Injury Prevention for Modern Dancers: A Pilot Study of an Educational Intervention
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Modern dancers suffer a high rate of musculoskeletal injuries. Preventing injury prolongs dance careers and eases financial burden on both individual dancers and dance companies alike. A medical student partnered with Garth Fagan Dance to develop a curriculum to teach principles of injury prevention specific to preprofessional and professional modern dancers. Quantitative assessments showed a significant increase in participant injury prevention knowledge after completion of the course (P < 0.0001). Participants’ concern that injury may end their careers showed no significant change after the course (P = 0.35). Injury prevention and dance-related injuries were reported the most often as useful topics while weight management was reported the least often as a useful topic. Qualitative evaluations showed that participants’ found a course on injury prevention valuable and desired a course of longer duration that includes a greater number of topics. These findings show that modern dancers perceive an educational course on injury prevention as valuable and retain information presented in the course in the short-term. Further study is warranted to assess changes in injury rates after the course and to continue to improve curriculum content and implementation.