Healthier Dancer advice: supplementary training for adolescents

The Healthier Dancer Programme (HDP) is a founding partner in the National Institute of Dance Medicine and Science (NIDMS). Through One Dance UK’s role as the sector support organisation for dance, the Healthier Dancer Programme (HDP) advocates and provides education to support dancers’ performance enhancement and physical, psychological, and social health.

The mission of the Healthier Dancer Programme is

“To develop, implement, and disseminate scientific knowledge and evidence-based practice centred on the promotion and optimisation of health, well-being, and performance in dance”.

Regarding education, this includes disseminating state-of-the-art information to teachers/instructors, lecturers, artistic directors, dancers and choreographers. Providing your students with an awareness of the importance of training using principles such as specificity will create an excellent foundation as they work towards a career in dance. In terms of injury prevention and training to optimise performance, knowledge is power and it is far better to embed this learning within secondary and further education to educate and protect young dancers, rather than learn about it as a result of suffering an injury. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Below are some key areas of research as recommended by the Healthier Dancer programme that can inform your practice, helping you develop practical sessions that will optimise your student’s training and reduce likelihood of injury.