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Royal Ballet and St Mary’s University create sports science partnership

Posted on July 20, 2016

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The Royal Opera House and the School of Sport, Health and Applied Science at St Mary’s University, Twickenham have announced a new partnership. Academics from St Mary’s will provide strength and conditioning and sports science support to dancers of The Royal Ballet, working with company’s clinical director, Greg Retter. They will also design bespoke programmes to enhance dance performance and recovery after injury.

The partnership will also provide research opportunities for the study of the mechanics behind ballet and professional dance. St Mary’s is offering a fully-funded position on its new Masters by Research degree, giving the St Mary’s student a unique opportunity to work and study in an internationally famous ballet environment.

Greg Retter said: “We’re very excited to be partnering with St Mary’s and look forward to working with their team to directly improve the health and well-being of dancers at The Royal Ballet, and to help influence a robust, evidence-based sports science model for the wider dance community.”

Photograph: courtesy of The Royal Opera House


Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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