Research Article

Injuries to dancers: prevalence, treatment, and perceptions of causes.

BMJ 1989; 298 doi: (Published 18 March 1989) Cite this as: BMJ 1989;298:731
  1. A. Bowling
  1. Department of Public Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.


    A survey of injuries to dancers was commissioned by the National Organisation of Dance and Mime. Questionnaires asking about chronic and recent injuries were sent to 188 dancers and completed by 141 dancers from seven professional ballet and modern dance companies in the United Kingdom (75% response rate). It was found that of the 141 dancers, 67 (47%) had experienced a chronic injury and 59 (42%) an injury in the previous six months that had affected their dancing. A high proportion of injuries to the soft tissues had not responded to treatment. With correct treatment such injuries should usually heal completely. Dancers are aware of the high rate of injuries and also of procedures that might help to prevent injury--for example, dancing on floors that are sprung and in warmer studios; teachers' and choreographers' awareness of a dancer's limitations and the need for rest and adequate treatment when an injury occurs.