Informational Papers from the Task Force on Dancer Health

One goal of the Task Force is to serve as a resource regarding issues of health and wellness for the professional dancer.  These papers are written as brief educational overviews on topics important in the professional dance community.  These papers are meant to help guide and inform the dancer, and are not meant to take the place of the advice of a medical professional. 
* All of the papers listed below are under the auspices of the Dance/USA Task Force on Dancer Health * 

"I Leak When I Leap!" - Pelvic Floor Dysfunction in Dancers  

Written by Ashley Whitehead, PT, DPT, CLT under the auspices of the Dance/USA Task Force on Dancer Health (2018)

Leaking urine (even just a little) when performing may be due to pelvic floor dysfunction.  This paper aims to educate on pelvic floor dysfunction, how to identify it, and some treatment strategies. 

Dance Recovery Nutrition: What is Appropriate for Dancers?   

Written by Jeffrey Lucchino, MS RDN CSSD under the auspices of the Dance/USA Task Force on Dancer Health (2018)

Nutrition is crucial to the everyday life of a dancer both in the performance and recovery aspects.  This papers helps dancers plan snacks and recovery meals to help in energy usage. 

Big little secrets: Traumatic Experiences in the Dance World  

Written by Jo-Anne La Flèche, Clinical and Dance psychologist 
Reviewed by Matt Eldridge, MSW, RSW (Al and Malka Green Artists’ Health Centre), Dr. Bonnie Robson, retired psychiatrist, and Dr Mark Seton, Australian Society for Performing Arts Healthcare under the auspices of the Dance/USA Task Force on Dancer Health (2018) 

This paper discusses some main sources of trauma in the dance world and methods that can be taken to prevent abuse.  It also provides strategies on how to cope with trauma. 

Coping with Stress on Stage and in Life: The practice of mindfulness and self-compassion  

Written by Jo-Anne La Flèche, Clinical and Dance psychologist     
Reviewed by Matt Eldridge, MSW, RSW (Al and Malka Green Artists’ Health Centre); Dr. Bonnie Robson, retired psychiatrist; and Dr Mark Seton, Australian Society for Performing Arts Healthcare under the auspices of the Dance/USA Task Force on Dancer Health (2018) 


This paper will help you learn more about stress and coping strategies.  There is discussion on self-compassion and approaches to implement this into everyday life. 

Vitamin D and Calcium 

Written by Selina Shah, MD, FACP PT under the auspices of the Dance/USA Task Force on Dancer Health (2015) 

Adequate Vitamin D and calcium are crucial to maintain proper bone health.  This paper helps outline some of the health requirements to ensure appropriate levels of vitamin D and calcium.

Heat Illness and Dehydration    

Written by Brad Moser, MD, Lauren Elson, MD, Selina Shah, MD, FACP, Shaw Bronner, PT, Phd, OCS PT under the auspices of the Dance/USA Task Force on Dancer Health (2011)

Dancers can find themselves in a variety of challenging performance situations.  This paper helps to inform the dancer on how the body dissipates heat, the signs and symptoms of heat illnesses and how to avoid heat illness.

Backstage First Aid Kit Necessities    

Written by Shaw Bronner, PT, Phd, OCS, Heather Southwick, PT, Marika Molnar, PT, under the auspices of the Dance/USA Task Force on Dancer Health (2015)

This paper lists considerations and supplies for a back stage first aide kit for health care practitioners as well as stage managers. 

Staying Healthy on Tour    

Written by Shaw Bronner, PT, Phd, OCS, Heather Southwick, PT under the auspices of the Dance/USA Task Force on Dancer Health (2015)

When traveling outside the United States and Canada, our bodily systems are vulnerable to unfamiliar bacteria and it is possible to get sick from food borne or hygiene related illnesses. In an effort to keep you healthy while traveling, these tips may assist you.

Tips for Dancers on Anxiety        

Written by Kathleen Davenport, MD, Lauren Elson, MD, Patrick Gannon, PhD, Bonnie Robson, MD, DPsych, DCP, FRCP (C) under the auspices of the Dance/USA Task Force on Dancer Health (2015).

This paper provides basic information on the symptoms & causes of anxiety, describes various types of anxiety-related disorders and provides ways to manage anxiety.  

Tips on Depressive Illness for Dancers    

Written by Mary S Burns, PhD, Patrick Gannon, PhD, Bonnie Robson, MD, DPsych., DCP, FRCP(C), Heather Southwick, PT under the auspices of the Dance/USA Task Force on Dancer Health (2015)

Depressive illness can change how one performs and functions.  This paper helps dancers to recognize some of the signs and symptoms of depression, along with some resources for when and where to get help. 

Tips on Concussions for Dancers undefined 

Updated by Katherine Ewalt, MS, ATC, HHP, BCTMB and Matthew Grierson, MD, FAAPMR under the auspices of the Dance/USA Task Force on Dancer Health (2019)

Written by Katherine Ewalt, MS, ATC, HHP, NCTM, with contributions from Lauren Kreha, ATC, Bonnie Robson, MD, DPsych., DCP, FRCP(C), Laura Cruz, MSc, MD, CCFP, Dip Sport Med, Paul Papoutsakis, CAT(C) D.Ac., Shaw Bronner, PT, Phd, OCS and Selina Shah, MD, FACP, under the auspices of the Dance/USA Task Force on Dancer Health (2013)

This paper is an updated resource on concussion, signs and symptoms, what to do if a concussion occurs, recovery from concussion, returning to dance, and the medical providers a dancer may encounter during concussion recovery. 


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