Performance Medicine understands that the needs of dancers and performers are unique. We cater physiotherapy towards:

Dance Physiotherapy

The dance physiotherapists at Performance Medicine have a passion for the dance and performance industries. We have extensive experience in all dance styles from ballet and contemporary to hip hop and ballroom. Your Melbourne dance physiotherapist will provide you with a thorough assessment and individualised treatment program…. and most importantly an injury prevention program.

Dance services available with the Melbourne dance physio team:

We find that communication with your dance teacher or staging team optimises a safe return and we have many years of experience in assisting you with this.

…..So why would you go anywhere else?….

At Performance Medicine we are passionate about injury prevention and all therapists have extensive experience in presenting workshops to dance students. You may have even seen some of our articles in national dance magazines!

Some of our workshops include:

  • Sustainable dance
  • Injury prevention
  • Dance recovery

Dance Injuries

There are many different reasons why you may need to see a dance physio. Unfortunately, it may be due to injury…but by popping in to see us before you are injured is even better! Let us help you minimise your risk of injury with an injury prevention program or postural assessment.

Common dance injuries or dance issues we treat at Performance Medicine include:

  • Flexor Hallucius Longus Tendinopathy
  • Posterior Impingement
  • Metatarsal stress fractures
  • Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS) (“shin splints”)
  • Stress fractures of the bones of the foot
  • Tibial stress fractures
  • FHL tenosynovitis
  • Posterior ankle impingement
  • Anterior hip impingement
  • Hamstring tears
  • Low back pain
  • Muscular imbalance
  • Joint restriction
  • Flexibility issues
  • Injury prevention programs
  • Postural assessments

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Pre-Pointe Screening

A Pre-Pointe Assessment is a 30 minute standardised dance physiotherapy assessment designed to determine a dancer’s suitability for pointe work. It is made up of two components: a series of screening questions of your medical and dance history and a physical assessment of your trunk, pelvis, hips, knees and feet.

The assessment is designed to determine a dancer’s risk of injury when pointe work is commenced. At the conclusion of your assessment, the physio will explain any areas you may need to work on to prevent injuries. If you are not quite ready for pointe work, your dance physio in conjunction with your dance teacher, will guide you on how to become ready for pointe.  You may require a further assessment to ensure that you are going to be safe for pointe – your teacher and physio will let you know if reassessment is necessary

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Pointe Shoe Review

A pointe shoe review with a physiotherapist involves assessing your feet, ankle and lower legs and how well your pointe shoes accommodate them.

The dance physiotherapist will ensure that:

  • You are breaking in your shoes correctly so that your shoes have the right combination of mobility and support.
  • Your ribbon and elastic placement accommodates the arches of your foot well.
  • Your shoes fit appropriately with any necessary padding.

These things are crucial to reduce your risk of injury and to make pointe work as enjoyable and safe as possible.

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Dance Conditioning Classes

Dance conditioning is a class for young and pre-professional dancers who want to take their performance and technique to the next level. This class uses Pilates principles and specific injury-prevention exercises to assist dancers in integrating safe techniques into their dancing. Our Dance Physiotherapists will provide supervised and personalised technique corrections, and will support you in working towards your dance and performing goals. These 55-minute classes run in line with the school term, with up to 6 students in a class.

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Pre-Pointe Program

Our 6-week pre-pointe program is designed to assist budding ballerinas over the age of 10 in their transition onto pointe. The program will allow dancers to build a strong foundation upon which good technique can be developed. For any dancer, at least one year of pointe-specific strengthening is required to allow a dancer to progress en pointe safely. Ensuring you have a strong understanding of injury prevention and safe dance practices will also allow you to continue a lifetime of dance enjoyment and success.

This program has been developed and will be taught by Dance Physiotherapists who will cover:

  • Flexibility of the foot and ankle
  • Strength and articulation of the foot and ankle
  • Turnout range and control
  • Core stability and balance
  • Anatomy of the foot and ankle
  • Home exercise program
  • A break down of the Performance Medicine Physiotherapy Pre-Pointe Assessment criteria
  • Introduction to the pointe shoe, how to prepare and care for the shoes
  • Post pointe class care (for shoe & foot)

This 55-minute class runs once a week for 6 weeks, with up to 6 students in a class.

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Musical Theatre

The show must go on, we understand this!

If you are a Musical Theatre performer then you are in the right place.

We have managed physical health in many Musical Theatre productions nationally and internationally. Our assessment and treatment takes into consideration all the demands of choreography, costume and frequency of shows.

Some fantastic productions and companies we are or have been affiliated with include:

  • Harry Potter & the Cursed Child
  • West Side Story
  • Charlie & the Chocolate Factory
  • Opera Australia West Side Story – Sydney Harbour
  • School of Rock
  • Muriel’s Wedding
  • Book of Mormon
  • The Body Guard
  • Wizard of Oz
  • My Fair Lady
  • Les Misérables
  • Wicked
  • Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • Grease
  • Warhorse
  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
  • South Pacific
  • Moonshadow
  • Love Never Dies
  • Rock of Ages
  • Mary Poppins
  • Hairspray the Musical
  • Jersey Boys
  • Avenue Q
  • Dirty Dancing
  • Strictly Ballroom
  • Shane Warne the Musical
  • Melbourne Theatre Company
  • Bangarra Dance Theatre
  • Sydney Dance Company
  • The Production Company: West Side Story

For our international experience and productions please click here.

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Physiotherapy for Instrumentalists

As part of our expertise in the treatment of performers, the physio team treats many musicians and instrumentalists including woodwind, brass and string instrumentalists and percussionists. We encourage that you bring your instrument to your consultation so that you can be thoroughly assessed whilst playing. This allows the physiotherapists to functionally assess your playing posture, limb movement, breath support and embouchure. We discuss your playing requirements and goals and establish the best possible treatment and rehabilitation plan.

Common instrumentalist injuries or issues identified at Performance Medicine:

  • Neck pain
  • Jaw pain
  • Shoulder instability and pain
  • Thoracic spine pain and stiffness
  • Rib cage stiffness
  • Wrist and forearm pain
  • Tendinopathy of the wrist extensors and wrist flexor muscles
  • Embouchure issues (facial discomfort)
  • Breath support issues
  • Decreased playing endurance

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Physiotherapy for Stagecraft

As the resident physiotherapists for Melbourne Theatre Company, the physiotherapists at Performance Medicine have extensive knowledge in stagecraft and the risks that can be associated with repetitive performing. The physiotherapists frequently consult with theatre companies providing advice and programs surrounding the safest and most sustainable choreography and movement direction.

Some areas where our expertise is sought include:

  • Performing on a raked stage
  • Performing in heels
  • Performances associated with costume design (including head dresses, corseted costumes, simulation of disability, etc)
  • Props use, prop design
  • Puppeteering
  • Fly harnesses
  • Character movement development

Our physiotherapists don’t only consult for onstage issues. We also have expertise in backstage safety issues for the crew behind the scenes.

Please call a physiotherapist today as the “show must go on”!!


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Tertiary Dance Screening

A tertiary dance assessment is a 30 minute standardised dance assessment conducted by your dance physiotherapist. All of the Performance Medicine physiotherapists have extensive dance backgrounds. This screening is designed to evaluate the dancer’s physical capability prior to participating in a full-time dance course. It is made up of two components: a series of screening questions of your medical and dance history and a physical assessment of your body.

The assessment is designed to determine a dancer’s risk of injury, strength and joint range. At the conclusion of your assessment, your dance physio will explain any areas you may need to work on to prevent injuries.

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