The School of Sport, Health and Applied Science (SHAS) at St Mary's University, Twickenham and the Royal Opera House announced an exciting new partnership to deliver sports science support services to The Royal Ballet.
The partnership will see St Mary's academics providing strength and conditioning and sports science support to the dancers, working closely with The Royal Ballet's Clinical Director Greg Retter. They will also design bespoke programmes to enhance dance performance and recovery after injury.
In addition, the partnership will give opportunity for research into the mechanics behind ballet and professional dance. To facilitate the research St Mary's is offering a fully funded position on its new Masters by Research degree, giving the St Mary's student the unique opportunity to work and study in a prestigious ballet environment. The student will also improve knowledge and understanding of conditioning for ballet through an innovative programme of research.
Head of SHAS Prof John Brewer said,
It is an honour and privilege to have been awarded this contract, and it is testimony to the reputation and expertise of our sports science and strength and conditioning staff at St Mary's. We are looking forward to working closely with the Royal Ballet and the dancers over the coming years, and I am certain that we can contribute to the marginal gains that are critical for improving and sustaining their performance.
And The Royal Ballet's Greg Retter said,
The health of our dancers is of the utmost importance to us at The Royal Ballet and the prevention of injury and the highest quality rehabilitation is constantly at the forefront of our thinking. We have grown our healthcare provision significantly over the years to ensure the best conditions for our dancers to meet the ever increasing demands on their bodies, and this new partnership is another milestone in that journey. We're very excited to be partnering with St Mary's and look forward to working with their team to directly improve the health and well-being of dancers at The Royal Ballet, and to help influence a robust evidence-based sports-science model for the wider dance community.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.