It was a great privilege to be invited to Sydney to speak at the Australian Society of Performing Arts Health (ASPAH) conference at the end of 2019, and inspiring to hear about the great practice happening in Australia. The conference Lasting the Distance: a Lifetime in the Performing Arts considered physical and psychological approaches to support career longevity. Dr. Sue Mayes, the Australian Ballet’s principal physiotherapist and keynote speaker outlined how their approach to healthcare had minimised injuries over the years, measured by insurance claims – a compelling argument for the value of investing in performance health.
There were some really interesting presentations on dance, from child education to foot adaptation of wearable technology and athlete management systems used by athletes, and developing a career in health after dance. On mental health, identification and intervention in eating disorders and management of music performance anxiety were explored, and Ben Steel, former Home and Away star, movingly discussed his documentary on depression in the performing arts. I presented on our experience of Developing Evidence-Based Policy and Practice in Psychosocial Health in the Performing Arts.
There is a thriving performing arts medicine community in Australia and we were honoured to be part of the discussions, and look forward to a continued relationship. ASPAH has produced a great set of healthcare guides which they have kindly allowed us to share with you: Download ASPAH Healthcare Guides