Dance Community : Support Those Who Are Working To Support You

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I’m inspired to call out to our community to encourage and insist that we get more involved in the organizations that are out there to support the few, the mighty, the dancers! As a young dancer, I wish I had known more about the resources out there that are advocating for every aspect of our field. As a body worker for performing artists, I am so thankful for these fellow practitioners and their research and clinical studies. As a dance advocate, I am amazed at how dedicated teachers can be to their students in spreading the love and art of dance. This bug of inspiration bit me at a local conference I attended two weeks ago.

Chapman University and the Performing Arts Medicine Association (PAMA) hosted an important symposium this August. “The Healthy Approaches in the Training of Performing Artists” conference was held on August 17th and 18th at the Chapman University Partridge Dance Center. This was the third year this event was held and thanks to a grant from Chapman, the conference was expanded from a dance focus to also include music and theatre over a now two day program. In attendance were performing arts students and teachers, professional performers, medical doctors, physical therapists, and other healthcare professionals. A two-day pass cost $75 ($50 for one day) and each day was chock-full of classes to assist this community in being better artists, better teachers, and more informed participants. The gorgeous Partridge facilities were filled with participants taking the range of offerings from lectures, to workshops addressing common injuries and stressors, to awareness building through somatic movement exercises. It was a lovely event, and there are others that happen each year you should know about!

Performing arts health and education is a very niche interest. Unlike sports training and sports medicine, where there have been millions of participants, researchers, and studies conducted, much fewer people participate in our field. This infiltrates all aspects of our experience, from training, to injury prevention, to education, to injury treatment, rehabilitation, compensation, benefits, and institutional and contractual protection and consideration.

So if you want to become a better performer, teacher, arts advocate, networked professional, and on, put a few additional websites on your bookmarks bar and check in with or join these organizations that are out there to support all aspects of what we do. Feel free to send me more links or add them to the comments section below this blog. Here are a few from international to local:

• International Association for Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS)
• Performing Arts Medicine Association (PAMA)
• DanceUSA
• American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAPHERD)
• National Dance Education Organization (NDEO)
• Dancers’ Alliance
• Career Transitions for Dancers
• The Actor’s Fund
• California Dance Education Association (CDEA)
• Cedars-Sinai/USC Glorya Kaufman Dance Medicine Center (holding a conference in October!)

These organizations are out there working for us. Let’s seize our opportunity to get on board with them!

Happy dancing!