Date of Award

2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours

School

Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)

Faculty

Faculty of Education & Arts

Abstract

Since the innovation of dance medicine, many studies have been carried out to investigate injuries in a range of dance populations of varying genres, ages and ability levels. Recent survey results (Bronner, et. al, 2003) show the increase in knowledge of prevention techniques and services has reduced the prevalence of injuries and the length of rehabilitation for dancers. There is valuable and effective information presented from dance medical research to the dance community about prevention techniques and yet preventable injuries still appear to have a prominent occurrence in dance students. I therefore question the accessibility of this specialised information for full-time training dance students. Today the larger dance companies such as The Australian Ballet Company employ physiotherapists and other physicians to support their dancers (The Australian ballet, 2007.). They also have their own body conditioning team to prevent and rehabilitate injuries. My understanding is that many tertiary dance students find it difficult to access such specialised services and therefore do not benefit from this kind of effective treatment for injuries. The difficulty of accessing services for many dancers maybe due to several reasons such as: the financial limitations of students or the inability to find a dance-specific physician within close proximity to their place of study. To help answer these questions I conducted a survey. Four Australian universities offering full time dance degrees were asked to participate in this research. Only one volunteered to participate fully. Seventy-three surveys were directly handed to these dance students and were returned and collected at the end of the week. The survey entailed 19, both closed-ended and open-ended questions about injury histories, preventative strategies and treatment choices. The aim of the survey was to get an understanding of what injury services Australian tertiary dancers have access to and the correlation of this access with injury occurrence.

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