Sharon Morrison Physiotherapy and Associates

Latest News

Latest News
24th February 2022


Screening and Profiling
(Athletes / Dancers)

Screening and subsequent profiling of Athletes has taken place for many years. This is a valuable tool in the toolbox for healthcare professionals. Using the concept she already used in sport with her athletes, Sharon began screening dancers before taking the format into the Birmingham Royal Ballet in 1998. The physical demands placed on dancers (Musculoskeletal, Physiological and Performance Parameters) are no less demanding than those in sport. Over the years the format that Sharon has used has been refined and is frequently reviewed to identify and monitor those factors that will affect performance due to the ever increasing demands that are placed in training, competition and performance. The information gained from a screening gives the dancer, artistic staff / coach and healthcare team vital information to act on during their dance training and also for outside of the studio when designing training, fitness and rehabilitation plans to enhance the dancers strength, flexibility, stability and performance fitness.

Screening is tailored to the individual being assessed. An extensive history and profile are established from the interview and the statement of health questionnaire that is carried out at the time of assessment. Results from these then dictate the components that are included in the screen. Profiling and monitoring of a dancer through a series of assessments and tests will then assist in:
  • establishing safety for participation in dance
  • establishing a baseline to set functional rehabilitation and conditioning goals
  • correction of technique
  • uncovering any potential injury risk factors to prevent injuries
  • enhancing performance
  • contributing to increasing the longevity of a dancer's career
Many UK dance students are now appreciating the benefits of screening and are screened at the clinic well in advance of their auditions. They have gone on and effectively implemented our advice from screening and successfully auditioned at their preferred dance school. To assist in enhancing dance technique and prevent injury we recommend during the development of a student that screening is carried out during the following circumstances:
  • growth spurt
  • increase in training
  • after prolonged rest (e.g. summer break)
  • return from injury
  • pre pointe assessment
  • pre audition
Screening is a valuable tool in the audition process. We have implemented an abbreviated screening tool that is used during the final stage of auditioning at Elmhurst School For Dance. The information from the screen is used by the artistic staff during the final audition to assist in the selection process. On successful selection at Elmhurst the pro - active Parents / Guardians have the option that the student can then be put through a full screening (level 2 - 4) which establishes a baseline before the onset of full time training. Injury prevention strategies are then employed and help provide invaluable information to the artistic staff during the students training. Injury surveillance data has been collected over the last 7 years while providing physiotherapy services at Elmhurst. This has aided us in establishing the links between injury patterns and injury prevention strategies that we have employed successfully with the students.

At the clinic we see dancers at all levels (amateur and professional) and all dance genre from the UK and Europe. There are 5 levels of screenings

Level 1: Abbreviated Screening (Elmhurst Auditions / Onsite Dance School Auditions Only) 20 mins
Level 2: Pre-Pointe Assessment: Statement of Health and Pre - Pointe Functional Lower Limb Screening. Establishes suitability to begin pointe work 45mins - 1 hr
Level 3: Statement of Health and Mini Screen - 1.5 hrs 1.5 hrs
Level 4: Statement Of Health and Full Screen - 2 hrs 2 hrs
Level 5: Statement Of Health, Full Screen, Functional Testing and Video Analysis with Report
(Report forwarded after the Screening)
3 hrs

If further information is required on the level of screening that you require or you are interested in screenings being conducted onsite and tailored to your school or company requirements, please contact the clinic on 0121 3233281 or complete the online enquiry form.

Level 3, 4 and 5 screens are also conducted on our athletes, tailored towards the sporting discipline they participate in. If further information is required on the level of screening that you require, please contact the clinic on 0121 3233281 or complete the online inquiry form.