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. 

Vitamin D and Calcium: Tips for Dancers

Written by Selina Shah, MD, FACP PT under the auspices of the Dance/USA Task Force on Dancer Health (2011)

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.

Dancer Health Tips: Heat Illness and Dehydration

Written by Brad Moser, 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.

Dancer Health Tips: 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 (2011)

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

Dancer Health Tips: 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 (2011)

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 Bonnie Robson, MD, DPsych, DCP, FRCP (C), Katherine Ewalt, MS, ATC, HHP, HCTM,  Erin Sanchez, MSc, Doug Meisner,EdD, C. Psych, Brian Goonin, PhD under the auspices of Dance/USA Task Force on Dancer Health (2012).

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 Bonnie Robson, MD, DPsych., DCP, FRCP(C), with contributions from Linda Hamilton, PhD, Heather Southwick, PT under the auspices of the Dance/USA Task Force on Dancer Health (2012)

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. 

Health Care Options for Independent, Uninsured and Underinsured Dancers

Written by Matthew Keefe, with contributions from Nancy Kadel, MD, Heather Southwick, PT under the guidance of the Dance/USA Task Force on Dancer Health (2012)

Navigating the US health care system is daunting for most Americans, but with so many international dancers and dancers without health insurance, it can be even more overwhelming.  This paper provides some basic information and resources to help find affordable and attainable health care in some cities.

Tips on Concussions for Dancers

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)

Within the fields of sports and dance medicine, the incidence and treatment of concussion has become an increasingly important topic.  Learn more about concussions in dancers, including signs and symptoms, management and safe return to dance.

An Administrative Guide to Nutritional Guidelines for Professional Dance Companies

Written by Richard Gibbs, MD (revised 2011)

These Guidelines for Professional Dance Companies on Healthy Nutrition were written as the first project addressed by the Task Force.  The document is meant as a guide to educate and outline how administrators for professional dance companies can address issues of nutrition and disordered eating with both dancers and staff.