Close print-friendly
Dance medicine

Photo Jess Bialek

Medical team

From its inception, The Australian Ballet had a degree of medical support through minimal part-time in-house specialists, who did not tour with the company. Since 1984 there was a gradual shift towards establishing full-time, centralised, multidisciplinary care with an emphasis on prevention. The first significant move towards implementing this was the appointment of a full-time in-house physiotherapist in 1997. This was then extended into a fully fledged proactive risk management model following the appointment of the current Artistic Director in 2001 and a second full-time physiotherapist in 2002.

The Medical Team today comprises two touring physiotherapists, a touring myotherapist, a body conditioning specialist, two part-time sports physicians, a part-time general practitioner and a health and safety/WorkCover co-ordinator.

The Injury Management and Prevention Program outlined in the handbook was initiated by the Medical Team and developed in collaboration with other key members of the program, including a rehabilitation facilitator, the Artistic Director, artistic staff and the dancers themselves.

This innovative program was recently recognised in the prestigious WorkSafe Victoria Awards where The Australian Ballet received the award for 'Best Strategy for Health and Safety Management'.

The Injury Management and Prevention Program is aimed at promoting the health and wellbeing of dancers, allowing them to perform at their optimum level. It is also intended to contribute to the body of knowledge in dance medicine worldwide. While it has been customised for a ballet company, this program is suitable for any dance company that wishes to use it as a guide to implementing systems and processes for the prevention of injury.

Download Injury Management and Prevention Program handbook (PDF 1.8MB)

Online videos

This informative online video features principal physiotherapist Susan Mayes and dancers discussing how they handle the physical demands of ballet on the body.
Watch now (Duration 3.28 / 9.4MB)

You can also discover more about the Medical Team in these videos:
Meet our Principal Physiotherapist in this video
Meet our Body Conditioning Specialist in this video
Watch our Safety Dance video

IADMS conference

These videos were presented at the IADMS conference in Birmingham 2010. They were part of a presentation that discussed these exercises in relationship to a rehabilitation program for a lower leg injury.

They are part of an extensive program developed at the Australian Ballet, which continues to evolve and strives to support each dancer in achieving both their artistic goals and supporting their health and well being. If you require any further information about these specific exercises please contact Paula Baird Colt at

Dome exercise:

Lateral Theraband raises:

Nobby's Jump Landing series:

QF Strength:

Single leg heel raise:

Soft ball reach and press:

Twin Tower Pulley Adductor series:

Disclaimer: The exercises and advice given in these videos are in no way intended as a substitute for medical advice and guidance. The Australian Ballet takes no responsibility for any injury that may be caused as a result of applying information in these videos.



Single tickets for this event are booked through an external ticketing agent. The agent's site will now open in this window.