Second NHS centre for professional dancers is planned

  • 9 November 2012
  • From the section Health

Demand has been so high for the first NHS-run centre for injured professional dancers that a second is being planned.

The Centre for Dance Medicine sees patients with all kinds of backgrounds, including street dance, hip hop, contemporary and ballet.

It opened in central London six months ago, doctors say they have seen 80 patients there so far.

There are now plans to open another centre in Birmingham in 2013.

Dr Roger Wolman, consultant in rheumatology and sport and exercise medicine, runs the clinic.

He says dancers have often struggled to be diagnosed quickly and treated properly in the past.

"Some of the injuries dancers get are unique to dancers," he said.

Dr Wolman also thinks it is important they have access to specialist help on the NHS, as the industry does not pay well.

He said: "Some of the top class dancers that you may see in west end shows, that you may see on television, do not earn enough to be able to afford private insurance, so they do come through this clinic."

'Strictly effect'

The centre at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital was brought about as part of the National Institute of Dance Medicine and Science, a partnership of six organisations.

One of them is industry association, Dance UK, which says 80% of dancers get an injury that affects their ability to perform.

Dancing is also said to be a growing industry.

A spokesperson for the National Association of Dance Teachers told Newsbeat a surge in interest at this time of year is down to the "Strictly effect".

The BBC celebrity dance show is currently in its tenth series.

One episode's viewing figures peaked at 10.97 million.