Research in Dance Medicine and Science

Research Participation Opportunities

To advertise for research participants, please fill in the Healthier Dancer Programme_research opportunities form. Email completed forms to

There is a growing body of dance medicine and science-focused research that aims to improve our understanding of what it takes to produce healthy, high performing dancers. Remember that research cannot happen without participants, so as dancers, teachers, choreographers, and those actively working within the dance industry you have a very valuable role to play within the scientific research process.

Organisations such as The International Association for Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS) promote research excellence within the dance medicine and science community as well as producing resources to disseminate research recommendations within the wider dance community.

We know that many professional dance companies and vocational dance schools are frequently approached by researchers, undergraduate as well as postgraduate, to take part in their projects. In order to help prevent these dancers suffering from ‘research fatigue’, while encouraging participation in research, we have produced a checklist (below) for schools and companies to help you decide on the quality of research opportunities presented to you and prioritise those you take part in. These points could also apply to individuals in deciding whether to participate in research or not.

Research participation checklist:

  • Is the research at postgraduate level, with the intention for it to be published?
  • Is the research applied research that will have a practical bearing on dancers’ health, wellbeing, performance capabilities or education, on an individual level, organisational level or for the dance world at large?
  • Is the researcher planning to or have they sought input from dance professionals in choosing what to research and/or designing the research?
  • Is the researcher offering to provide feedback during and/or following the research that will be useful to the dancers and their work/training?
  • Have you or the researcher sought advice from One Dance UK’s HDP to ensure that this research project complements or adds to the research knowledge base and is not unnecessarily duplicating work already done?

If you can answer yes to these points it is likely to be worth your while taking part in a research project that may benefit dancers, company and the dance world at large.

Current opportunities:

Listed below are research projects being conducted by One Dance UK members, which are currently seeking participants. If you are interested in taking part please do get in touch with the researchers directly or if you have any questions or concerns contact the Healthier Dancer Programme:


DEAQ: Dance Energy Availability Questionnaire

Project summary: Low energy availability has been extensively researched in athletes involved in sport. To date, the situation amongst male and female dancers has not been investigated. The aim of this study is to assess awareness and risk of low energy availability amongst dancers, through a short online anonymous questionnaire. The findings from this study will help direct measures to optimise the health and performance of dancers in order to sustain a long and successful dance careers.

Start date of the project: 01/01/2019 

End Date of the project: 01/09/2020

Start date of testing: 28/04/2019

End date of testing: 01/06/2020

Research Setting: Online questionnaire completed anonymously, taking about 15 minutes can be completed anywhere worldwide.

Confidentiality and ethical approval: Ethical approval from Durham University 23/04/2019. Anonymous questionnaire all data securely held (see consent form at start of questionnaire)

Inclusion Criteria: Professional adult male and female dancers worldwide. All genres of dance invited to complete questionnaire.

Exclusion Criteria: Less than 18 years of age.

Benefits to the participant: The findings from the study will provide evidence and help direct measures to optimise the health and performance of dancers in order to sustain a long and successful dance careers.

Contact details:

Name: Dr Nicky Keay

Mobile: 07985 715740



Link to online DEAQ:

Age started en pointe and foot and ankle injury; a survey

Project summary: To look into the relationship between what age a dancer begins en pointe and foot and ankle injury rates. The questionnaire consists of three main domains including the profile of the participants, their experience en pointe and finally any foot and/or ankle injuries. This will then be analysed to see if there are any groups of people particularly at risk and look into how to address this problem.  This project is also being completed as part of academic accreditation for a BSc Physiotherapy degree.

Start date of the project: 01/09/18     End Date of the project: 15/03/19

Start date of testing: 07/11/18            End date of testing: 09/12/18

Research Setting: Institute – University of Nottingham
Questionnaire can be completed at any time up until 09/12/18 and should take no longer than 15-20 minutes to complete:

Confidentiality and ethical approval: This study has been granted ethical approval from the University of Nottingham Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences Research Ethics Committee. Reference number 76-1807.

All answers submitted by participants will be treated with strict confidentiality and are automatically anonymised. Answers will be stored on a password protected database and only authorised persons conducting the study and those who may check if the study is being carried out correctly will be able to have access.

Inclusion Criteria (what type of person is needed):

  • Participants aged between 18-30 years of age.
  • Participants have at least 6 months experience of dancing en pointe.
  • Participants had/have at least one class per week dancing en pointe.

Exclusion Criteria (what might prevent someone from being able to participate):

  • Aged under 18 or over 30.
  • Have less than 6 months experience of dancing en pointe.
  • Had/have less than one class per week dancing en pointe.


Benefits to the participant: There will be no personal benefits of participating in this study. The information provided by participants however, should allow a wider understanding of the relationship between what age a dancer begins en point and foot and ankle injuries.


Contact details:
Name: Hannah Wagg, Mobile: 07908010200, Email:



Understanding Attitudes towards Injury in Professional Musical Theatre Dancers

Project summary: This study seeks to better understand how professional dancers experience injury within Musical Theatre. Previous research in dance science has focused mainly on injury prevalence and causes but there is less research into what the more psychological aspects of injury are and how a dancer actually feels when they are injured. Injury can have a huge impact on a dancer, their identity and their lifestyle and although this is something that is starting to be looked at in Ballet and Contemporary dance styles, there is very little research into Musical Theatre Dancers who make up such a large part of the industry. This study will aim to better understand the demands of Musical Theatre relating to injury and inspire improved communication among dancers, employers and healthcare practitioners.

Start date of testing: 12/07/18 End date of testing: 13/07/18

(There can be some flexibility with this)

Research Setting: The research is being undertaken as part of an MSc Dance Science at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and will take the format of 1 private interview (Q & A) lasting approximately 60-90 minutes at a location to be negotiated between myself and the participant. The interviews are scheduled to take place on 12th and 13th July but there can be some flexibility around this.

Confidentiality and ethical approval: Approved by Trinity Laban Research Ethics Committee. Participation in this study and all data collected will remain confidential.

Inclusion Criteria (what type of person is needed): Professional Musical Theatre Dancers. Inclusion criteria:

– Members of Spotlight
– Have had at least 1 contract in the UK and/or on cruises showing West End scale productions
– Have trained at a school accredited by CDMT:Arts Ed, Bird, Bodywork, CPA, D&B, Italia Conti, Laines, Liverpool Theatre School, London Studio Centre, Masters Performing Arts, MADD, Millennium, Mountview, Performers, SLP, Stella Mann, Hammond, MGA or Urdang.
– Have had at least one injury* since training.
– Have been in employment at least twice during the last 3 years

*Injury is defined as: ‘A physical problem deriving from stress or other causes to do with performance, rehearsal, training, touring or the circumstances of dance life which affects your ability to participate fully in normal training, performance or physical activity.’ (Looking for a mixture of participants who HAVE and HAVEN’T reported injuries to employers and/or healthcare practitioners)

Exclusion Criteria (what might prevent someone from being able to participate):
– If you are not member of Spotlight
– If you have worked only outside of the UK
– If you haven’t trained at a CDMT accredited school.
– If you haven’t been injured at all since training
– If you haven’t been in employment during the last 3 years

Benefits to the participant: There are no immediate benefits, but it may be useful during interviews to reflect on past experiences for future practice.

Contact details:
Name: Stephanie Lock Mobile: 07912686494