My love of dance, performing artists, and medicine has brought me full circle to be one of the lead Physicians for the HSS Performing Arts Medicine Collaborative. In addition to working with dancers and performing artists at HSS, I also serve on national and international arts organizations and would like to share some indispensable resources for performing artists and the health professionals who care for them.
There are many local and national resources available, but I always recommend that my dancers start in two places: Dance/USA and Entertainment Community Fund, formerly called The Actors Fund. Whether you’re a freelance artist or run a large company, Dance/USA is a great place to network as a dancer and performing artist. There are resources for jobs, legal services, advocacy, and more. The Entertainment Community Fund is also an excellent resource for performing artists, especially for those needing financial assistance. If an artist finds themselves out of work due to an injury, there are workshops, support groups, and financial wellness tools available. Additionally, transition programs exist for when an artist retires from full-time performance.
For healthcare professionals, there is the Dance/USA Taskforce on Dancer Health which is comprised of healthcare professionals caring for professional dancers. One important goal of the Task Force is to decrease time loss to injury with early problem recognition and education. The Task Force encourages an Annual Post-Hire Health Screen as an industry standard to prevent injury & illness in professional dance. Stay tuned for more information on HSS’ free dancer screening happening this Fall.
Additionally, I recommend the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS) and the Performing Arts Medicine Association (PAMA) as organizations serving performing artists and the providers who care for them. IADMS (iadms.org) provides resources for healthcare professionals as well as dancers, dance educators, and dance researchers. They have a “find a provider” link which can help connect dancers to providers who are IADMS members. PAMA has resources for the performing artist with a stronger focus on resources for providers who care for artists or who are interested in transitioning into this field of medicine.
We are all part of a strong community bringing together performing artists and the healthcare providers who keep them on stage. I love being part of HSS where we understand that world-class healthcare happens best as part of a team. How you dance is why we’re here!