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: 31/12/20

Research Setting: Your participation will involve completing an online survey about your experiences in dance, which will take approximately 20 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



What are the important qualities for jumping?

Project summary:This is an exploratory investigation on the dance teacher’s perception of the qualities that are important in jumping.

Start date of the project: 25/11/2020

End Date of the project: 01/03/2021

Research Setting: Anonymous online survey – estimated completion time is 10 minutes

Confidentiality and ethical approval: If there are any questions regarding this study please contact the principal investigator Dr Nico Kolokythas ( If there are any concerns or complaints regarding this project, then one may email the research ethics committee  ( at the University of Wolverhampton.

Inclusion Criteria: Dance teachers over the age of 18

Benefits to the participant:We hope that this study will improve the understanding and communication between science and practice.

Contact details: 

Name: Nico Kolokythas



Impact of Breast Size on Dancers

Project summary: This short questionnaire aims to discover common experiences and trends among dancers and teachers in order to determine valuable and applicable paths of future research. This is the beginning stage of an expanded study on the biomechanical impact of breast size on dancers.

Start date of the project: 11/11/2020

End Date of the project: 09/09/2021

Start date of testing: 17/05/2021

End date of testing: 28/05/2021

Research Setting:

Testing will be done at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, in the Dance Science Lab.

Participating in this research consists of 4-5 short basic biomechanical and physiological tests including: a brief sit-and-reach flexibility gauge, center of gravity analysis, and displacement of mass and tissue during a small bout of jumping. Participants will also have their chest measurements taken. All together the appointment will run for one hour and participants are offered access to all their own data.

Dates of testing are May 17th – May 28th 2021 from 14:00-20:00.

Confidentiality and ethical approval:

Ethics granted through Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance

Inclusion Criteria:

Ages 18+.

London-based cis-gender female dancers and instructors, non-binary dancers with mammary breast tissue, transgendered dancers currently with mammary breast tissue that do not use binding techniques as a means of gender expression. Dancer is defined as anyone participating at any level, in any style of movement, however ANY experience in contemporary or ballet is preferred.

Exclusion Criteria:

At this time, we are not taking data from cis-gender male movers or dancers with no experience living with mammary tissue.

Benefits to the participant:

Researchers hope to use the results of this study to increase body positivity, individual physical and mental health, and pedagogical changes within the dance community.

Contact details: 

Name: Amelia Millward


Back Pain in Hip-hop / Breaking dancers in Cyprus

Project summary:The aim of the project is to measure and assess acute, chronic and no low back pain in Greek-speaking hip-hop and bboys/bgirls. This is a descriptive study aiming to shed some light for future studies on the dance genres of hip-hop and breaking, led by a hip-hop dance scientist.

Start date of the project: 03/08/2020

End Date of the project: 20/06/2021

Start date of testing: 27/11/2020

End date of testing: 27/03/2021

Research Setting:

European University Cyprus – testing locations are within dance schools or online. Testing session duration is between 15-50 minutes – sessions take place in the form of one-one’s.

Confidentiality and ethical approval:

Ethics granted by Cyprus National Committee of Bioethics

Inclusion Criteria:

18+ years old, greek-speaking, Cypriot or Greek. Dancers who practice 3+ hours / week Hip-hop or Breaking. Dancers who have been dancing Hip-hop or Breaking 1+ year. Dancers or dance teachers of Hip-hop or Breaking.

Benefits to the participant:

The participants will offer their data to be part of the first study of Greek-speaking hip-hop/breaking dancers, putting these genres on the map and expanding the scientific literature. They will also be able to learn about the study, and ask any questions about their results after the end of the study.

Contact details: 

Name: Nefeli Tsiouti


Impact of amenorrhea (no periods) on identity amongst female dancers

Project summary: Investigation into dancers’ understanding of personal experience of not getting/losing their period and its physical, psychological and emotional impacts on their lives, particularly looking at identity and social relationships.

The research is for an International Baccalaureate qualification (equivalent A level) – Social Anthropology fieldwork.

Start date of the project: 22/02/2021

End Date of the project: 01/07/2021

Start date of testing: 22/02/2021

End date of testing: 12/04/2021

Research Setting:

An informal interview (around 30 mins to 1 hour) to be conducted online over Zoom. Dates and times arranged to suit.

Confidentiality and ethical approval:

All participants have the right to remain anonymous.

The final product of the research will be communicated back to the participants.

