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Clin J Sport Med. 2017 Mar;27(2):153-160. doi: 10.1097/JSM.0000000000000314.

Musculoskeletal Injury in Professional Dancers: Prevalence and Associated Factors: An International Cross-Sectional Study.

Author information

*Artists' Health Centre Research Program, Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; †UOIT-CMCC Centre for the Study of Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; ‡Division of Clinical Education, Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College; §Division of Epidemiology, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; ¶Division of Health Care and Outcomes Research, Krembil Research Institute, University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; ‖Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark; **Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada; ††Department of Health Sciences, Lund University, Lund, Sweden; ‡‡Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; §§Rebecca Macdonald Centre for Arthritis and Auto-Immune Diseases, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; ¶¶Nordic Institute of Chiropractic and Clinical Biomechanics, Odense, Denmark; and ‖‖Rehabilitation Department, Hadassah Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel.



The purpose of the study was to determine the prevalence and factors associated with injury in professional ballet and modern dancers, and assess if dancers are reporting their injuries and explore reasons for not reporting injuries.


Cross-sectional study.


Participants were recruited from nine professional ballet and modern dance companies in Canada, Denmark, Israel, and Sweden.


Professional ballet and modern dancers.


Sociodemographic variables included age, sex, height, weight, and before-tax yearly or monthly income. Dance specific characteristics included number of years in present dance company, number of years dancing professionally, number of years dancing total, and rank in the company.


Self-reported injury and Self-Estimated Functional Inability because of Pain.


A total of 260 dancers participated in the study with an overall response rate of 81%. The point prevalence of self-reported injury in professional ballet and modern dancers was 54.8% (95% CI, 47.7-62.1) and 46.3% (95% CI, 35.5-57.1), respectively. Number of years dancing professionally (OR = 4.4, 95% CI, 1.6-12.3) and rank (OR = 2.4, 95% CI, 1.2-4.8) were associated with injury in ballet dancers. More than 15% of all injured dancers had not reported their injury and their reasons for not reporting injury varied.


The prevalence of injury is high in professional dancers with a significant percentage not reporting their injuries for a variety of reasons. Number of years dancing and rank are associated with injury in professional ballet dancers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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