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Dance Physiotherapy

Dance, especially ballet is a very specialised sport, therefore when a dancer gets injured they need specialised treatment. Having a background in dance and qualifications and training to treat dance specific injuries are essential elements you should be looking for in your Physiotherapist. Improper and delayed rehabilitation of injuries can hamper a dancers’ ability to return to performing.

And because we share your passion for dance we know that’s the last thing you want.

Susan McLean – Dance Physiotherapist and Clinical Pilates Instructor

Member of the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science

Susan’s own love of dance started with Ballet and Jazz at the age of 4 and currently she is enjoying contemporary dance classes in between her busy schedule. Since completing her Physiotherapy degree, Susan has undertaken numerous post graduate courses and workshops in dance Physiotherapy management. She has worked with dancers of all styles and levels and has been an invited guest speaker and presenter at the Qld state level figure skaters camp on the Gold Coast and the Commonwealth Society of Teachers of Dance summer camp at Mt Tamborine. Susan has attended several dance schools in the Brisbane area speaking to students on dance injury prevention and dance specifc Pilates.

Common dance injuries

The foot, ankle, hip and back are areas commonly injured amongst the dancing population. Accurate assessment and diagnosis, as well as an understanding of the unique requirements a dancer’s body needs is vital for a safe return to dance after injury. Ideally, dancers are encouraged to keep up some form of pain-free dance whilst recovering from their injuries to help maintain their dance fitness.

Dance assessments and screenings

  • General Dance Screenings to assess for any potential areas of weakness and to help prevent injuries;
  • Pre-Pointe Assessments to identify any weaknesses that should be addressed prior to commencing pointe work;
  • Tertiary Dance Assessments as required by tertiary institutions for auditions for their dance programs.


Individualised programs are then written based on the findings of the above assessments. The program will address any weakness or potential area of injury and students can be monitored to chart their improvements.

Dance specific Pilates exercises are often prescribed as part of treatment programs.

Dance Pilates:

  • Increases core control which increases your ability to hold correct posture with less effort;
  • Gives you better control, balance and stability and leads to more fluent movement;
  • Increases control of the trunk and shoulder girdle, which leads to better carriage of the upper body;
  • Improves your co-ordination and strengthens the hips, leading to better balance, turn out and making it easier to lift legs into an arabesque position;
  • Increases flexibility;
  • Helps with injury rehabilitation and prevention.









Dance Therapy Dance Therapy 2