Taking your & your dancing to the very highest levels of personal performance

Who We Are

Professional and amateur dancers, like all athletes, can push their bodies to the limits. The risk of injury is high, as are often the stakes involved, especially with professionals and competitive groups. With over 30 years experience in the treatment of impacts, sprains and strains of professional dancers, the Elite team are able to bring together, not only great knowledge of injury repair, but also injury management, because sometimes ‘the show must go on’.

The team has worked with dancers from all styles and at all levels. Ballet was the core foundation of the Dance Clinic, but our team has worked with professional dance athletes and amateurs from: Ballet, Ballroom Dancing, Contemporary, Street and Hip Hop to Capoeira, West End productions and the stars of Strictly Come Dancing. Well known dancers treated by the team include: Darcy Bussell, Rudolf Nureyev and Sylvie Guillem. So you’re in good hands.

The Zero Line

Human form and function has been our fascination for decades. Whilst ‘No Body’ is perfect, striving to achieve body balance is an enormously important part of creating an injury free status. Trained eyes and experience can easily spot where imbalance, degrees of misalignment and a loss of functionality are apparent.

The body’s tensions, connective structures and activity levels then guide to the source of any injury, establishing the problem and the course of treatment required. Muscles of the body can only ‘pull’. These forces give us function, locomotion, stability and strength. If these structures are imbalanced or not functioning correctly, then the Zero Line is lost creating further deviation and possible cause of pain and injury.

Passion & Connectivity

The body is an integral part of that relationship. It must be balanced, structured and feel able to move fluidly without hesitation. Then passion in dance, is created by the performer simply living the experience.

Just as a dancer’s body speaks on a stage, it tells its history, through it’s alignment and it’s ability to function. Peak performance is achieved by a totality of many factors being balanced. The mind, spirit and body; being positive, feeling the moment and connecting through the expression of physical movement.

The Dance Clinic has a profound understanding of what it takes to get you to the top of your game and to keep you there. Our team of professional body mechanic specialists and strength and conditioning coaches, have insight and understanding of dancers bodies to establish root causes of injury, repair programmes, injury management, rehabilitation strategies and preventative measures.

“I have been going to Phil for sports massage therapy for 7 years. With my dance partner we are dancing and training every day, which has an impact on our bodies and can sometimes lead to injuries. The team is great at preventing any injuries from happening, but also sorting injuries you have had for weeks, months or years! If I didn’t have my regular sessions with them, I am 100% sure I would not be able to dance to the same level. They completely understands the needs of a dancer and an athlete. I can’t thank him enough!”


What We Do

Our extended referral network includes many of the country’s leading sports medicine experts, including Olympic osteopaths, dance specific physiotherapists and doctors, should more investigative work be required before treatment.

We work with individual dancers, from youth groups to professional companies, offering assessments and singular treatments. We offer ongoing programmes of support as an extension to any dance company, effectively working with clients as a treatment team and clinic or in conjunction with their existing support team.

We Specialise In

  • Strains

  • Sprains

  • Postural Assessment

  • BioMechanics

  • Structural Reintegration

  • Long Term and Chronic pain

  • Ruptures

  • Post Operative Recovery

  • Injury Management

  • Muscular Reactivation

  • Dance Specific Strength And Conditioning

  • Injury Prevention Strategies

  • Immovable Joints

  • Negative Muscular Loading

  • Performance Enhancement

How We Work

Dance Companies & Academies

Assessments / External Clinics

The Dance Clinic team can visit your school or production company and perform assessments and a physical overview of the company. These assessments are often about injury intervention and the setting of strategies to avoid disruption to any dancer’s career, as much as the treatment and repairing of current and recurring problems.

Management Programmes

With all of the experience of working within dance and athletic communities, Dance Clinic is able to provide ongoing support through the development of cohesive injury prevention and management programmes. We work with you to prepare and maintain the dancers at their full potential. The team can operate either as an internal or external resource, working with dancers, management teams and clinical teams offering support throughout the rehabilitation period.

Critical Injury Management

With decades of direct experience ‘on the shop floor’, the Dance Clinic team can operate On-Site to recover dancers under tight deadlines, getting them ready for important premieres, competitions and events. Years of experience at side stage, in the preparation and management of injuries pre-performance, has given the team vital knowledge that can benefit even the most experienced dancers. The On-Site/Pre-Competition service can make the difference between winning and losing and being a performer or a spectator.

Individual Performers & Dancers

Our Clinics

The Dance Clinic team has treatment facilities at the Edgbaston Priory Club in Birmingham. Here we can make assessments, treat injuries and rehabilitate in state of the art facilities. For additional convenience, we also have availability in Birmingham’s Business District, a short walk from New Street Station for those travelling from further afield


The proven and tested methodology of the Dance Clinic team, has recovered athletes and dancers of all levels. Getting on for nearly 100 years of combined experience in injury repair, strength and conditioning and performance development, the team can organise and facilitate educational workshops to teach clinical teams and coaches the methodology and approach that has given the team such success working with some of the country’s most respected dance companies.

“They have a truly professional approach to working with their patients, over the years I have received treatment from them, they has demonstrated their expertise and vast experience in the field of injury repair and rehab. I have always found them to be thorough, enabling me to understand how my specific sport impacts on my body, this has allowed me to gain an awareness of how I can prevent injury and aid my recovery from an injury.”