This project adheres to the European Commission code of ethics for anthropologists

Inclusion Criteria:

Females dancers who have experienced primary amenorrhea (never had their period)

Female dancers who have experienced secondary amenorrhea (period stopping after having started)

Benefits to the participant:

Will receive a copy of the final results

The opportunity to help other girls entering/ already in the world of dance who are at risk of losing their period/ have lost it and are trying to regain it

If  still experiencing amenorrhea, gain connections to a community of other women in the same situation

The chance to talk through and share one aspect of their life.

Contact details: 

Name: Emma Troman 

Morton’s neuroma in dancers - A survey of dancers and health care professionals treating dancers

Project summary:

Morton’s neuroma involves a damage to the nerves leading to your toes and can cause a sharp, burning pain in the foot. Treating Morton’s neuroma in dancers can be challenging because of the high demand on foot movements and the influence of specific shoes that dancers wear. Therefore, this project aims to collect information of Morton’s neuroma in dancers from dancers with a history of this injury and healthcare professionals who have experience in treating dancers with it to improve treatment and prevention.

Start date of the project: 22/02/2021

End Date of the project: 31/03/2021

Start date of testing: 22/02/2021

End date of testing: 31/03/2021

Research Setting:

This is an online survey. The link to the survey will be sent to the participants and will take about 10 to 15 minutes to complete the questionnaire.

Confidentiality and ethical approval:

This research is approved by Imperial College Research Ethics Committee. The participants’ names will not be asked so the survey is completely anonymous.

Inclusion Criteria:

– Dancers who have diagnosed as Morton’s neuroma before or is are experiencing Morton’s neuroma now.

– Healthcare professionals who are treating dancers and have experience in treating Morton’s neuroma.

Any type of dance is eligible for this study.

Benefits to the participant:

There is no reimbursement but the results would contribute to improving the prevention and treatment of Morton’s neuroma in dancers.

Contact details: 

Name: Mai Katakura


A study into the development of digital access and inclusion within the dance sector

Project summary:

In the current global pandemic, many dance organisations and dance resources have been driven online and distributed digitally. This study explores the impacts that this ‘digital boom’ has had on disabled artists & audiences, especially in regards to access. This investigation also seeks solutions to issues faced by disabled participants, audiences and/or artists aiming to access the arts, as well as challenges faced by organisations striving to improve inclusion and access.

Start date of the project: 03/03/2021

End Date of the project: 04/05/2021

Start date of testing: 03/03/2021

End date of testing: 03/04/2021

Research Setting:

Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts. All interviews will be conducted either online, via email or by telephone, and will last for approximately 1 hour. Testing will take place Mondays-Fridays 9am-7pm, and on weekends 10m-6pm.

Confidentiality and ethical approval:

All data is confidential, and will be managed and stored in a safe and appropraite manner.

This research is conduced in-line with the LIPA code of ethics policy.

Inclusion Criteria:

Participants must be; from disability led or non disability led dance organisations; or are disabled dance artists, blind/partially sighted or deaf.

Benefits to the participant:

This research will contribute to the creation of an updated access and inclusion policy (with a digital emphasis) for Merseyside Dance Initiative. Participants knowledge and experiences will help to implement access and inclusiveness into the organisation, online dance programmes, online resources, marketing and website, to ensure that everyone is welcome and everyone can access dance.

Contact details: 

Name: Grace Bell


Contact number: 07957568724


How does childhood early sport specialisation affect injury risk in dancers: a questionnaire based study.

Project summary:

The purpose of this study is to investigate if there is a link between specialising in ballet or contemporary dance from a young age and an increase in risk of injury. More often now than ever before, children are specialising in one sport from a young age in hope of achieving elite status. However, there is evidence that overuse injuries can occur in adults if they train for a long time.

Start date of the project: 17/01/21

End Date of the project: 19/07/21

Start date of testing: 23/03/21

End date of testing: 04/05/21

Research Setting:

Online questionnaire to be completed once, should take no longer than 30 minutes.


Confidentiality and ethical approval:

All responses are anonymous

Approved by Queen Mary Ethics committee. QMERC reference number :QMREC2018/48/064.

Inclusion Criteria:

Ballet/contemporary dancers aged 18-30 who are are currently still training/performing and have been for the past 3 years.

