Better Healthcare for Performing Artists

They Deserve It!

better healthcare performing artists

I used to have a list of stories as long as my arm from dancers and other performing artists frustrated by their visits to doctors. But, now that list is as long as both arms and both legs, with a high chance that I will need to add more appendages to keep count. Artists need better healthcare!

Few things make my blood boil faster than hearing about performing artists who have bad experiences with doctors or other healthcare workers. Caring for someone properly requires first a sense of compassion and, second, a willingness to help someone to the best of your ability. Why is this apparently so difficult?

Concussions During Theater

Performing Arts Need Concussion Attention Just Like Sports Get

concussions during theater

Concussions during theater? Yes, that’s right. They’re a huge problem that happen, for the most part, “off the grid.” In other words, they are not publicized, nor are they cared for properly most of the time.

As an athletic trainer, my education and licensing includes evaluating and caring for those who suffer concussions. Back in 2002, I chose to change my career direction and apply my skills to performing artists instead of traditional athletes. They have an enormous need for proper, specialized healthcare for concussions and every other injury they encounter. Today I lead a performing arts medicine program at Ohio University that I designed to meet the healthcare needs of the university’s performing arts students. But, I want to focus on theater here.

A Dancer’s Anatomy Signature

The Reason You Are You!

Anatomy Signature graphic

Anatomy Signature™ is the term I coined several years ago to describe the unique design of one’s body. I wanted to help dancers I worked with be more satisfied with themselves. Basically, your Anatomy Signature™ makes you you! You are specially designed and valuable because of it.

Not all dancers have an Anatomy Signature™ that is ideal to be a prima ballerina or principal dancer…in fact, very few do. However, that should not keep them from enjoying dancing and trying to advance through the dance world as far as they can without physically or emotionally destroying themselves. I discuss this concept a lot in my performing arts health and kinesiology classes; the evidence that it resonates with students shows in both their faces and comments…

Keep Your Performing Bones Healthy

It's Not Just Your Grandmother's Problem!

standing foot xray bone health

Bone health is incredibly important for everyone. But, this is especially true for performing and production artists. Poor bone structure can lead to stress fractures, osteoporosis, and other bone conditions. These are not just problems for your grandmother! Almost everyone can be at risk for poor bone health.

Several factors put performers generally at higher risk of skeletal problems, and dancers most of all. The high percentage of females in dance and their frequent focus on body image brings other challenges. These include the related issues of low energy availability from a restricted diet, low body weight, and menstrual irregularities, all of which are inter-related and contribute to lowered bone density…