Team and working with individuals such as British Rower James Cracknell, focusing on performance and rehabilitation psychology.

Dr Wolman was appointed as Consultant in Rheumatology and SEM to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in 1994. In the same year he was awarded a Winston Churchill travelling fellowship in Sports Medicine where he visited several centres in the USA over a three-month period. He has a particular interest in bone stress injuries, exertional leg pain and exercise prescription. Dr Wolman has been involved with Dance Medicine since the late 1980’s, when he conducted research on the female athlete triad in dancers. His ongoing research has involved the bone health of dancer and this includes research on vitamin D deficiency and bone stress injuries. Since 1993 he has run weekly dance medicine clinics at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital. He has worked with many dance schools and companies including the Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Central School of Ballet, Rambert Dance Company and Riverdance. He has been Medical Advisor to Dance UK over the last 20 years and helped to set up the National Institute of Dance Medicine and Science which was launched in 2012. This has helped to develop the NHS Dance Medicine clinic where about 150 dancers are seen each year.

Matthew Wyon, PhD, is a Professor in Dance Science at the University of Wolverhampton, UK and a Visiting Professor at University College London and Institute of the Arts, The Netherlands.  He is the course leader for the MSc in Dance Science and Director of Studies for a number of dance science and medicine doctoral candidates. He is a founding partner of the National Institute of Dance Medicine and Science, UK and President of International Association for Dance Medicine & Science. He has worked with numerous dancers and companies within the UK and Europe as an applied physiologist and strength and conditioning coach.  His research focuses on injury epidemiology and performance enhancement in dance; presently he has published over 90 peer-reviewed articles in dance medicine and science.