Theatre, Dance and Performance Training
Taylor and Francis
Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) / Australian Centre for Research into Injury in Sport and its Prevention
Edith Cowan University - Open Access Support Scheme
Edith Cowan University Industry Collaboration Grant
Dancers dedicate their lives to their art. The lucky few dancers who reach professional careers, must navigate a casualised industry, balance financial pressures and maintain performance fitness. This research aimed to provide practical considerations for dancers to support their health and wellbeing through independent, professional dance careers. Dancers from Australian contemporary dance company Co3 participated in a training program involving psychological and physiotherapy assessments and fitness training in conjunction with a major performance season. Focus groups with company dancers and staff investigated the perceived efficacy of the training program within the company schedule and in supporting dancer wellbeing. Dancers were highly engaged with the training program. Dancers expressed various benefits and challenges in incorporating the training within the demands of their careers. Themes identified from the dancer responses included making time, program specificity, dance fitness, connecting as a company, dancer monitoring and scheduling. A need to maintain collegiality outside of contracted times through communities of practice was identified across many of the themes. It is posited that the human capital of dance is challenged through the casualisation of the dance sector and requires careful attention from aspiring dancers.
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