University of Limerick
Cahalan_2018_Dance.pdf (694.36 kB)

Dance exposure, wellbeing and injury in collegiate Irish and contemporary dancers: a prospective study

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posted on 2022-12-13, 14:22 authored by Róisin Máire Cahalan, PHILIP KEARNEYPHILIP KEARNEY, ORFHLAITH NI BHRIAINORFHLAITH NI BHRIAIN, Emma Redding, Edel Quin, Lisa C. McLaughlin, KIERAN O'SULLIVANKIERAN O'SULLIVAN
Objectives Dance exposure and determinants of wellness in Irish dance (ID) and contemporary dance (CD) are under-investigated in pre-professional, collegiate cohorts. This study prospectively investigated these variables in ID and CD participants for one year. Design Prospective study. Setting: University-level institutes of dance, United Kingdom (UK) and Ireland. Participants: Fifty (ID = 21, CD = 29) full time students of dance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, (UK) and the University of Limerick, Ireland. Main Outcome Measures: Weekly hours of dance, general health, sleep quality, injury defined as “any pain or injury that impacted upon their ability to dance”. Results Dance exposure varied considerably for both genres across the year. CD participants danced for more hours weekly (p < 0.001). Overall injury incidence (time-loss and non-time-loss) was 10.6 and 8.4 injuries per 1000 h dancing for ID and CD groups respectively. 70.4% of injuries were non-time-loss. Better sleep (p = 0.007) and general health (p < 0.001) scores were negatively correlated with days lost/impacted by injury. CD participants reported a significantly higher dance exposure in the week prior to a time-loss injury than during the previous four weeks (p = 0.044). Conclusions Dance exposure is erratic in these cohorts with dancers frequently performing when injured. Poor sleep, general health, and increased dance exposure may be associated with injury.



Physical Therapy in Sport;34, pp. 77-83






This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Physical Therapy in Sport. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Physical Therapy in Sport Volume 34, November 2018, Pages 77-83,



Department or School

  • Irish World Academy of Music & Dance
  • Physical Education and Sports Science
  • Allied Health

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