Benefits to the participant:

The research will have benefits for the training of children in the future. Coaches and teachers that are aware of this research will, if successful, know whether children should specialise in a specific sport at a very young age or should in fact focus on improving their all-round fitness, endurance, balance and flexibility and consider specialising at a slightly older age so as to reduce their injury risk. This will be helpful for the whole dance community.

Contact details: 

Name: Georgia Hylton


Contact number: 07773249073


The Female Athlete Triad: Is there a relationship between knowledge and risk levels amongst elite ballet/ contemporary dancers?

Project summary:

The purpose of the study is to examine the understanding and risk of the Female Athlete triad (FT) in professional and pre-professional ballet dancers. The study is looking at how much elite female ballet/contemporary dancers know about certain aspects of Women’s Health to identify any areas that may need further education. The study involves filling out a questionnaire with 40 questions relating to participants’ knowledge of the ”Female Athlete Triad”. There will be some questions about health and behaviours concerning health. Participants will not need to meet with the researchers or travel anywhere. There will be no follow up.

Start date of the project: 15/11/2020

End Date of the project: 01/06/2021

Start date of testing: 24/03/2021

End date of testing: 20/05/2021

Research Setting:

This is an online questionnaire based study, meaning participants will not be required to travel anywhere or meet researchers in person.

 Confidentiality and ethical approval:

All data will be fully anonymous as we will not ask you to provide any identifiable data. Only the researchers and research supervisors will be able to access it. The data will be stored on the mobile devices of the researchers. Security will be maintained by using randomly generated strong passwords to protect the data in an excel document and online on the Online Surveys platform. Ethical approval has been given from the Queen Mary University Ethics Committee (QM research committee ethics number: QMREC/2014/24/159).

Inclusion Criteria:

18-35 year old female professional and pre-professional ballet or contemporary dancers

Exclusion Criteria:

Below 18 years of age, Over 35 years of age, male dancers, recreational dancers, dancers who don’t do ballet/contemporary, if unable to read and write in English

Benefits to the participant:

Participating in this research should help to inform the need and content of potential education programmes regarding FT. This should help improve the health outcomes of professional and pre-professional dancers by increasing awareness about FT. This could potentially assist in preventing the development of the disorder or help to identify the disorder earlier leading to less complications.

Contact details: 

Name: Dr. Manuela Angioi


Contact number: +44 2082238517


Sleep for Performing Artists

Project summary:

This study aims to investigate performing artists’ perceptions of their sleep, to compliment further research looking at how sleep interacts with performers’ wellbeing. This survey seeks to understand how performing artists perceive their sleep, as well as how important they regard sleep to be to their lives and careers

Start date of the project: September 2019

End Date of the project: June 2021

Start date of testing: 17/12/2020

End date of testing: 28/04/2021

Research Setting:

Online survey

Confidentiality and ethical approval:

All participants must be aged 18 or over. The data being collected in this study are for the purpose of part fulfilment of the MFA Dance Science at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. They will be used in the final thesis of the researcher (Reena Bhattacharjee) and may be used in further research or published after completion. You may withdraw at any point during the answering of questions, up until the final submission at the end. All data collected are anonymous, and as such, once you have completed and submitted the survey you will not be able to withdraw your participation. This study has obtained ethical approval from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, and the research project is being supervised by Dr James Brouner of Kingston University Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing.

Inclusion Criteria:

This survey is suitable for all performing artists – dancers, musicians, actors, musical theatre performers – and beyond (circus, physical theatre, etc). You can participate no matter your involvement – whether you are a (full or part time) performer, teacher, student, academic/researcher, amateur participant, etc.

Benefits to the participant:

Contributing to the wider understanding of dancers and wellbeing.

Contact details: 

Name: Reena Bhattacharjee


Contact number: 07983338158


Vulnerability in Children & Young People; the effects of the pandemic online & offline. Social, Educational & recreational contact.

Project summary:

This study is an interview-based study looking at how adults who maintained online contact with CYP during the pandemic facilitated the contact. For this study I am looking for a range of participants from Education, sports, leisure, clubs, religious and family areas.

Start date of the project: September 2020

End Date of the project: June 2022

Start date of testing: 01/03/2021

End date of testing: 31/12/2021

Research Setting:

Online interview of approximately one hour

Confidentiality and ethical approval:

University of Nottingham. All interviews will be recorded transcribed and anonymised.

