Meet the Centre's staff and consultants
Nick Allen, Clinical Director
Nick Allen is the Clinical Director of the Birmingham Royal Ballet Companyís Jerwood Centre. He has a post graduate degree in Sports Medicine and completed his epidemiological based Doctoral dissertation in 2011. His research interests lie in optimising performance through screening, the relationship of vitamin D to injuries and performance, cardiac risk in dancers, and the management of tendinopathies. He has been invited to present at a number of conferences by various organisations, including the British Association of Sports Medicine, the Royal Society of Medicine, British Rheumatology Society, UK Sport, England Rugby, UK Strength and Conditioning Association and the English Institute of Sport. He is guest lecturer for the M.Sc. in Sports Medicine at Nottingham University and Queen Maryís University London. He is Birmingham Royal Balletís representative on the National Institute of Dance Medicine and Scienceís Steering Committee. Through the Jerwood Centre he has been asked to provide opinions on complex cases for other dancers as well as professional and Olympic athletes. Alongside this he has worked as an external Consultant to Great Britain Gymnastics, England and Great Britain Hockey, and the Lawn Tennis Associationís High Performance Centre. Prior to moving to Birmingham Royal Ballet he was Head of Medical Services for a top Premiership rugby club.
Sue Harris, Physiotherapist
Sue Harris is an experienced State Registered, Chartered Physiotherapist who joined Birmingham Royal Ballet in 2005. She started her physiotherapy career at the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, one of the leading university teaching hospitals, working in a variety of clinical settings including musculoskeletal outpatients, orthopaedics, respiratory, neurology and paediatrics. During this time Sue also became a Clinical Educator and a CSP Steward. As her career progressed Sue began to specialise in musculoskeletal physiotherapy. She now works predominantly with elite dancers, but also with professional and amateur athletes, professional and amateur musicians, professional and amateur actors, general sports and exercise enthusiasts, performing physical artists and students of the arts. Her work encompasses treatment and management of musculoskeletal injuries, functional screening to enhance performance whilst reducing the risk of potential injury, and education and exercise prescription to enhance fitness, conditioning and general well-being. Prior to becoming a physiotherapist Sue had a background in dance and sport and exercise fitness and uses this combination of experience in her work today. Sue has a BA (Hons) in Dance and Human Biology, BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy and an MSc in Sports and Exercise Medicine. She is also a member of the UK Strength and Conditioning Association and a registered practitioner and previous conference speaker with the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine. She has also contributed towards dance information leaflets for Dance UK and has provided educational talks on health and well-being to numerous organisations including the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
Lorcan McGee, Physiotherapist
Lorcan McGee is a fully licensed and insured Chartered Physiotherapist. He obtained his BSc (Hons) degree at the University Of Ulster Coleraine in Biological Science and then went on to complete his MSc in Physiotherapy at the Robert Gordon University Aberdeen. Lorcan is a member of the UK Strength and Conditioning Association, the Association of Chartered Physiotherapist of Sport and Exercise Medicine and the Acupuncture Learning and Integrated Educational Development. Alongside his full-time role at Birmingham Royal Ballet, Lorcan also works with Aston Villa FC, Leicester Tigers RFC and in private practice. Prior to his current position, Lorcan was the Head Physiotherapist for the Championship Rugby Union team Birmingham & Solihull Bees RFC. He also travels internationally with the rugby sevens team Samurai International. Lorcan was the Lead Physiotherapist to the GB University rugby sevens team who won the World University Championships in France in July 2012 and to the Irish University Menís Football Team at the World University games in Russia in July 2013.
Deborah Woodage, Company Physiotherapist
Deborah Woodage graduated from the University of Nottingham with an Honours degree in Physiotherapy. She is a musculoskeletal physiotherapist, with a particular interest in elite performance and sports injuries. She began her training in private practice where she developed her skills in manual therapy and exercise rehabilitation, whilst working with a number of professional and age-group athletes. In that time she also completed a qualification with the Acupuncture Association of Physiotherapists. Before joining Birmingham Royal Ballet, she worked in county cricket as well as undergraduate lecturing at Worcester University. Deborah is currently studying part-time for a Master's degree in Advanced Neuromusculoskeletal Physiotherapy at King's College London.
Jennifer Mills, Rehabilitation and Performance Coach
Jennifer trained at the Royal Ballet School before dancing with the Zurich Opera Ballet (1973-75), and as a Senior Soloist with the Sadlerís Wells Royal Ballet (1975-85). In 1990, after training in Pilates at the studios of Alan Herdman, Ron Fletcher, and Wee Tai Hom, she founded the Pilates and Body Conditioning Studio for The Royal Ballet Company and The Royal Ballet School, which she managed until 1995. After joining Birmingham Royal Ballet as Pilates and Body Conditioning Instructor, she was instrumental in setting up the Pilates Studio in the Jerwood Centre for the Prevention and Treatment of Injuries. Jennifer has since been involved in the rehabilitation, teaching, and some lecturing of dancers, teachers, and athletes with the National Ballet of Japan, British Gymnastics, Cirque Du Soleil, The Royal Ballet, the Dutch National Ballet, the Lawn Tennis Association, and Aston Villa F.C.Academy. She has also co-authored Stretching the Body for Birmingham Royal Ballet, teaching safe and effective methods of stretching, represented the company at the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science Conference, and provided lecture demonstrations, workshops, and exercise programmes out of The Patrick Centre, for the RAD & the Adeline Genee Awards, Dance Exchange Birmingham, and Elmhurst School for Dance.
