Research in Dance Medicine and Science

Research Participation Opportunities

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: hdp@onedanceuk.org.

 

The Female Athlete Triad: Does awareness match level of risk amongst elite ballerinas? A questionnaire-based study.

Project summary: The study’s purpose is to assess the knowledge and beliefs of the Female Athlete Triad and its health implications amongst pre-professional and professional ballet dancers, as well as looking for correlation between level of disease risk and depth of knowledge amongst this cohort. The research aims to determine whether education amongst elite ballet dancers is currently sufficient in matters relating to Women’s Health, and to view whether further health promotion is needed on this topic.

Start date of the project: 01/11/17   End Date of the project: 16/8/18

Start date of testing: 9/7/18           End date of testing: 27/8/18

Research Setting: Queen Mary Univeristy, London, Sports and Exercise Medicine masters. Online survey via surveymonkey https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/PWCFJSH

Confidentiality and ethical approval: Ethical approval via QMUL Ethics Committee, Questionnaires are anonymised and confidential

Inclusion Criteria (what type of person is needed):

  • Female
  • Ballet dancer
  • Professional or pre-professional level
  • Age 18-35

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

  • Male
  • Age <18 or >35
  • Contemporary, Jazz, or other type of dance other than Ballet
  • Student, non-(pre)professional dancers, coach
  • Identifiable data
  • Inadequately completed questionnaires

Benefits to the participant: Aiding research into identifying gaps for promotion of health education amongst cohort

Contact details:
Name: Stefanie Murphy  Mobile: 07760219712

Email: stefanie.murphy@smd17.qmul.ac.uk

Stress fractures profile in pre-professional and professional dancers and circus artists. A 12-month, questionnaire based, retrospective study design.

Project summary: A stress fracture can be defined as a partial or complete fracture of the bone that results from the repeated application of a stress in an area, lower than that required to fracture the bone in a single loading situation. With this study we aim to understand more about the stress fractures prevalence, anatomical site, treatment and outcome severity amongst dancers and performing artists. In particular we aim to find correlations between site of fracture and discipline, gender and rank in the Company.

Start date of the project: 01/11/17 End Date of the project: 14/09/18
Start data collection: 01/05/18 End date of testing: 14/09/18

Research Setting: Online questionnaire to be completed by the subjects, through surveymonkey.com: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/3PK87Q2 . 38 questions, estimated required time to complete the survey: 17 minutes.

Confidentiality and ethical approval: Queen Mary Ethics of Research Committee Ref: QMREC2014/24/158
– Recruitment of subjects will be strictly voluntary.
– Only subjects over 16 will be take in consideration for this study.
– Subjects who are interested in participating will be informed of the purpose and methodology of the study and its possible disseminations before being given both Information and Consent Forms.
– It will be clearly stated that all data will be anonymous and won’t be traced to any particular individual.
– Electronic data will be stored on a password protected PC. Access will be restricted to members of the research team.

Inclusion Criteria (what type of person is needed):

  • Pre professional and professional performing artists with and without diagnoses of stress fracture
  • Age range: 16-40 years old
  • Males and females
  • Ballet and contemporary dancers: corps, principles, soloists, apprentices and advanced students.
  • Circus artists: floor and aerial acrobatics, balancing.

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

  • Aged under 16 and older than 40 years old.
  • Singers, instrumentalists, jugglers, clown artists, equestrian artists.
  • Presence of any chronic or systemic illness

Benefits to the participant: A better understanding and definition of the injury will help in prevention and treatment. Especially considering that tibial and metatarsal stress fractures are source of great amount of time lost from training and performing in ballet dancers.

Contact details:
Name: Maria Chiara Galvan Mobile: 07931124248
Email: galvanchiara.mcg@gmail.com

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
Email: stephanie.L17@edu.trinitylaban.ac.uk

The Truth about the Menopause

Project summary: The Truth about the Menopause is a 60 minute popular science documentary that will go out on BBC One, probably in late autumn. It will be presented by Mariella Frostrup, who herself experienced some challenging symptoms herself when she was peri and post-menopausal. We want to bust some of the myth and taboo around the menopause and replace it with objective and pragmatic new science that will give women useable information and advice about how to manage their own symptoms as they go through what can be a very challenging stage in their lives. Most importantly, we want to start the conversation and get women (and men) talking about what for far too long, has been considered taboo. The section of the film that we have approached your Ballet class about will focus on bone health. We will be looking at 3 groups of women who regularly undertake different amounts and types of exercise. If you would like to be a part of it, please confirm the following details to ensure you are eligible for this particular study:
1. Please could you confirm your name, age, dance class and how long you have been dancing for
2. How long have you been experiencing menopausal symptoms?
3. Do you have any family history of osteoporosis?
4. How often do you dance and for how long each time?
5. Are you currently on HRT? [We are only recruiting women who are not on HRT]
6. Are you available on 28th June and 3rd July?
Start date of testing: 25/6/2018 End date of testing: 3/7/2018

Research Setting: Each lady in the group would undergo a DXA bone scan – this is a safe and short scan of the bones that measures bone density and would be carried out under the guidance of Karen Hind at Leeds Beckett University. These scans would be arranged on 28th June [although slots on Monday 18th, Tuesday 19th and Saturday 23rd may be available]. (exact time TBC) We will film the discussion of the results on July 3rd with Karen and Mariella. Once we have secured interest from 10-20 ladies across 1-2 dance groups, we will be able to confirm dates, times and arrangements. Travel expenses will be covered where possible. Thank you for your interest and for sending back this information- we will get back in touch if you are suitable!

