Investigation of risk factors and characteristics of dance injuries

Clin J Sport Med. 2011 Nov;21(6):493-8. doi: 10.1097/JSM.0b013e318230f858.


Objective: The aim of the present study was to identify risk factors for the occurrence of sport injuries in dancers related to anthropometric variables, training, and specific dance characteristics.

Design: One-year, retrospective, cross-sectional study.

Setting: 26th Dance Festival of Joinville (Brazil), 2008.

Participants: Five hundred dancers (409 women and 91 men) with a mean age of 18.26 ± 4.55 years.

Assessment of risk factors: Dancers participating in the 26th Dance Festival of Joinville (Brazil) were interviewed using the Reported Condition Inquiry, which was previously validated and modified for dance. This questionnaire contains questions addressing the anthropometric data of the volunteers and characteristics of injuries that occurred in the past 12 months.

Main outcome measures: The data were collected through interviews addressing the occurrence of injuries and respective characteristics. Injury was considered any pain or musculoskeletal condition resulting from training and competition sufficient to alter the normal training routine in terms of form, duration, intensity, or frequency.

Results: A total of 377 injuries (75.40%) of the interviewees reported injuries in the past 12 months. The most affected anatomic segments were the ankle/foot (92 injuries; 28.75%) and thigh/leg (88 injuries; 27.50%) in classical ballet, the thigh/leg (43 injuries; 27.92%) in jazz/contemporary dance, and the knee (22 injuries; 43.14%) in tap/folk dance. The most reported causal mechanisms were dynamic overload and excessive use.

Conclusions: Age and body weight were associated with injury in jazz/contemporary dance. Height was associated with injury in classical ballet and tap/folk dance. Duration of practice was associated with injury in classical ballet and jazz/contemporary dance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Ankle Injuries / epidemiology
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Body Weight
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / epidemiology
  • Dancing / injuries*
  • Female
  • Foot Injuries / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Leg Injuries / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Pain / etiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult