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:


Psychological wellbeing in Dance – A survey of mental health and access to support in dancers

Project summary: This research project is being undertaken a by the University of Chichester, One Dance UK and Minding the Gap in relation to health and wellbeing in dance. The purpose of this project is to survey the experience of dancers’ psychological well-being and mental health and their experiences of relevant support services, and to understand if any changes have occurred since the results from Fit to Dance 2 were published in 2005. You are invited to participate in this research project because you are a dance student or dance professional.

Start date of the project: 01/07/20     End Date of the project: 01/01/2021

Start date of testing: 01/07/20            End date of testing: 01/12/20

Research Setting: Your participation will involve completing an online survey about your experiences in dance, which will take approximately 30-45 minutes of your time.

Confidentiality and ethical approval: All responses are anonymous –  it will not be possible to identify you at any stage of the research. Any personal information that could potentially identify you will be removed or changed before files are shared with other researchers or results are made public. There will be no link made between you as an individual and your place of study or employment. Any data collected as part of this research project will be stored securely. Data will be stored for a minimum of 5 years.

Inclusion Criteria (what type of person is needed): Dance students and professionals over the age of 18

Exclusion Criteria (what might prevent someone from being able to participate): anyone not aged 18 or older, and not a dance professional or student

Benefits to the participant: We hope that the study will lead to changes in provisions in mental health support, as well as a greater awareness of the impact of the dance environment on wellbeing in dancers.

Contact details: Dr Lucie Clements (University of Chichester, UK) Email:

Erin Sanchez (One Dance UK) Email: +4420 7713 0730

Kathleen Gaines (Minding the Gap, USA) Email:

Dr Moitree Banerjee (University of Chichester, UK)  Email: +44124381633

Information Behaviours of Dance Researchers and Archive Resources

Project summary: This PhD research project aims to identify and understand the behaviours of dance researchers (scholars, undergraduate dance students and postgraduate dance students) when searching for information within dance archives. This exploration will inform the creation of new dance archive information system. This investigation will be completed through a combination of online questionnaires, focus groups and observations.

Start date of the project: 09/2018

End Date of the project: 09/2021

Start date of testing:03/03/2020

End date of testing: 30/05/2020

Research Setting: An online questionnaire (LINK:

The online questionnaire will take approximately 20 minutes to complete and is hosted on Opinio (UCL approved survey software).

Confidentiality and ethical approval: This study has been approved by the UCL research ethics committee. Project ID number: 15717/001

Inclusion Criteria: This study is specifically focused on the experiences and behaviours of dance researchers. For the purpose of this research project the participant should be:

Undergraduate Dance student – must be 18 or over and enrolled on a (undergraduate level) dance degree program within the UK.

Postgraduate Dance Student – must be 18 or over and enrolled on a postgraduate

(taught or research) dance degree program within the UK

Academic/Scholar working within Dance – must be 18 or over and working within an institution within the UK.

Exclusion Criteria: N/A

Benefits to the participant: N/A

Contact details:

Name: Bethany Johnstone (lead researcher)



Twitter: @Johnstone_BL

A Survey Investigation of Pelvic Floor Symptoms in Female Professional Dancers

Project summary: This is an anonymous online survey study. The purpose of this study is to obtain information regarding pelvic floor-related symptoms in professional dancers. The results of this survey will be used to better understand how such symptoms affect dancers and will enable the medical community to more effectively intervene in the dance population.

Start date of the project: 03/16/2020

End Date of the project: 03/16/2021

Start date of testing: 03/16/2020

End date of testing: 01/30/2021

Research Setting: Anonymous survey completed online from anywhere in the world. Estimated time to complete is approximately 10 minutes.

Confidentiality and ethical approval: Ethical approval from California State University Institutional Review Board (as of 3/16/20). Survey data will be stored in a password-protected electronic format. No identifying information will be collected so the survey is completely anonymous.

Inclusion Criteria: Professional-level female dancers, age 18+, who currently/typically (outside of COVID-19 restrictions) train/perform a minimum of 25-30 hours per week.

Exclusion Criteria: N/A

Benefits to the participant: While there is no direct benefit to the participant, participants will be contributing to research that has potential to improve recognition and treatment for pelvic floor related symptoms in the dance community in the future.

Contact details: 

Name: Brooke Winder

Website: N/A

We are dancers, a dancer is me: Exploring identity fusion and multiple group membership on wellbeing in elite dancers undertaking identity transition through COVID-19

Project summary: The purpose of this study is to understand how dancers relate to their social groups in times of life change; with the present focus being on change associated with COVID-19.

Start date of the project: 22/04/2020

End Date of the project: 30/04/2021

Start date of testing: 11/08/2020

End date of testing: 30/09/2020

Research Setting: The current phase of the research is undertaken through an online survey that should take no longer than 15 minutes to complete.

Confidentiality and ethical approval: This study adheres to the Guidelines of the ethical review process of The University of Queensland and the National Statement on Ethical conduct in Human Research.

Inclusion Criteria: We are looking to engage participants who are professional dancers from all disciplines, that were employed at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic (Feb-March 2020 onwards), even if they have lost their employment due to COVID-19.

Exclusion Criteria: The current study only seeks to explore the experiences of current professional dancers. As such, for this study, dancers who were not employed at the time of the initial wave of the pandemic (Feb-March 2020 onwards) are excluded.

Benefits to the participant: Although this research may not directly benefit you today, sometimes completing these surveys can provide a reflective experience for participants. Further, your involvement will help us to better understand the way that people’s social relationships help ballet dancers in periods of change.

Contact details: 

Name: Tama Barry