Confidentiality and ethical approval: Ethical approval has been arranged by Karen Hind at Leeds Beckett University

Inclusion Criteria (what type of person is needed): Menopausal women between 45-55 years old, whose menopause symptoms started between 1 and 5 years ago, who are not on HRT and who dance 3 times a week for around an hour each time.

Exclusion Criteria (what might prevent someone from being able to participate): If they have been experiencing menopause symptoms for >5 years, if they are on HRT, if they have not been dancing for > 2 years, if they have/or are on medication for osteoporosis, if they are on steroid treatment, if they dance for less than 3 hours per week.

Benefits to the participant: Find out their bone health via a DEXA bone scan, raise awareness of menopause and its effects

Contact details:
Name: Dr Karen Hind, Dr. N. Keay BA, MA (Cantab), MB, BChir, MRCP
Email: nicky@nickykeayfitness.com

Dance screening practices in dance companies, dance schools and university dance programmes: A survey of current practices

Project summary: The primary aim of this study is to use an online questionnaire to determine current screening practices in dance companies/schools and university dance programmes including what tests are been performed, by whom and how the information is been utilised. Once current screening practices have been determined, the author will look to use the findings to make recommendations regarding future best practice. These findings may be potentially be used to develop a dance screening tool that can be used by dance companies and schools.

Start date of the project: 1/4/18 End Date of the project: 31/12/18

Start date of testing: 16/4/18 End date of testing: 31/12/18

Research Setting: An online survey is required to be completed which will take approximately 10 minutes – https://edgehill.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/dance-screening-19th-april

Confidentiality and ethical approval: Ethical approval has been provided by the Edge Hill University Ethics Committee. Reference number: SPA-REC-2016-356.

Inclusion Criteria (what type of person is needed): Dance teachers, university dance lecturers, physiotherapists, doctors. Anybody involved in dance screening.

Exclusion Criteria (what might prevent someone from being able to participate): None

Benefits to the participant: By taking part you will help to increase knowledge regarding current dance screening practices which will facilitate the development of best practice guidelines which will potentially improve the health and well-being of dancers and reduce injury risk.

Contact details:
Name: Ross Armstrong. Physiotherapist. Mobile: 07542917839.

Email: armsross@edgehill.ac.uk
Website: https://edgehill.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/dance-screening-19th-april

Can the higher prevalence of anterior tibial stress fractures in male classical ballet dancers, compared to male contemporary dancers be partially explained by an imbalance in lower leg muscle activity?

Project title: Can the higher prevalence of anterior tibial stress fractures in male classical ballet dancers, compared to male contemporary dancers be partially explained by an imbalance in lower leg muscle activity?

Project summary:
The objective is to measure 1) activity patterns in the lower leg when dancers jump during push off and landing, and 2) peak force and knee and hip flexion and extension angles. This will be done using electrodes attached to the lower legs, force plates (when landing) and motion analysis cameras. The tests will be run on 6 male ballet dancers and 6 male contemporary dancers for comparison of data.

The aim is to see whether there are patterns of muscle activation and muscle use imbalance in the lower legs of dancers when they jump, and to see if there are significant differences between ballet dancers and contemporary dancers. In this context muscle imbalance refers to the muscles at the back of the leg being activated to a greater extent to the front shin muscles. The hypothesis is that greater imbalance will be recorded in classical dancers compared to contemporary counterparts.

Start date of the project: 1/3/2018

End Date of the project: 31/07/2018

Start date of testing: 1/3/2018

End date of testing: 15/7/2018

Research Setting:
Test location: Human Performance Lab of Queen Mary University, Bancroft Road, Mile End, London E1 4DG

Test duration: 1 hour 30 minutes approximately. One session required only. Date and time to be arranged between volunteer and researcher.

Confidentiality and ethical approval: Ethics approval number QMREC2014-24-142
Confidentiality assured and detailed in volunteer information sheet and accepted with Ethics approval by Queen Mary University of London Ethics committee

Inclusion Criteria (what kind of person is needed):
6 male ballet dancers aged between 18 and 35 years old.
Must have been dancing ballet for at least 3 years
Must be currently dancing at least 2 hours per week

Exclusion Criteria (what might prevent someone from being able to participate):
Must not have had surgery on the lower limb
Must not have had previous ankle fractures
Must not have muscle myopathy in the leg
Must not currently suffer from degeneration or injury of the knee
Must not have suffered previous bony stress in the leg (ex. Anterior tibial stress fracture)

Benefits to the participant:
On the larger plan the aims of this project are to further understanding of injuries in dancers with view to reducing risks and preventing injury. An immediate and direct benefit for the volunteer is that their muscle activation pattern and strength will be measured by sophisticated equipment and the general interest to see what is possible in the Human Performance lab, and seeing the technical aspects of their art form.

