It is well documented that dancers represent a group “at risk” of physical and psychological health problems as they pursue artistic excellence. Despite the popularity of dance as a physical activity for the masses and platform for elite artistic excellence, the application of high quality, rigorous dance research and applied work remains sparse. On 30th April 2012, the National Institute of Dance Medicine and Science (NIDMS) http://www.danceuk.org/healthier-dancer-programme/healthier-dancer-programme-campaigns/national-institute-dance-medicine-and-science/ was launched with the University of Birmingham named as a founding partner. The institute creates a potential infrastructure for high quality, multidisciplinary research to lay the basis for real-world evidence-based education and application in this domain. However, limited progress will be made to promote healthy and optimal dance training and performance, unless existing theoretically and empirically based expertise in relevant fields (e.g., psychology, sport nutrition, exercise physiology, physiotherapy, sociology, pedagogy, and social policy) is pooled and effectively extended to the domain of dance. To date, there has been no forum for relevant UoB academics to consider how their expertise could be applied to dance science and medicine, and to build new collaborations, in addition to and extending the existing pockets of activity across the University.
This workshop will provide a forum for researchers and practitioners in a variety of fields (including representatives from the other performing arts) to come together for the first time, exchange knowledge and generate strategies for the UoB to strengthen its’ position as a key player in the field of dance medicine and science internationally. The key targeted outcome is to create new partnerships for the submission of novel funding applications to research councils, foundations and charities, e.g., ESRC, AHRC and Leverhulme Trust.