Research Participation Opportunities

Find out why you should consider getting involved with research, and how you can advertise your opportunities too

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.

White female dancer with long red hair running on a treadmill wearing face-mask to measure cardiovascular fitness. White male physiologist looking over to observe stats on the machine. In a white laboratory setting with a window in the background

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:

Project summary: 

Athletes are known to avoid disclosures of mental health vulnerabilities due to fear of career-related repercussions such as selection loss, less competition opportunities, or contract non-renewal. This is underpinned by a reluctance to demonstrate perceived weakness in order to avoid negative consequences.

The International Olympic Committee describes psychological safety being present in sports settings when athletes are comfortable being themselves, can take necessary interpersonal risks, have knowledge and understanding of mental health symptoms and disorders, and feel supported and comfortable in seeking help if needed.

Whilst there is some evidence of dance environments not being conducive to psychological safety, no research has sought to explore this explicitly. Using the Sport Psychological Safety Inventory (SPSI) in an adapted form that focuses on the dance environment, dancers’ perceptions of their working or training environments are examined in order to reach a clearer understanding. It is expected that professional dancers (and those in professional training), will display similar levels of psychological safety to elite athletes.

Start date of project: 


End date of project: 


Research setting: 

This study will use a single online questionnaire (  to gain anonymous data from voluntary participants. JISC online survey builder has been used to create the shareable questionnaire and gather the recorded data.

A comprehensive participant information sheet is included as the first page of the online questionnaire. Participants must check a box to indicate their understanding of the parameters of the study and give consent for the use of their data before they may answer the questionnaire.

The survey comprises of 17 questions that attain demographic data and examine psychological safety (e.g., explores knowledge and understanding of mental health symptoms and disorders, and the extent to which dancers feel supported and comfortable in seeking help).

Confidentiality and ethical approval: 

All information gathered is entirely anonymous to the researcher/s involved in the study, and data will be password protected.

Ethical approval has been granted by the University of Wolverhampton ethics committee.

Inclusion criteria: 

All dancers over the age of 16 – training or performing in any genre of dance, from recreational to professional level.

Exclusion criteria: 

Those under the age of 16 may not participate.

Benefits to the participant: 

By participating in this study, you will be playing a crucial role in building a pivotal understanding of how safe (or unsafe) dancer’s feel in their training/performing environments. This can go on to influence the understanding and support of mental health in dance contexts, as well as guide further research aimed at improving psychological safety for all dancers.

Contact details: 

Name – Joanne Penner

Email –

Contact number – 07550013511