Inclusion Criteria:

Any adult who has interacted with Children and/or Young People online during the Covid 19 pandemic. These including dance teachers, but also those in other educational, social, club, sports, religious, family (extended and outside the CYP’s household) or other contexts.

Exclusion criteria:

No Online contact with CYP during the pandemic.

Benefits to the participant:

We believe that the sessions will help to inform us about the way adults responded to this challenge, what was easy and what was hard. This could help inform further training and support for people in the future. In addition, the information you provide us may help us to help others to be comfortable interacting with CYP in different mediums. It is hoped that the publications will allow ideas and experiences to be shared and that we can therefore learn from each other’s experiences.

Contact details: 

Name: Mel Wilson


Contact number: 0116 2600020


Novel Knee Strengthening Protocol for Knee Stability in Dancers

Project summary:

The project aims to investigate a new training protocol, to improve knee strength and stability. Participants will be allocated to one of two training groups and will follow an allocated training plan for 6 weeks. Everyone will be required to record themselves while performing two knee strength and stability assessments, 6 weeks apart.

You will receive a comprehensive guide on how to perform the exercises/assessments and how to follow the training plan.

Start date of the project: 04/05/2021

End Date of the project: 10/09/2021

Start date of testing: 24/05/2021

End date of testing: 11/07/2021

Research Setting:

This research is undertaken by Alissa Nehrlich, an MSc Nutrition and Exercise student at the University of Central Lancashire. All testing will take place in the participants’ own place of training or home (an approx. 2x2m space is required). Participants will be tested on their knee strength and stability two times, six weeks apart and can choose time of testing within this timeframe. Depending on the allocated training group involvement will take a maximum of 15-20 minutes 3x a week, for 6 weeks, plus 15-30 minutes for the two assessments.

Confidentiality and ethical approval:

Ethical approval has been granted through the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). All data will be managed in accordance with GDPR guidelines and all participants details will be anonymised.

Inclusion Criteria:

-Fulltime pre-professional training students (e.g. vocational school, performance based degree) with a minimum of 3 years dance experience.

-Be 18-25 years of age

-Be injury free and have been for the past two years (lower extremity injuries and neck injuries)

-Be able to record yourself using your phone camera

Benefits to the participant:

By participating you will benefit from the access to a knee strengthening protocol which may improve your knee stability.

You will also contribute to research which could potentially benefit people in the future.

Contact details: 

Name: Alissa Nehrlich



The Effects of COVID-19 on the Mental Health and Wellbeing of Dance Freelancers

Project summary:

The project seeks to understand whether and how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the mental health and wellbeing of dance freelancers. The research aims to identify specific opportunities and challenges for experiencing good mental health and wellbeing in dance freelancers over the course of the pandemic, as well as their perceived opportunities and challenges for experiencing good mental health and wellbeing once the pandemic has been controlled and restrictions to halt the spread of COVID-19 are no longer in place.

Start date of the project: 11/05/2021

End Date of the project: 06/09/2021

Start date of testing: 11/05/2021

End date of testing: 20/06/2021

Research Setting:

The research comprises of a single interview lasting no more than an hour. All interviews will take place online via Zoom or Microsoft Teams and will be audio recorded. Participants are able to discuss their availability for the interviews with the researcher via email.

Confidentiality and ethical approval:

Ethical approval has been obtained by the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Birmingham. Participants data will remain confidential. The signed informed consents forms, audio recordings and interview transcripts will be kept on separate password protected files on a password protected computer. The transcripts will not include any identifiable information of the participants or anyone they mention during their interviews. The audio recordings and transcripts will be deleted off of personal devices once the research has come to an end but all interview transcripts will be stored securely and confidentially by the University for ten years, in accordance with the University’s Data Protection and Records Management Policies. Any dissemination projects resulting from the research will not contain any identifiable information of the participants or those that they have mentioned and where direct quotes are used, they will be pseudoanonymized.

Inclusion Criteria:

Eligible participants need to be over the age of 18, working in a freelance capacity in the dance sector in the United Kingdom.

Exclusion Criteria:

Participants who are under the age of 18, not working freelance or not residing in the United Kingdom are not eligible for the research.

Benefits to the participant:

All participants will be given either a £20 Amazon or a £20 One4All multi-store gift card as a thank you for their participation in the project. Additionally, by sharing your thoughts and experiences with us you will help us identify areas where the freelance dance sector could benefit with additional support for their mental health and wellbeing.

Contact details:

Name: Maria Kolitsida