Dean College

  • Athletic Trainer for the Joan Phelps Palladino School of Dance to Present at IADMS

    Amanda Donahue MS, ATC, certified athletic trainer for the Joan Phelps Palladino School of Dance, will present at the International Association of Dance Medicine & Science (IADMS) Annual Conference on Saturday, October 27, 2018 in Helsinki, Finland, alongside Research Committee Chair Jatin Ambegaonkar PhD, ATC. The pair will deliver a presentation entitled Establishing a Multi-Center Research Collaborative to understand associations among fitness measures and injuries in collegiate dancers at this year’s IADMS conferenceAmanda Donahue

    The International Association of Dance Medicine & Science (IADMS) is an international group of dance medicine practitioners, dance educators, dance scientists, and dancers, formed in 1990. The annual conference draws several hundred attendees offering a variety poster presentation, movement workshops, lectures, and special interest group topics each year.

    For the past two years, Donahue has collaborated with Dr. Ambegaonkar and Dean College faculty Dr. Dawn Poirier, Dr. Erin Thomas, Assistant Professor Coleen Bartlett-Taylor, Assistant Professor Stephen Ursprung, and Artist in Residence Todd Shanks to conduct research with first-year dance majors in establishing baseline fitness testing measurements, health related quality of life surveys, number of dance exposure hours, and injury surveillance tracking.

    Dean College is one among only a few collegiate dance programs in the U.S. with wellness services that use multiple, specialized health care providers, akin to those working with professional dancers of major dance companies. The Dance/USA Task Force on Dancers Health’s Pre-Season Post-Hire Health Care Screen is a standardized tool for professional dancers.  Similarly, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) utilizes the Datalys Center for Sports Injury Research and Prevention as a standardized injury tracking system for collegiate athletes. However, there is no standardized system for collegiate dance programs. Thus, healthcare professionals working with dancers do not have baseline norms or standardized definitions when creating personalized management plans for collegiate dancers. To address this gap, certified athletic trainers from collegiate dance programs, including Donahue MS, ATC, came together to discuss how such a system could be developed.

    For the past five years, Donahue has provided full-time injury care and prevention to Dance students in the Joan Phelps Palladino School of Dance. As a member of the National Athletic Training Association (NATA) and a performing arts representative on the NATA’s Council of Practice Advancement, Donahue remains in frequent contact with other performing arts athletic trainers making strides to promote the growth of her practice and clinical care of the performing arts students at Dean.

    Last year, Donahue was joined by Assistant Professor of Dance Kristina Berger to present a movement workshop at the IADMS conference in Houston, TX, based on their work in the dance classroom entitled, The intelligent body: a collaborative exploration of athletic training and the Horton technique. Recent Dean College graduate and current Doctorate of Physical Therapy student at the University of Rhode Island Hailey Kasper ’18 was given the unique opportunity to travel and attend the 2017 IADMS conference with Donahue and Professor Berger.

    Dean College is currently the only collegiate dance program in New England to provide full time athletic training services for its Dance and Theatre students.

    To learn more about the dance program at Dean, visit

Take the next Step