Carolina Ballet Theatre and Greenville Health System partnering in dancer injury research

Greenville Health System’s Steadman Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas is partnering with Carolina Ballet Theatre (CBT) to conduct innovative research that could lead to fewer injuries and enhanced performance among dancers both locally and beyond.

The research is being led by Dr. Jocelyn Szeto, a primary care sports medicine fellow at Steadman Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, who is also a professionally trained dancer. Dr. Szeto is one of only a handful of sports medicine physicians in the nation who specialize in performing arts medicine, making her research and the partnership between Steadman Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas and CBT truly unique.

In the first phase of her research, Dr. Szeto will conduct functional movement analysis on 33 pre-professional dancers at the S.C. Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities and 15 professional dancers at CBT. In the second phase, she will study and compare the two groups to see how their movement relates to their injuries. If injury patterns can be found, therapies can be developed to prevent future injury and enhance performance.

“Dancers are not typically thought of as athletes, but they should be. They experience just as much, if not more, stress and injuries as other athletes. I know this firsthand as a dancer and as a physician who treats all types of athletes,” said Dr. Szeto. “My goal with this research is to better understand the demands on a dancer’s body so that I can propose possible interventions or suggest modifications to training routines to reduce or prevent injury and ultimately improve overall health and well-being.”

In addition to research, Dr. Szeto will provide CBT dancers with long-term health plans, nutrition education and workout routines. She also plans to offer educational seminars for student dancers and their parents. The first seminar is tentatively scheduled for March 2014.

“Dr. Szeto’s research has the potential to enhance not only the health and performance of our Carolina Ballet Theatre dancers but young dancers throughout our community,” said Anita Sleeman, executive director of CBT. “We are honored to be a part of her research and to have a health and wellness partner in Steadman Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas and Greenville Health System.”

About CBT
Founded in 1972, Carolina Ballet Theatre (“CBT”) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and Greenville’s only professional resident dance company. A resident company of Greenville, South Carolina’s Peace Center for the Performing Arts, CBT aims to engage, entertain, and educate its audiences through the dynamic medium of dance. To learn more about more about CBT and its events, visit carolinaballet.org.

About Greenville Health System
Greenville Health System (GHS) is committed to medical excellence through patient care, research and education. GHS offers patients a comprehensive network of expertise and technologies through its six medical campuses, tertiary medical center, research and education facilities, community hospitals, physician practices and numerous specialty services throughout upstate South Carolina. It is also home to one of the nation’s newest medical schools – University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville. For more information, visit ghs.org.


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