519 School of Hip Hop represents what Jim and I envisioned as London’s hub for artists to flex their creative muscles and to have an opportunity to share their talents through showcases, collaborative projects and educating the next generation. We also wanted to address the elephant in the room.

Artists are the most underserved population with regards to health and well-being.

If you are in the dance, visual arts or entertainment industry, your situation is likely very fluid. You work hard to land a booking, you go from one gig to another with varying work environments. Chances are you aren’t set up for a pension and you probably do not have access to extended health benefits. This poses a huge barrier for artists to seek medical treatment when they get injured or start developing problems. I really do feel for those that choose to work through their injury because they can’t afford NOT to work.

519 School of Hip Hop plans to bridge this gap for our artistic community through 519Physio wellness initiatives. We believe that the key to a healthy dance journey is to place value on fitness, injury prevention and self-care. It starts with adjusting your perspective. As an artist, do you consider yourself an athlete? Why or why not?

Check out this infographic –

There are so many similarities between performing artists and the classic definition of an athlete. The incredible demands on your body on top of the mental capacity needed to get through multiple full day rehearsals are real. The unique thing about being an artist athlete is the pressure of making your performance not only look flawless and effortless, but BEAUTIFUL, DOPE, or in technical terms: aesthetically pleasing. Another issue to consider is that dancers do not have an “off season” so emphasizing rest and recovery becomes even more important for longevity.

If an Olympic athlete has a team of sports medicine professionals including physiotherapists, athletic therapists, strength and conditioning coaches, massage therapists, sports medicine doctors…then shouldn’t our performing artists be able to access the same? After all, breaking is now an official Olympic Sport.

It’s time we start acting like it is.

519 School of Hip Hop Patreon members will have access to resources such as mobility and conditioning drills, functional movement evaluations and virtual wellness consultations for dancers. Stay tuned for more on performance, movement and #allthingsphysio

Mari Udarbe Han