Elizabeth Lee, Massage Therapist
Elizabeth qualified as a Remedial Sports Massage Therapist at the London School of sports massage in 2002. She worked in private practice predominately with athletes. In 2003 she joined Birmingham Royal Ballet on a part time contract, also touring with the company. In 2004 she qualified as a Pilates teacher with the Modern Pilates Association and this, together with her qualification as an Exercise to Music Instructor, which she gained in 1996, gave her a deeper understanding of the problems relating to ballet dancers.
Phil Birch, Soft Tissue Therapist
Phil qualified in 1984 with a diploma in Physiology, Anatomy and Massage. On joining Birmingham Royal Ballet in 1990 he went on to gain an LSSM Diploma, with a specific interest in dance related soft tissue injuries. In his time with Birmingham Royal Ballet, Phil has worked with Rudolph Nureyev, Sylvie Guillem and Darcey Bussell. Since 2010 Phil has also had a professional association working with the Physiotherapy Department at Elmhurst School of Dance.
Joan Duda, Sports Psychologist
Joan Duda is a Professor of Sport and Exercise Psychology in the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences at The University of Birmingham. She is internationally known for her expertise on motivational processes and determinants of adherence and optimal functioning within physical activities as well as the psychological and emotional dimensions of sport, exercise, and dance. Professor Duda also has extensive experience providing psychological support to dancers at all levels and within numerous genres. The University of Birmingham is the UKís top institution for Sport and Exercise Science and may be considered the hub of dance psychology research within the UK. The University of Birmingham will contribute dance psychology expertise to the applied and research endeavours of the NIDMS.
Nick Grantham, Strength and Conditioning
Nick has become recognised as a specialist in athletic preparation and has helped athletes at all levels achieve their personal goals and ambitions. Nick has worked in high performance sport for more than 10 years and has extensive experience of long term athlete development. As lead strength and conditioning coach to National Governing Bodyís and Home Institutes Nick has been responsible for the management, development and delivery of integrated physical preparation strategies for a wide range of sports.
Clive Heron, Podiatrist
Clive qualified from the Northern Ireland School of Podiatry in 1985. After working in the NHS in Birmingham for five years he became a full-time Lecturer at the Birmingham School of Podiatry for six years, specialising in Biomechanics and Sports Injuries. In 1996 he gained a Master of Philosophy (Science) Degree from the Biological Sciences and Sport Sciences Departments at Birmingham University. Clive has worked in private practice in Edgbaston, Birmingham, for the past 16 years, whilst continuing to teach part time, until recently, as a Final Year Clinical Tutor and Examiner. He has been Podiatrist to Birmingham Royal Ballet since 1998 and Elmhurst School of Dance since 2008.
Wendy Martinson, Nutritionist
Wendy Martinson is a Registered Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist (RSEN). She graduated from King's College, London, in 1987 with a Degree in Nutrition and a Diploma in Dietetics, and is a Registered Dietitian with the Health Professions council. She is also registered with the Sports and Exercise Nutrition Register. Wendy was a consultant for LOCOG in the run up to London 2012 Olympic games and was based at Eton Dorney during the Olympic games period as consultant Sports Nutritionist for the British Olympic Association supporting rowing and sprint canoe. She combines her work in sport with a Nutrition and Dietetic management role in the NHS, working for Whittington Health. She is currently the Lead Nutritionist for the Great Britain Rowing Team, Lead Performance Nutritionist (South) for the English Institute of Sport and Consultant Sports Nutritionist for Middlesex County Cricket Club and Birmingham Royal Ballet.
Britt Tajet-Foxell, Sports Psychologist
Britt was a chartered physiotherapist with the Royal Ballet Company for 20 years before retraining to become a Chartered Psychologist. She is an accredited European Psychologist and Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist. She is an Honorary Fellow at Goldsmith Colledge of the University of London due to her contributions to Performance Psychology. She has been the psychologist to the Royal Ballet Company for 20 years. She has also been the psychologist to the Central School of Ballet and English National School of Ballet for 14 years. She has been the Performance Psychologist to the British Olympic Association for 12 years and the Norwegian Olympic Association for 14 years.
Matthew Wyon, Exercise Physiologist
Matthew Wyon is a Professor in Dance Science at the University of Wolverhampton, UK and a visiting professor at HAN University, The Netherlands. At Wolverhampton he is the course leader for the MSc in Dance Science and Director of Studies for a number of dance science and medicine doctoral students. He is the chair of the IADMS Research Committee and sits on the Medical Advisory Committee of Dance UK and the IADMS Board. He is a certified strength and conditioning specialist (NSCA) and is the exercise physiologist for the Birmingham Royal Ballet and English National Ballet. He will be the university of Wolverhampton's representative on the NIDMS Steering Committee.