Medical Problems of Performing ArtistsMedical Problems of Performing Artists

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Dance Partner or Dance Floor?: Exogenous Factors Resulting in Accidents in Professional Dancers

Eileen M. Wanke, Helmgard Mill, Alice Wanke, Jaqueline Davenport, Fistd Checcetti, Franziska Koch, David A. Groneberg
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 28 Number 3: Page 131 (September 2013)

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Abstract: OBJECTIVE: Injury prevention in professional dancers is very important due to the high risk for acute injuries posing a threat to dancers' careers. Causative factors of acute injuries in professional dance can be divided into exogenous and endogenous factors. Although both are known in professional dance, there is still a lack of data to have a differentiated view. The aim of this study is to analyze exogenous factors resulting in work accidents of professional dancers. METHODS: The data for the evaluation were obtained from work accident reports (n = 1,438, female 722, male 716) from six Berlin Theatres. Evaluation and descriptive statistics were conducted by SPSS 18 and Excel 2007. RESULTS: About half (48.5%, n = 698) of all work accidents are caused by exogenous factors. The "dance partner" is the most common exogenous factor (39.9%), followed by the dance floor (28.24%) and props (13.6%). The lower extremity is the most frequent structure injured in either sex (male 47.3%, female 61.3%), followed by the upper extremity in females (14.6%) and spine in male dancers (19.8%). The stage is the most common injury location in both genders (males 63.9%, females 56.8%). Acute injuries caused by exogenous factors were particularly sustained during performances (males 58.8%, females 50.5%) and during rehearsals (males 33%, females 39.9%). CONCLUSION: This study shows the key significance of exogenous factors in acute injuries in professional dance. Preserving the dancers¿ health and preventing injuries takes top priority, and therefore, interventions in the artistic work cannot be ruled out when preventive measures are implemented.

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