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Committee Chairs

Committee Chairs


Ellie Kusner, MSc

Chair, Dance Educators' Committee

Ellie Kusner is a teacher, researcher, writer, and Bessie Award-winning performer. She began performing as a student of The Boston Ballet School, where she danced with the company in many large-scale productions. Realizing that a career in pointe shoes was not her destiny, Ellie went on to earn her BA from Barnard College before embarking on a freelance dance career. She has worked with numerous choreographers including Mark Morris, Pam Tanowitz, Ellen Cornfield, Nilas Martins, and Patricia Hoffbauer, in venues ranging from warehouse rooftops to The Metropolitan Opera House. Ellie holds an MSc in Dance Science from Trinity Laban, London, UK and enjoys exploring and implementing evidence-based teaching practices to enhance the learning, health, and performance of dancers. Ellie has taught at various institutions including Hofstra University, American Ballet Theater’s JKO School, Boston Ballet, Barnard College, Slippery Rock University, Gallim, and Trinity Laban. She currently teaches pilates to dancers at The Juilliard School and to all populations in the Wellness Center at the Mark Morris Dance Center. Ellie is also the co-host of DanceWell Podcast, a resource dedicated to exploring 360 degrees of health and wellness for dancers, and she has written about dance and wellness for Dance Teacher and Pointe Magazines.


Clare Guss-West, BHum, MA

Chair, Dance for Health Committee

Transitioned professional dancer, choreographer, opera director to Chi Kung practitioner, therapeutic masseur, international holistic wellness managing director and author.

Today, Clare’s specialist work translates Attentional Focus research findings for direct daily dance practice. Findings are adapted as easy to use, complementary tools for dancers, dance educators and healthcare practitioners. Attentional focus strategies enhance the physical and mental performance of pre-professional, professional dancers and equally that of all dancing publics. Clare teaches AF workshops and class at Finnish National Ballet & School, Ballet de L’Opèra du Rhin, Houston Ballet, The Royal Ballet, L’Ecole Superieure de Danse de Cannes et Marseille, Opèra de Paris-Opèra Université. She lectures on Older Adult Dance Practice for the MAS Dance Science programme, Bern University, Switzerland, for the University Côte d’Azur, France and for the Royal Academy of Dance.

Director of the European ‘Dance & Creative Wellness’ Foundation, Clare leads an international benchmarking initiative for the dance for health sector and lobbies for the validation of dance in innovative preventative healthcare.


Andrea Kozai, MSc, CSCS

Chair, Development Committee

Andrea Kozai is a freelance ballet and modern dancer and owner of Virtuoso Fitness, LLC, a consultancy offering wellness teaching and training for dancers and dance instructors. Andrea received her BS with a double major in Exercise Science and Dance from Skidmore College, and earned her MSc (Distinction) in Dance Science from the University of Wolverhampton. Her research interests include quantifying daily workloads in dancers and determining optimal conditioning methods for injury mitigation and performance enhancement. She attended her first IADMS Annual Meeting in 2002, and was the 2004 Student Research Award recipient. Since then she has presented at numerous Annual Meetings and has been published in the Journal of Dance Medicine and Science and the Bulletin for Teachers. Andrea's service to IADMS began in 2005 as a founding member of the Student Committee, and has included co-chairmanship of the Student Committee, membership of the Development Committee, and chairmanship of the 2015 Host Committee. She resides in Pittsburgh, PA, USA.


Matthew Wyon, PhD, MSc

Chair, Professional Development Committee

Matthew Wyon, PhD, is a Professor in Dance Science at the University of Wolverhampton, UK and a Visiting Professor at the Division of Surgery and Intervention Science, Institute of Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Science, University College London and ArtEZ, Institute of the Arts, 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 candidates. He is a founding partner of the National Institute of Dance Medicine and Science, UK. Prof. Wyon is a past chair of the Research Committee for the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science. He has worked with numerous dancers and companies within the UK and Europe as an applied physiologist and strength and conditioning coach. He has published over 90 peer-reviewed articles in dance medicine and science.


Alexander McKinven, PT, MSc

Chair, Program Committee

Alexander McKinven trained at The Arts Educational School in London, UK, in musical theatre. He has combined a career performing professionally with a career in physiotherapy, gaining his postgraduate MSc from King’s College, London.  Alexander has been involved with IADMS since 1997.  At the IADMS Annual Meetings, he has presented on several occasions including topics from his master’s research based on the work of Dr. Marijeanne Liederbach on the biomechanical effect of shoe heel height on jump landing in female dancers.  He is an enthusiastic advocate of the dance science and medicine community and currently works as one of a team of physiotherapists at the Royal Ballet School in London (UK) where his role involves educating and implementing dance science into the school’s curriculum, aiming to produce informed and healthy dancers.


