Research into dance injury, prevention and management have been an important area of work for Ausdance National, ever since they launched the original Safe Dance Project Report on dance injury prevention and management in the Australian dance profession over 25 years ago. This research report was groundbreaking work, however, to evaluate ongoing efforts in safe dance practice and injury prevention, as well as provide further insight into dancer health and wellbeing, it is important to update our Safe Dance research regularly.
Throughout 2016 we have been collecting data for the 4th Safe Dance project, Safe Dance IV – Investigating injuries in Australia’s professional dancers. This time round we have gone big! Eligibility criteria for the study have been broadened to include both company and independent dancers, to better reflect the diversity of the Australian dance community. The content of the Safe Dance questionnaire has also been expanded to collect data on the general health, wellbeing and quality of life of dancers, as well as injuries and access to health services.
Ausdance National and the author of Safe Dance IV, Amy Vassallo PhD Candidate from the University of Sydney, would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the dancers who have participated in this study. Without you there would be no Safe Dance research, meaningful safe dance practice recommendations, or directions for future work. Thank you also to all of the company directors, clinicians and others who have helped along to the way to make this research happen.
From January 2017 we will start analysing the rich and valuable data provided though the Safe Dance IV questionnaire. We will also be writing the 4th Safe Dance report, which will be made available to the dance community via the Ausdance National website. In particular this report will detail the current prevalence of injuries in Australia’s professional dance population and describe progress that has been made in injury prevention and management since the 3rd Safe Dance report was published in 1999. The major study conclusions will be used to help set priority areas for future dance research and action, make updated safe dance practice recommendations and assist with evaluations of current injury prevention initiatives.
If you are a professional dancer working in Australia, it’s not too late to complete the survey. You still have until the 31 December 2016 to participate in Safe Dance IV. If you are aged over 18, identify primarily as a professional dancer, and have been paid to work, rehearse or perform as a dancer for more than a combined total of 3 months (this doesn’t have to be all in one block or contract) over the past 12 months, you are eligible to participate in this study. To complete the questionnaire, please visit the Safe Dance IV Survey. A paper copy is also available and can be mailed to you, or you can pick one up in person from Ausdance National in Canberra.
If you would like to learn more about Safe Dance or other dance research projects at the University of Sydney, please contact Amy via email, Facebook – Dance Research Collaborative, or Twitter @amyjvassallo