Contact details:

Name: Sophie Devesse Mobile: 07852 880264

Email: s.o.e.devesse@smd17.qmul.ac.uk

Adults' perceptions of depression in high-performance environments

Project summary: The current study sought to examine the mental health literacy of individuals in different high-performance settings.

End date of testing: 31/7/2018

Research Setting: You will be asked to complete a short online questionnaire which should take approximately 30 minutes. The focus of these questions, along with collecting basic demographic details (none that will be able to identify you), will be on your perception of mental health issues and depression in particular. It is requested that you provide your answers in a quiet and private environment which allows you to think carefully when responding.

If you are interested in taking part in the present study, please visit https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/3BQ7JGT You can register interest and visit the survey link until I stop collecting data on 31st July 2018. Please understand that you will be unable to withdraw from the study once the survey has been completed. This means that you must withdraw from the study before the end of the survey.

Confidentiality and ethical approval: The information provided will be kept and analysed confidentially. Only the researchers involved in this study will have access to the data. The results will be part of my PhD project and might also be published as articles in different journals. If you would like to receive a summary of the results of this research, please email me at flebrun@uclan.ac.uk with the contact details you would like the results sent to. Data will be retained in accordance with the University of Central Lancashire’s policy on Academic Integrity and will be kept securely in electronic, password protected and encrypted form for 5 years from the end of the project. This project has been reviewed by the UCLan Research Ethics Committee for Business, Arts, Humanities, and Social Science (BAHSS No. 439). Should you have any concerns, you can contact our University Officer for Ethics at OfficerforEthics@uclan.ac.uk.

Inclusion Criteria: English speaking adults over 21 who currently or have recently been employed as either
– a professional artistic performer (e.g. music, dance),
– a professional athlete (success at elite level is an essential criterion for participation),
– a high-level soldier (who saw combat from first hand),
– or in a full-time job.

Exclusion Criteria: See inclusion criteria.

If you’d like to participate but do not match the present inclusion criteria, and if you are an English speaking young person aged between 18 and 21 who is currently part of:
– a sport academy (e.g. aspiring elite athlete),
– an artistic performing academy (e.g. aspiring elite musician or dancer),
– or in full-time education

Please visit the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QSP6ZSG

Benefits to the participant: There will be no direct benefit to you by taking part, but we intend that findings will inform research and better practice in order to offer context-specific psychological support.

Contact details:

Name: Florence Lebrun

Mobile: 07526 581 499

Email: flebrun@uclan.ac.uk

Young peoples' perceptions of depression in high-performance environments

Project summary: The current study sought to examine the mental health literacy of young individuals in different high-performance settings.

End date of testing: 31/7/2018

Research Setting: You will be asked to complete a short online questionnaire which should take approximately 30 minutes. The focus of these questions, along with collecting basic demographic details (none that will be able to identify you), will be on your perception of mental health issues and depression in particular. It is requested that you provide your answers in a quiet and private environment which allows you to think carefully when responding.

For more information about this study, please visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QSP6ZSG. You can register interest and visit the survey link until I stop collecting data on 31st July 2018. Please understand that you will be unable to withdraw from the study once the survey has been completed. This means that you must withdraw from the study before the end of the survey.

Confidentiality and ethical approval: The information provided will be kept and analysed confidentially. Only the researchers involved in this study will have access to the data. The results will be part of my PhD project and might also be published as articles in different journals. If you would like to receive a summary of the results of this research, please email me at flebrun@uclan.ac.uk with the contact details you would like the results sent to. Data will be retained in accordance with the University of Central Lancashire’s policy on Academic Integrity and will be kept securely in electronic, password protected and encrypted form for 5 years from the end of the project. This project has been reviewed by the UCLan Research Ethics Committee for Business, Arts, Humanities, and Social Science (BAHSS No. 439). Should you have any concerns, you can contact our University Officer for Ethics at OfficerforEthics@uclan.ac.uk.

Inclusion Criteria: English speaking young people aged between 18 and 21 who are currently part of:
– a sport academy (e.g. aspiring elite athlete),
– an artistic performing academy (e.g. aspiring elite musician or dancer),
– or in full-time education

Exclusion Criteria: See inclusion criteria.

If you’d like to participate but do not match the present inclusion criteria, and if you are an English speaking adult over 21 who currently or has recently been employed as either
– a professional artistic performer (e.g. music, dance),
– a professional athlete (success at elite level is an essential criterion for participation),
– a high-level soldier (who saw combat from first hand),
– or in a full-time job.

Please visit the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/3BQ7JGT

Benefits to the participant: There will be no direct benefit to you by taking part, but we intend that findings will inform research and better practice in order to offer context-specific psychological support.

Contact details:

Name: Florence Lebrun

Mobile: 07526 581 499

Email: flebrun@uclan.ac.uk