Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Cahalan R.;Comber L.;Gaire D.;Quin E.;Redding E.;Ni Bhriain O.;O'sullivan K.
Journal of Dance Medicine and Science
Biopsychosocial Characteristics of Contemporary and Irish University-Level Student Dancers A Pilot Study
3 ()
Optional Fields
In addition to the difficulties encountered by non-dancing university students, university-level dancers may encounter a range of challenges due to their status as aesthetic athletes. This pilot study compares the biopsychosocial characteristics of contemporary dance (CD) and Irish dance (ID) university students. CD (N = 30) and ID (N = 27) participants from institutions in Ireland and the United Kingdom were screened using a host of subjective and objective tools to establish baseline biopsychosocial characteristics. Participants also provided extensive information regarding their injury history over the previous year. The groups were compared using simple descriptive statistics, independent t-test or Mann Whitney U tests and chi-square tests as appropriate. CD participants danced for significantly more hours each week (p < 0.001) than the ID group, who spent significantly less time warming up (p < 0.001) and more time engaged in weekly non-dance-related physical activities (p = 0.022). CD participants performed significantly better that the ID group on the Star Excursion Balance Test (p = < 0.001), plank-hold (p = 0.004), and fitness test (p = 0.045). Substantial rates of injury were reported by both groups, with no significant difference in terms of number of injuries or days lost to injury (p > 0.05). Indications of a shared dancer mentality including ego-driven motivation, passion for dance, and lower mood were present and required vigilance on the part of teachers and coaches to mitigate possible negative physical and psychological consequences. Additionally, CD participants demonstrated higher levels of catastrophizing (p = 0.019) and reported significantly more subjective health complaints (p = 0.010) than the ID group.
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