Dance and science—knowledge and creativity.

There is so much we still have to learn about dance. Human bodies have been dancing for centuries and some of our training techniques have been passed on from generation to generation.

At Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Dr Emma Redding, head of dance science, is leading a growing group of researchers and students applying scientific methods to the dance training we do every day, seeking to gain knowledge about the body and the impact of dance.

Dance Scientists strive to optimise the dancer’s potential as an elite performer through areas such as physiology, psychology, nutrition, and biomechanics. Additionally, by measuring the effect of regular dance activity, Dance Scientists are able to explore the unique benefits that dance can have on other populations. Trinity website

Dance science lab at Trinity Laban.The dance science lab at Trinity Laban. Dr Emma Redding and Roslyn Dundas in one of Trinity Laban's dance studios. Trinity Laban is housed in a purpose-built facility in Greenwich, England, and has 300 undergraduate students.

Current dance science research and PhD students are looking at

  • the differing fitness levels dancers require for performance and how to achieve that through class and strengthening programs
  • how training techniques can be used to address common injuries
  • the physical and physiological benefits of dance for young people and in ageing

Dr Redding is currently president of IADMS and Trinity Laban is a partner of the DanceUK-led initiative that established a National Institute for Dance Medicine and Science (NIDMS) in the United Kingdom. The Institute focuses on keeping dancers healthy using preventive strategies, following a ten-year research project showing that 80 percent of dancers are injured. An initiative of NIDMS allows dancers free access to the first specialist dance injury clinic funded by the National Health Service and based at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital. Watch Helen Laws (Dance UK), Nouska Hanly (Dance UK) and Dr Roger Wolman (Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital) discuss the treatment pathways for dancers who get injured in the UK.