As summer fades, as the leaves drop from the trees, and as the nights draw in (well, in the northern hemisphere anyway) this is one of my favourite times of the year. Not because the winter is coming or that one starts planning end of year festivities but because it's the time for the annual meeting of the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science.
Wherever it is in the world - Central Europe, Asia, or North America - one can be sure that as you walk into venue you'll bump into someone you met last year, see familiar faces who are at the leading edge of the dance science frontier, or be introduced to someone who has only recently heard about the organisation and is brimming with ideas to explore, challenge, and apply.
On so many different levels IADMS is special. I have never met so many intelligent yet humble and approachable scientists. And scientists who all want to learn, share and develop. Our annual meeting brings these people from the four corners of the globe for this very purpose. And it's celebrating 25 years of doing so.
To facilitate this sharing of knowledge, 14 clinical experiences have been sourced with internationally respected clinicians offering to spend quality one on one time with lucky individuals. I remember learning so much as a eager, young, developing physiotherapist from people who are still closely involved in the organisation; Marijeanne Liederbach at the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries in NYC, Sue Mayes of the Australian Ballet, and Sharon Morrison, former clinical director of the Jerwood Centre for the prevention and treatment of dance injuries in Birmingham, UK. Do you have a mentor who inspired you in the field or someone who you worked with who helped develop your scientific interests? These people helped to shape my clinical development and mentored me into the role I currently hold supporting the students at the Royal Ballet School in London.
Make sure you look out for the clinical experiences stand at the 2015 IADMS annual meeting in Pittsburgh and get your raffle ticket for the chance to learn from some our most inspiring members.
Alexander McKinven is chair of the Development Committee of IADMS