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Risk Factors for Injuries in Competitive Irish Dancers Enrolled in Dance Schools in Calgary, Canada

Mercedes Eustergerling, Carolyn Emery
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 30 Number 1: Page 26 (March 2015)

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Abstract: Objectives: Irish dancing has become a popular activity following international exposure to touring dance companies. Previous studies have reported high injury incidence rates in dancers. The objective of this study was to examine risk factors for injuries in competitive Irish dancers in Calgary, Canada. Design: This is a cross-sectional study. Competitive dancers over 12 years of age in Calgary, Canada, were eligible to participate. Methods: A pen-and-paper survey was administered to gather information on demographics, risk factors for injury, and injuries in the past year. Potential risk factors included age, competitive level, participation in other physical activities, years of participation in Irish dance, and performing a warm-up or cool-down. Incidence proportions (IP) and odds ratios (OR) were estimated. Results: Three of the five accredited dance schools in Calgary participated and a total of 36 questionnaires were completed. Twenty-six dancers (IP = 72.2%; 95% CI 54.8-85.8%) reported at least one Irish dance-related injury in the past year. There were 60 injuries reported and the majority (57%) were foot or ankle injuries. Elite level dancers (OR=6.33; CI 1.27-31.57) and dancers over 18 years of age (OR=24.43; CI 2.60¿229.56) were at greater risk of injury in the past year than non-elite and younger dancers. Conclusions: Elite dancers and dancers over 18 years of age are at the greatest risk of injury in Irish dance in Calgary, Canada.

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