We are ready for a visit to the United Kingdom, to participate in the meeting of NIDMS (National Institue of Dance Medicine and Science) and to give a lecture at the Dance Medicine and Science Research Workshop in Wolverhampton. At the University of Wolverhampton we are greeted by Roger Wolman, Matthew Wyon, Erin Sanches, Hellen Law amongst others.

It is very interesting to discover how NIDMS presents themselves in the dance medic and the scientific world of the United Kingdom. Subjects as walk-ins at clinics, creating more awareness, future research and working on a European network of dancers, doctors and scientist are being discussed. It is informative to experience how this organization has positioned itself in the UK from a medic-scientific point of view. Matthijs and I take home an informative experience, which we can use to further build the NCPA-network in the Netherlands.

We used the symposium to tell about NCPA and the activities of the NCPA-network. After that we had the opportunity to tell about how we have designed the internal and external medical network and how change in the curriculum can lead to a change in culture. Quick interventions between the medical network of Rijnstate, SMCP (Sport Medisch Centrum Papendal) and ArtEZ are crucial when it comes to supporting, accompanying and treating dance students. Especially the network and the possibility to start a change in culture were interesting subjects regarding the visitors of the workshop. Rijnstate works in a team setting where specialists and the health coordinator of ArtEZ have frequent consultations, to talk about the best options in regards of the treatment. In the UK there is only one specialist who treats all the dancers. In the eyes of the medical network Rijnstate, SMCP and ArtEZ, this view is very limited.

It was good to notice that developments in medical care for dancers are still ongoing, and that scientific and medical knowledge continue to develop. The strength and the challenge lie in putting these developments into practice, on the dance floor and in dance studios. Dance teachers need to be trained and taught about these developments, so they can put this knowledge into practice during their lessons. NCPA and ArtEZ have made some big steps, resulting in a well-developed curriculum and a widespread medic network. This needs to continue, because the dance world is ready for a change.

Author: Joost van Megen, health coordinator ArtEZ

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