Supporting longer, healthier careers

Healthier Dancer Programme

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. Advocacy to government, employers, and other stakeholders includes advocacy campaigns, establishment of industry standards, and providing a forum for a strong, united voice for dancers. Education includes a range of online and downloadable resources and publications, educational workshops and talks, and annual conferences and networking events focussed on safe dance practice, dancers’ health, and dance medicine and science.

We provide:

  • Injury and psychological support
    • National Institute of Dance Medicine and Science: a network of multidisciplinary partners including the Healthier Dancer Programme which provides affordable access for all dancers to high quality, evidence-based, dance specific health care and dance science support services, including free dancers injury clinics via the NHS.
    • Healthcare Practitioners Directory: a UK wide database of private healthcare practitioners with experience of working with dancers.
    • Performance Optimisation Package (POP): an add-on to One Dance UK membership, this health cash plan and optional fitness screening is specifically designed for those without comprehensive in-house health provision. Any individual dancer, teacher or choreographer can take out the package; companies and schools may also wish to add it to their existing offering to help dancers maintain health, fitness and optimum performance.
  • Information Sheets: key information about nutrition, hydration, injury management, finding a healthcare practitioner, care of the body, warm up and cool down, and how to be green.
  • Healthier Dancer Talks: lectures and workshops for dancers and dance teachers, which are delivered by experienced professionals from our HDP Speakers’ List or our HDP Manager.
  • Health Events and Conferences: annual events for dance professionals, and dance healthcare practitioners and scientists promoting in-depth, shared understanding of healthier dance practice.
  • Dance Medicine and Science Expert Panel: a group of experienced and diverse physical and mental healthcare practitioners, scientists, educators and academics who advise the Healthier Dancer Programme and provide guidance and information on current practice and research.
  • Industry Standards: an advocacy tool and checklist providing clear guidelines on the standards of practice the dance industry is striving for in dancers’ health. Originally titled the Dancers’ Charter and published at the first Healthier Dancer conference in 1990, these standards take into account the findings and recommendations from dance science research and the positive steps forward the dance profession has made over the last 20+ years.
  • Resources: advice and information on health, fitness and injury prevention for dancers, both for recreational dancers and for those in vocational training and working professionally. Resources available include: recipes, reports from our previous HDP events and conferences, and Health FAQ’s.
  • Research: facilitating research into dancers’ health, injury and performance. Working with experts in medicine, science, health and dance to improve and develop our understanding of healthy dance practice and set standards for the dance sector.
  • Ask Ava: for personalised advice related to dancers’ health and fitness or dance medicine and science that isn’t covered on our web pages, please email to submit your question to the Healthier Dancer Programme’s Agony Aunt. Please note: we endeavour to answer your questions in the shortest time frame possible and within 7 days.

Disclaimer: Answers provided by ‘Ask Ava’ and on our Health FAQ resource pages are intended for information purposes only, and do not in any way constitute therapy or professional services. Please consult a medical or health professional for diagnosis and treatment of specific injuries or health problems. Where further information and resources are cited, One Dance UK holds no responsibility for the content of third party resources.


Stephanie De’Ath and Tara McFarland at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance; Photographer Claire FarmerStephanie De’Ath and Tara McFarland at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance; Photographer Claire Farmer


National Institute of Dance Medicine and Science

NIDMS logo

The National Institute of Dance Medicine and Science (NIDMS), launched in 2012, works with a network of multidisciplinary partners to provide better and more affordable access for all dancers to high quality, evidence-based, dance specific health care and dance science support services.

To date, we have successfully implemented three dance injury clinics within the NHS, which are freely accessible to dance professionals through GP referral. These are based at:

  • Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH), London
  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB)
  • Royal United Hospital (RUH), Bath


Our Mission

“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”.

The mission is delivered via three programmes:


  • Basic research (looking at cause-effect relationships, mechanisms) and applied research (examining efficacy and effectiveness of interventions)
  • Physiological/metabolic, biomechanical, psychological (including motor learning/control, perception-action, and psychoneurological perspectives), sociological, and pedagogical research

Clinical Practice

  • Multi-disciplinary (including physiotherapy, physiological, psychological, nutritional elements etc.)
  • Centred on the prevention (via screening and training techniques) and treatment of injuries and addresses compromised mental/emotional health and diminished performance


  • Disseminating state-of-the-art information to dancers, teachers/instructors, artistic directors, choreographers, etc.
  • Developing educational/training programmes and professional development opportunities for current and future researchers and practitioners

Visit the NIDMS website to find out more about these programmes, including guidance on GP referral to the dance injury clinics.