Dance Screening practices in dance companies, dance schools and university dance programmes: an international survey of current practices

Ross Armstrong

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Background Dance performance requires the combination of both athletic and artistic demands. The health and well-being of dancers is of paramount importance, and one intervention that has been used to manage their health and performance is screening. There is a need to determine current screening practices in dance to aid the management of dancers. Methods The Bristol online survey was used to determine screening practices in dance companies/schools and university dance programmes. The survey was available online between April 2018 and September 2018 and consisted of 42 questions which were divided into the following sections: (1) screening details, (2) physical fitness and joint screening, (3) injury screening, (4) dance specific movement screening, (5) health screening, (6) footwear and floor type screening. Respondents included those individuals involved in dance screening. Results A total of 32 individuals participated in the study with physiotherapists and dance teachers most prevalent. Injury prevention (62.5%) and self-management (62.5%) were the most common aims of screening. Dancer screening occurred in a non-fatigued state in 90.63% of dancers. Flexibility (95.75%) was the most commonly assessed physical fitness component and the feet the most assessed joint (87.5%). Passive turnout (62.5%) and demi-plié (62.5%) the most commonly assessed dance specific movements. Previous injury (87.5%) had the highest prevalence of general health questioning. Cardiovascular screening was performed by 21.88% of respondents and the Star Excursion Balance Test (34.38%) was the most commonly used movement screening tool. Hypermobility was screened by 75% of respondents and 28.13% of respondents used psychometric tests. Conclusion Physiotherapists and dance teachers were most frequently involved in screening, and the main aims were to improve the dancers health and well-being. There may be a need to consider the potential influence of acute fatigue on screening and a greater assessment of the strength, aerobic fitness and speed is required. Passive and active turnout were frequently screened and may be important in identifying potential injury risk. Cardiac and psychometric screening was limited and may require greater consideration.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical case reports
Early online date18 Jan 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Jan 2019


  • Dance screening
  • injury prevention
  • career longevity
  • flexibility
  • passive turnout
  • cardiovascular screening
  • Star Excursion Balance Test
  • hypermobility


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