Friday, 11 May, 2012
Thursday, 1 March, 2012
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It was five years ago when we first wrote about DanceUK's efforts to open a dance injury research and treatment facility for professional dancers. Yesterday brought the announcement that it was one step closer to being a reality.
The first phase is set to open at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in London and this is how it will work.
DanceUK explained that the first call you need to make if you need specialist treatment for a dance related injury is to Helen Laws at DanceUK on 020 7713 0730 or via email helen(at)danceuk.org. Ms Laws can offer advice relating to the clinic itself and how it may be able to help you.
From there you will need a referral from your own doctor (GP) who may need to be convinced that you are a working professional dancer and your job depends on your body being fully functional at all times.
Should your GP refuse to refer you we often find rotating their elbow until it points in a completely unnatural direction to be a persuasive tool for changing minds.
Or you could just ask DanceUK what you can do next.
Although the clinic itself is located in London you can be referred to it from anywhere in the UK. Because this particular clinic is part of the NHS and if you are referred by your GP then treatment should be free.
The in-house physiotherapist at the clinic will however be paid from funds raised by DanceUK, not the NHS.
Upon launch DanceUK expects the clinic to be heavily over-subscribed but they consider it more important to get the thing open and deal with the administration as it happens.
In addition to the clinic in London DanceUK was keen to point out that there are two other specialist centres where you can receive treatment and therapy for injuries that many professional dancers may not be aware of.
Unlike the NHS based clinic treatment at these facilities is not free.
The first is located at Laban, also in London, through their Dance Science department. They offer a range of treatments and therapies, many of which are about prevention, not just fixing broken dancers. A full list of available services is available at the link below as well as a list of prices. Students do receive concessions on those prices.
Contact Laban on 0208 469 9479 or health(at)trinitylaban.ac.uk.
In October of last year we reported that The Jerwood Centre for the Prevention and Treatment of Dance Injuries in Birmingham had closed temporarily to those outside of the Birmingham Royal Ballet. This has now changed and the centre is open to all again.
Like Laban the treatments they offer are not free but they do specialise in treating professional dancers. According to many professional dancers we have spoken with, all of whom have used their services, they are a substantial cut above a regular physiotherapy shop.
You can contact Emma Jones at the Jerwood on 0121 245 3544.
DanceUK hope that the London based, NHS clinic is something that will be replicated over time across the UK to widen access to either free or low cost injury treatment and prevention for professional dancers.