Watch our journey

Our vision

The La Trobe University and The Australian Ballet partnership draws on the strengths of both organisations. Each recognises the exciting potential to create a world-leading centre of excellence and generate new and recognised knowledge, skills, and rehabilitation and training programs. This mutually beneficial partnership will offer innovative new research insights and provide La Trobe students with exclusive access to industry experience.

How it all began

La Trobe and The Australian Ballet have informally collaborated on research for the past three years, with the official partnership announced in March 2017. The unique collaboration will capitalise on La Trobe’s research strengths and The Australian Ballet’s world-renowned injury prevention and rehabilitation teams.

The partnership evolved through the collaboration of La Trobe’s professor in musculoskeletal health, Professor Jill Cook and The Australian Ballet’s Principal Physiotherapist and Medical Team Manager, Adjunct Fellow Sue Mayes. Both leading international experts in their respective fields.

Opportunities for La Trobe students

As the Exclusive Research and Learning Partner for The Australian Ballet, the partnership will offer La Trobe students unique opportunities to gain experience with The Australian Ballet. These opportunities will encompass both working with the ballet’s elite athletes and experiencing the ‘behind the stage’ business world of creating spectacular performances.

Discover the internship opportunities available

Current research

Together,  La Trobe and The Australian Ballet aim to become world leaders in the science of dance, to help inform the prevention and treatment of some of the most common musculoskeletal conditions in the dance, sporting and wider community. Initially this includes hip, ankle, ligament injuries and osteoarthritis – with the potential to expand into other health concerns.

Four research projects commenced at La Trobe in January 2017, focusing on ankle mechanics, hip health, hip hypermobility and the size of the hip muscle.

Our early research outcomes

Hip Joint Heath in Professional Ballet Dancers

Supported by La Trobe’s Professor Jill Cook, Sue Mayes completed her PhD, Hip Joint Heath in Professional Ballet Dancers, in early 2017. To date, seven papers have been submitted, with five of these published in high quality sports medicine and radiology journals.

Sue’s original findings have been presented worldwide to educate dancers, ballet teachers and health professionals who care for injured dancers and athletes. The research findings and The Australian Ballet’s approach to hip injury prevention was recently presented at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) 2017 World Conference on Prevention of Injury and Illness in Sport, in Monaco, France.

Motion capture

*Photos by Ren Pidgeon

Watch the motion capture animation below: