Int J Sports Med 2021; 42(13): 1222-1227
DOI: 10.1055/a-1393-6151
Clinical Sciences

Injury Incidence and Severity in Musical Theatre Dance Students: 5-year Prospective Study

Nicola Stephens
1   Department of Performers Physiotherapy, Performers College, Stanford-Le-Hope, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Alan M. Nevill
2   Institute of Human Sciences, University of Wolverhampton, Walsall, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Matthew Alexander Wyon
2   Institute of Human Sciences, University of Wolverhampton, Walsall, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
3   Department of Research, National Institute of Dance Medicine and Science, Birmingham, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
› Author Affiliations


Dance injury research has mainly focused on ballet and modern dance with little data on musical theatre dancers. The purpose was to assess the incidence and severity of injuries in a musical theatre dance college over a 5-year period; 198 pre-professional musical theatre dancers (3 cohorts on a 3-year training course) volunteered for the study; 21 students left the course over the study period. Injury aetiology data were collected by an in-house physiotherapy team. Differences between academic year and sex were analysed using a Poisson distribution model; significant difference was set at p≤0.05. In total, 913 injuries were recorded, and more injuries occurred in academic year 1 than year 2 and 3. Overall injury incidence was 1.46 injuries per 1000 hours (95% CI 1.34, 1.56); incidence significantly decreased between year 1, 2 and 3 (p<0.05). There was no significant sex difference for incidence or severity. Most injuries were classified as overuse (71% female, 67% male). Pre-professional musical theatre dancers report a high proportion of lower limb and overuse injuries comparable to other dance genres. Unlike other studies on pre-professional dancers, injury incidence and severity decreased with academic year, even though workload increased across the course.

Publication History

Received: 23 June 2020

Accepted: 05 February 2021

Article published online:
07 June 2021

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