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Watch: Inside The Royal Ballet's state-of-the-art Healthcare Suite

Like a Premier League football club, The Royal Ballet uses the latest sports science to ensure its artists have long and successful careers.

By Hayley Bartley (Former Content Producer (Learning))

14 January 2016 at 3.53pm | 4 Comments

In 2013 The Royal Ballet's Mason Healthcare Suite was opened, and since then has provided vital healthcare facilities the 100 dancers of the Company.

Named after former Director of The Royal Ballet Monica Mason, the facility helps dancers avoid and recover from injury.

'The facilities at The Royal Ballet are very similar to what you might imagine at a Premiership football club,’ says Greg Retter, Clinical Director of Ballet Healthcare.

Greg leads a team of healthcare professionals dedicated to supporting the dancers' fitness and wellbeing through therapies including massage, physiotherapy, Pilates and Gyrotonic training.

‘If I’m feeling a bit tight and my body is feeling a bit squashed I can come and use the Gyrotonic machine to lengthen', says Royal Ballet Principal Edward Watson. 'If I’m feeling like I need a little bit more strength or balance work I can come and use the Pilates equipment and be instructed in that way. I can also use the gym if I’ve got a big partnering role coming up, so I can build myself up.'

Ensuring that every dancer achieves a long and full career is at the core of The Royal Ballet Healthcare team's work and is essential for the continued success of the Company.

‘The Healthcare Suite is so important for dancers,' says Royal Ballet First Artist, Gemma Pitchley-Gale. 'It’s there as support and we are so lucky to have this on site.’

Watch more films like this on the Royal Opera House YouTube channel:

The creation of the Ballet Healthcare Suite generously supported by The Clore Duffield Foundation, The Headley Trust , The Linbury Trust, The Quercus Trust, Sir Simon and Lady Robertson, John and Susan Burns and Gail and Gerald Ronson through The Gerald Ronson Foundation.

Ballet Healthcare this Season is being is being supported by The Headley Trust and The Quercus Trust.   

By Hayley Bartley (Former Content Producer (Learning))

14 January 2016 at 3.53pm

This article has been categorised Ballet and tagged Edward Watson, fitness, Gemma Pitchley-Gale, gym, Gyrotonic, health, healthcare, injury, pilates, rehabilitation, sports science, wellbeing

This article has 4 comments

  1. alfred bradley responded on 21 January 2016 at 5:09pm Reply

    what a brilliant facility to have. And what a huge advance for the Royal Ballet dancers that they can now use all these in house advantages in a way that 50 years ago, when I first started going to see the Royal Ballet;well,I assume none of this was available to keep a dancer on peak form and most importantly, able to deal with injury.

  2. Hello

    I am so much impressed by your video showing your workspace. I have to post and watch it over and over again. Thank you so much for showing that to the world. It's so important to make people understand that working with the body needs good preparation and good care. Specially sportspeople and dancers need so much support to stay healthy. So thank you to be able to look behind the scenes.

    Me as my self I am a dancer as well. But dance just for pleasure joy fun and life. I do Contact Improvisation dance so I use other bodies to train my self, to get softer or just sozialize. So I love the dance and it helps me so much to express embody and feel how much my body is connected. I was learning a lot from that dance form. But at the same time I think it can be quite challenging for many people to be that close with each other. I experience a lot how much people are disconnected to there body system in my daily work.

    I am working as a physiotherapist in one of the most recommended med spas worldwide in Austria. I would love to visit you one day, exchange experiences and stay for a weekend maybe to join your trainings.

    All the best. Alex

  3. Keat responded on 12 April 2017 at 5:52am Reply

    This is brilliant. Any athlete or active person would love this. Gyrotonics looks particularly interesting ! Bravo.

  4. Great!
    Unfortunately, in Japan, the awareness of the dancer's body is low. High awareness dancers are active in the world.
    Ballet and drama companies that support body care are rare in Japan.

    I am an athletic trainer qualified in acupuncture massage in Japan. I would like to change the consciousness of Japanese dancers.

    Thank you very much.

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