Report from the Field: The International Association of Dance Medicine and Science 24th Annual Meeting

by Janine Bryant for The Dance Journal

Greetings, Dance Community!

I am pleased to share news from the field acquired at the 24th Annual Meeting of the *International Association of Dance Medicine and Science held in October 2014 in Basel, Switzerland.

There were many fantastic and informative presentations covering a vast array of topics.  However, there were a few central themes that seemed to stand out.

  1. Vitamin D – This was perhaps the hottest topic at the conference this year!  Many presentations incorporated effects of Vitamin D deficiency, as dancers are indoor athletes and do not benefit from an outdoor setting and the sun’s natural providence of the vitamin.  The big takeaway:  Vitamin D supplementation, especially during winter months, can benefit skeletal muscle, bone formation and help to prevent soft tissue injuries. (Please see previous blog post on this subject for further information and references)
  2. The Female Athlete Triad – This is a three-fold condition consisting of low energy intakes (disordered eating), amenorrhea (menstrual disturbance) and bone loss (osteoporosis).  The condition affects female athletes and is a growing concern for the sports medicine physicians who treat them.  Did you know there is a Female Athlete Triad Coalition?  Here is the link to learn more:
  3. Dancer Screenings are incredibly important! –  **The goal of dancer-athlete screenings is to promote injury prevention, career longevity, effective and efficient training, and assist dancers, dance educators, and medical care practitioners who interface with dancers. The importance of these screens cannot be underestimated, as the international dance medicine and science community continues to advocate for these assessments globally.
  4. Continued need for dancers in research – There is a growing need for dancers to enter the field of research, to make connections with sports medicine physicians and to offer much-needed perspectives on everything from injury prevention and dietary issues to training protocols and equipment design.  Find out more at – consider becoming a member in order to take advantage of the many resources IADMS offers including member discounts to the annual meeting!

Dancers everywhere should know that the global community of people concerned with their health is definitely growing!  Presenters came from the USA, Japan, Australia, Hong Kong, Czech Republic, UK, Poland, Germany, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Greece, France, Italy, and, of course, Switzerland!

The best news of all:  The 25th International Association of Dance Medicine and Science Annual Conference will be held next October 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA! To find out more please go to:

Until next time, friends, dance healthy and strong!

Janine Bryant (
Director of Dance Programs
Eastern University, St. Davids, Pa.
IADMS Education Committee Member, Poster Judging Committee, Peer Reviewer

*The International Association for Dance Medicine & Science was formed in 1990 by an international group of dance medicine practitioners, dance educators, dance scientists, and dancers.  Membership is drawn equally from the medical and dance professions, and has grown from an initial 48 members in 1991 to over 900 members at present world-wide, representing 35 countries.

The organization has held an Annual Meeting since its inception, drawing several hundred participants each year.  Beginning in 1997, a separate Day For Teachers has been held before or after the annual meeting.  In 2005 a Special Interests Group (SIG) Day was held in association with the Annual Meeting for the first time.  Subsequent SIG Days have included separate programs for: dance educators; physiotherapists and other allied health professionals; dance movement researchers; perceptuo-motor learning and dance kinesiology teachers; medical doctors; orthopaedic surgeons; and students.  Recent SIG Days have focused on musculoskeletal medicine and are open to all interested delegates

IADMS was formed to foster several related goals in the dance medicine and science field; the purposes and objectives of the organization are summarized in its Mission Statement: IADMS enhances the health, well-being, training, and performance of dancers by cultivating educational, medical, and scientific excellence.