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The International Association for Dance Medicine & Science was formed in 1990 by an international group of dance medicine practitioners, dance educators, dance scientists, and dancers. Membership is drawn equally from the medical and dance professions, and has grown from an initial 48 members in 1991 to over 900 members at present world-wide, representing 35 countries.

The organization has held an Annual Meeting since its inception, drawing several hundred participants each year. Beginning in 1997, a separate Day For Teachers has been held before or after the annual meeting. In 2005, a Special Interests Group (SIG) Day was held in association with the Annual Meeting for the first time. Subsequent SIG Days have included separate programs for: dance educators; physiotherapists and other allied health professionals; dance movement researchers; perceptuo-motor learning and dance kinesiology teachers; medical doctors; orthopaedic surgeons; and students. Recent SIG Days have focused on musculoskeletal medicine and are open to all interested delegates. Click here for a complete table of past Annual Meetings (renamed to "Annual Conferences" in 2016).

IADMS was formed to foster several related goals in the dance medicine and science field; the purposes and objectives of the organization are summarized in its Mission Statement:

IADMS enhances health, well-being, training, and performance in dance by cultivating medical, scientific, and educational excellence.

IADMS has always striven to promote an international network of communication between dance and medicine.

Note on pronunciation:
The International Association for Dance Medicine & Science community often does not refer to the Association by its complete name. Instead, in conversation the acronym "IADMS" is used. The most common pronunciation of the acronym is 'eye-adams' with the accent on the 'ad' ('eye-AD-ams').

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