Healthy Dancer Programme
As one of the world’s greatest centres of excellence for classical ballet training, The Royal Ballet School is committed creating healthy, strong, and resilient young dancers who are equipped for the huge demands their careers will place on their bodies.
Through our world-class Healthy Dancer Programme, we are able to invest in the long-term health of our students, enhancing performance through comprehensive on-site healthcare support and research from 11 years old. We are also empowering dancers to learn to take charge of their own wellbeing.
This programme is managed by a dedicated team of 20 healthcare professionals including:
Healthcare Manager Counsellors
Physiotherapists Performance nutritionist
Sports Physicians School Nurses
Nutritionists Pilates instructors
Strength & Conditioning coaches Rehab ballet instructor
These Healthcare professionals work hand-in-hand with our artistic team in a fully integrated approach. It is hoped this continued research and medical insight helps guide the school’s System of Training.
Health screening and profiling
As part of this integrated approach to healthcare, students throughout the whole school undergo termly screening and profiling exercises, to gather research data and create individual conditioning programmes to support them in their training.
Partnership with the English Institute of Sport
We have also formed an exciting and unprecedented new partnership with the English Institute of Sport, which provides the school with the best possible nutrition support.
This collaboration opens up access to the varied and extensive network of nutritionists that the EIS employ, with a nutritionist working with students and our catering team two days a week. In addition, the school can access the EIS’s wider working groups, investigating areas such as menstrual dysfunction and disordered eating which are both prevalent in all sport, and particularly aesthetic art forms.
Mental health and well-being
The team also includes Counsellors as part of a school-wide mental health provision led by a clinical psychologist Mental Health and Safeguarding Lead. The Counsellors not only look after students’ psychological well-being, they also support their training with an emphasis on performance psychology.
Sports science research
The school now uses a research database called Smartabase, to underpin the work of the Healthy Dancer Programme. Smartabase is used by healthcare teams at both The Royal Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet, which means our three organisations can collaborate, sharing research to contribute invaluable insights and expertise to the wider dance community.
We work with leading renowned institutions, such as Queen Mary's University London and St Mary's University Twickenham, to achieve our aim to bring dance to the forefront of sports science.
The school is embedding research within its programme, including through a resident Masters of Research in Sports Science. Fully understanding dancers' needs through this work means we can offer the best possible support.
We would like to thank Angela Bernstein and Sarah Dorfman for their enormous generosity in funding this important work