The Team

Phil Birch

Phil Birch

Soft Tissue Injury Specialist
Darryl Canham

Darryl Canham

Jamie Bond

Jamie Bond

Strength & Conditioning Coach, Performance Enhancement Specialist
Sara Macqueen

Sara Macqueen

Dance Programme Development & Tuition
Zoë Hornby-Walsh

Zoë Hornby-Walsh

Dance Performance & Conditioning Coach
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“Their knowledge of biomechanics and ability to realign the body is second to none. The levels of expertise has augmented my training and has assisted me in performing at the highest level of professional dance for over fourteen years. “


From Our Blog

Dance Clinic Birmingham’s ‘Zero Line’ methodology

Dance injuries and the Zero Line philosophy.


With over 600 muscles, 206 bones and countless ligaments and tendons, a dancer will inevitably suffer an injury eventually. The hours of practice and physical stress placed on the body is hugely demanding. Injuries occur suddenly like pulled muscles or as a result of repetitive stress, Tendinitis for example.


Ballet injuries are very common due to the need for females to wear pointe shoes and place their entire weight on their toes. Doing so puts significant demand on the muscles stabilising the ankle as well as the foot itself. This regularly results in stress fractures and ankle sprains. Even minor problems can become something more severe if not addressed quickly and managed going forward.


Ankle Sprain


Ankle sprains are the most common dance injury, varying widely in severity. From a stretch, causing minor instability, requiring a few days rest. To a complete tear causing complete instability and requiring 2-6 weeks rest and ongoing treatment. This unpredictability means that having the right physician is as important as having the right dance instructor. Early diagnosis and correct treatment can massively decrease the risk of long term complications. To do just this Dance Clinic works to their Zero Line Philosophy to get you safely back to the things you love doing.


Dance Clinic Experience


Perfect body balance is incredibly important in creating and maintaining an injury free status.  The Zero Line Is the neutral line of posture which is lost when injuries occur. Dance Clinic have 70,000 hours experience in treating dancers and other athletes with sports or general soft tissue injuries and/or bio-mechanical problems arising from strains, sprains and impact injuries. Dance Clinic has found that most people are around 12-15% away from their perfect posture. Enough to cause pain or injury from everyday activities. Due to the demands of the profession, dancers should be managed to a maximum of 7% from Zero Line. At Dance Clinic however, 7% is the starting point from which to condition, strengthen and prevent further injury. Attempting to return the body to its natural postural alignment and structural balance.


Imbalance, misalignment and loss of functionality are identified. Associated tensions and activity levels then reveal the injury source. The problem is diagnosed and appropriate treatment and maintenance is delivered. The Dance Clinic’s Zero Line approach prevents disruption to routine and training. It makes the most of opportunities to resolve and prevent issues. Prevention after all is better than cure.


Darryl Canham

Dance Clinic Birmingham

Foot and Ankle Injuries. Dancers beware!

Foot and ankle injuries

Feet are what gets us from A to B. They represent the body’s first point of contact with the ground, taking the main load of all weight and force exerted by the body. The muscles surrounding the feet and ankles were designed for both movement and force exertion, within limits. Feet and ankles were definitely not designed to take the magnitude of stress put upon them by a dancer’s life. Playing any sport or performing consistent physical activity puts you at a much higher risk for faulty foot mechanics. Hence why injuries to the feet and ankles are so prevalent within the dance world .

Ankle sprain

Ian ankle sprain is the most common form of dance injury. It is caused by movement that forces the ankle outside of the normal range of motion. Pain is usually felt along the outer side of the ankle along with differing degrees of swelling. Post sprain, the ligaments will never heal to a pre-injury level. Strength and control must be improved in order to prevent re-injury.

Achilles tendinitis

Is inflammation of the tendon in the back of the ankle that connects the prime mover for pointing, to your foot. It causes pain and swelling in the back side of your heel when you put weight on it. You may also experience tight calf muscles and limited range when flexing your foot. It regularly occurs from over-use or improper technique.

Trigger toe

For dancers, Trigger Toe is another classic overuse injury. This causes inflammation and damage to the muscle which is responsible for pointing the big toe. It manifests as pain along the inside of the ankle and under the foot whilst pointing the big toe

Ankle Impingement

Is the pinching of tissues at either the front or the back of the ankle. It is caused by repetitive stress from jumps or squats, or because the ankle is already unstable. Pain around the ankle can be felt with plié and landing.

The impact of injury

Foot and ankle injuries detrimentally effect the joints, tendons, ligaments and surrounding connective tissues. Then the shock absorbing capabilities of the lower body are significantly lowered. This promotes greater potential for injury from head to toe. Every dancer should have thorough, regular and specific assessments of their foot mechanics. This will both treat and prevent injuries. Strengthening exercises help to maintain balance and neutral alignment of the foot and ankle. This ensures stability, flexibility, function and power.

For a thorough assessment of your foot and ankle contact Phil at Dance Clinic. With over 25 years treating professional dancers from all styles, he is well placed to provide you with an experienced point of view.

Welcome to the brand new Dance Clinic website

We are looking forward to working with some of the countries best and most established dance companies and dancers.

Already this month we’re heading to London to perform assessments and develop programmes for ballroom and contemporary dance schools. It is a privilege to be working with established pairs and helping them prepare for major championships, as well as helping the youth develop their strength and conditioning programmes to prevent injury and develop a body resilient to the great demands of dance performance and competition. Our philosophy is very much that prevention is better than cure and we shall be encouraging our clients to be ahead of the game for their own gain and for the wellbeing of their dancers.

Contact Us

  • 07971 165221

Our Practices

  • Edgbaston Priory Club, Sir Harry’s Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2UZ
  • Dance Clinic, 54 carver Street, Birmingham, B1 3AS