Annual Screening for Pre-professional Dancers
Our ADAM Center Pre-professional Dance Screen was implemented in 1998 and is used annually to screen BFA pre-professional dance students at the Ailey-Fordham Dance Program and Long Island University Dance Program. It is an extensive screen that integrates common screening tools with technique analysis. Workshops based on the screening results offer education in warm up, cross training, stretching, joint protection, and other wellness programs.
Components of this screen include:
Hip, ankle, and foot strength
Flexibility and laxity
The ADAM Center has assisted other university danceprograms in setting up
screening programs of their own. Please contact us for more information on
group or individual screening.
Professional Dance Screening
Physical Therapists from the ADAM Center, representing Alvin Ailey American Dancer Theater and Ailey II have served on the Dance/USA Task Force on Dancer Health since its inception. Dance/USA is a service organization for professional dance companies in the United Sates and Canada. The Task Force was asked by Company Managers to develop a Health Screen. The multi-disciplinary Task Force is comprised of physical therapists, physicians, athletic trainers, company managers, and union representatives. working together, theTask Force developed a standarized screen with extensive guidelines. In 2006 the Task Force initiated an Annual Post-hire Health Screen that was piloted by Alvin Ailey, Boston Ballet, Houston Ballet, and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. This screen standardizes both medical history and screening in a 30-min format. Today, the screen is used by over 30 companies.
This screen is abbreviated due to time constraints in the professional company
worklife. It is meant to signal red flags. therefore, it is NOT intended for the
pre-professional dancer. Because the screen is regularly updated, interested
healthcare professionals working with professional companies are directed to
the Dance/USA Task Force on Dancer Health website to register.
As members of this Task Force, the ADAM Center can initiate screening for
interested companies. Please contact us for more information on company screening
We initiated an in-house comprehensive management program at Alvin Ailey 1998 to decrease injuries in the two companies. Our program decreased musculoskeletal injuries and time loss, resulting in cost savings. The wellness initiatives that are part of this program include emphasis on aerobic conditioning, cross training to decrease muscle imbalances, smoking cessation, and daily access to treatment of small problems before they become larger injuries.
In addition, we use two Outcomes Measures to track the health and recovery from injury status of our company and student dancers.
1. The Dance Functional Outcome Scale (DFOS)
2. Short Form 36 (SF-36)
The DFOS was created to fill the gap in outcomes that can assess the unique movement requirements in dance. It was developed with two sections: ADL and Dance-specific. The DFOS has been validated for both adult and pediatric dancers and is available in Spanish and Italian version (also validated).
Shaw Bronner PhD, PT, OCS