K. Michael Rowley, PhD

Chair, Promotion Committee

K. Michael Rowley, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Physical Therapy in the Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy at the University of Southern California. He conducted his dissertation research on coordination patterns of the trunk during dynamic balance in persons with recurrent low back pain under the advisement and mentoring of Dr. Kornelia Kulig. He also led lab group projects investigating dancers with and without flexor hallucis longus tendinopathy ("dancer’s tendinitis") and researching exercises to prevent and treat this common condition. Michael is originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He completed his undergraduate study at the University of Delaware with degrees in exercise science and biological sciences and a minor in dance and his graduate education at the University of Southern California with a PhD in Biokinesiology. He has performed and choreographed with the Rudy Perez Dance Ensemble, Los Angeles, California; UD Dance Minor Program, Newark, Delaware; Nova Dance Company, Wilmington, Delaware; and Rev9 Dance Company, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.


Frances Clarke, MSc

Chair, Publications Committee

Frances Clarke is Senior Lecturer and the Course Leader for BA(Hons) Dance at the University of Wolverhampton, UK, and a member of the Research Centre for Sport Exercise and Performance. In a performance career spanning over three decades she worked as a dancer in the UK and abroad and as Artistic Director of Springs Dance Company. In education, she has founded and led a number of dance departments in the UK (secondary and FE), and been an advisor for the BBC, Birmingham Royal Ballet Education, Rosie Kay Dance Company, Centre for Advanced Training, the University of Oxford, and the University of Cambridge. Originally trained at Arts Educational Schools, she gained a BA(Hons) in Dance Theatre from Trinity Laban, London. Following her interest in dance science, she received an MSc (Distinction) in Dance Science from the University of Wolverhampton and is currently a PhD candidate at that institution, looking at balance within dance populations. Frances’s research interests focus primarily on the application of dance science to enhance dance training and performance. In particular, she is interested in the development of balance testing and training for dancers. Other research interests include performance enhancement, the effects of dance footwear on stability, the use of performance profiling, imagery and self- talk in dance training and performance, and performance enhancement mentoring for professional teachers and artists. Frances regularly presents her research at international conferences and has presented original research at the last seven IADMS Annual Meetings, winning the President’s Prize for Poster Research in 2007. She was on the host committee for the 20th IADMS Annual Meeting in Birmingham, UK. She has co-authored a number of peer-reviewed journal papers in Medical Problems of Performing Artists and the International Journal of Sports Medicine. Frances is a reviewer for International Journal of Sports Medicine, Journal of Dance Medicine & Science, and Research in Dance Education.


Derrick Brown, MSc

Chair, Research Committee

Derrick Brown is currently co-program manager and lecturer in dance science at the University of Bern, Institute for Sport Science, Bern Switzerland. In addition he also is a research fellow at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (the Netherlands) as well as guest lecturer in health at ArtEZ University of the Arts and the Coronel Institute of Occupational Health, People and Work- Academic Medical Center Amsterdam, both in the Netherlands. He obtained his M.Sc. in Dance Science with honours from the University of Wolverhampton U.K. and is a certified Sport/Performance Nutritionist (CISSN). Derrick has peer-reviewed for several international journals and is currently an editorial board member for the Journal of Dance Medicine & Science. He has (co)authored numerous peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and books on dance education and performance. Derrick is currently a doctoral candidate in his final year at Radboud University, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour (the Netherlands) where his research crosses empirical theories in cognitive and experimental psychology with queries in dance performance research.

Prior to academia, he worked for thirty-five years professionally in the dance world, first as a dancer, teacher and rehearsal director. He danced with Peridance, Ballet Manhattan, Pretty Ugly Dance Company, Itzik Galili, and for 10 years with the Mark Morris Dance Group. He has taught ballet for classical and contemporary dancers in dance institutions and companies throughout the EU including Codarts University of the Arts, Amsterdam University of the Arts, Les Ballet de Monte-Carlo, Noord Nederlands Dans, Staatsoper Hannover, The Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden, and Culberg Ballet.


Elizabeth Yutzey, MFA

Chair, Student Committee

Elizabeth Yutzey started contemporary dance training in Columbus, OH before continuing to study dance at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA, where she completed a dual BA (Hons) in Dance and Anthropology. Since then, she has performed with various local dance artists and showcased her own choreography in Lancaster, PA and London, UK. Elizabeth came to Dance Science after briefly working professionally as an archaeologist with a specialization in bioarchaeology. She has since completed her MFA in Dance Science at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London, UK. Her research focuses on evaluating methods of measuring creativity in dance science and was presented as a poster at the 2018 annual IADMS conference in Helsinki. Elizabeth recently completed her role as Dance Science Graduate Intern for Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, which included administering musculoskeletal and fitness screenings, lecturing MSc Dance Science students on laboratory methods, and leading various dance science workshops to young dancers and university students across the UK. Elizabeth has been a member of IADMS since 2012 and Chair of the Student Committee since 2018.


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