What is Dance Medicine?

Dance Medicine is the science and art of preventing, alleviating or curing disease in the life and body of the dancer. As a discipline, it promotes dancer wellness by investigating the causes of dance injuries, ensuring safe return to dance, and exploring ways to prevent future injuries. We consider the biomechanical, physiological, and neuromotor aspects of dance, as well as nutrition, psychological issues, and the body therapies and somatics area.


Definition of Dance Medicine and Science provided by the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science (www.iadms.org). Text cited from the Dance Medicine Resource Guide, Second Edition, J. Michael Ryan Publishing, Inc. Written and edited by Marshall Hagins, PhD, PT.

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Dancers Need Specialized Treatment

  • “Dancers are both athletes and artists.” ~~Margot Fonteyn
  • There are more children dancing than involved in little league sports
  • Occupation related musculoskeletal disorders are common among professional dancers
  • Dance training alone may not be sufficient to improve muscular strength or endurance
  • The earlier an injury is addressed, the greater the chance of full recovery without long-term complications

All of the staff at P3 has a background in dance or prior experience working with dancers. We work with dancers of all ages and level.

As health care providers for performing artists, the staff at P3 strives to ensure career longevity for the dancer. To facilitate this, we strive for “wellness” which incorporates:

  • Biomechanical Efficiency
  • Injury Prevention
  • Education

Why Dance Medicine?

The training and self-discipline necessary for the individual to become a dancer are potential sources of physical and emotional strain that may result in temporary or extended disability. The performance of dance, in whatever form, can result in physical injury that may be acute or chronic due to overuse. Prevention of injury/illness is the concern of the educator and health care practitioner involved in dance medicine and science.

Preventive dance medicine recommendations are based on:

  • The results of scientific analysis of dance technique and its impact on intensity of teaching, rehearsing and performing.
  • The results of clinical studies which examine the mechanisms and course of injury rehabilitation and movement re-education.
  • When injury or other related disability has occurred in the dancer, rational rehabilitative techniques based on these recommendations make return to and continuation of dance possible.

Treatment Approach

Manual Therapy

Soft tissue release, joint mobilization to facilitate alignment and normal motion

Dance Specific Therapeutic Exercise, including Pilates

Individualized programs specifically designed for the dancers’ needs, to promote core stability and optimum performance. When appropriate, Pilates exercises will be incorporated into the treatment plan.


Techniques using rigid or soft tape to complement manual therapy, therapeutic exercise and dance technique

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