Week 1: A Journey’s Beginning
Hello there! My name is Sunny Ding and I’m excited to welcome you to my first Senior Project blog post. Today, I’d like to share a brief introduction to my project as well as an interesting article I read this week during my official start to an ongoing literature review.
Let’s Get Straight To The Point: TL;DR, What Is My Project About?
I’d like to learn more about the perception and prevalence of dance-related injury and/or pain in the adolescent competitive dance setting. In my project, this refers to dancers between the ages of 12 to 16 that participate in dance competitions in particular. By surveying such dancers enrolled at a competition dance studio in Phoenix, Arizona about their dance-related injuries and analyzing the responses received, I aim for this project to be a pilot study opening further discussion and research into this topic.
Why Does This Issue Matter?
Many adolescent dancers participate in competitive dance, and many injuries have been reported among these dancers as well. Injury prevalence, perception, and prevention has been studied to an extent in the field of dance before; however, the dancers involved in many of these studies are pre-professional, professional, or college level dancers who thus have more experience and maturity in terms of understanding healthy limits and practicing good habits. As a competitive dancer myself, I’ve had my own struggles with recognizing the severity of my own dance-related pain and many friends of mine are often unable to participate in class or performances due to injuries, so gaining some insight on this topic is important to me personally as well.
Before I end off here for this week’s blog post, I want to share an interesting dance medicine and science-related article I read this week!
This article, titled “Psychological factors associated with performance-limiting injuries in professional ballet dancers.,” by Adam et al.1 was published in the Journal of Dance Medicine & Science (I accessed it here) and details a study conducted with professional ballet dancers regarding injuries and possible associations to psychosocial distress. One notable finding was the relationship observed between psychological distress (including perceived stress, sleep problems, and fatigue) and time that dancers were unable to perform. As this distress can increase risk for injury, this is significant because injuries which cause dancers to take time away from performing to recover may increase distress, creating a dangerous cycle. Although Adam et al.’s study only involves dancers at a professional ballet company, their findings may be important to keep in mind for my project as well while analyzing the competition dancers’ survey responses.
Well, that’s all I have for this week’s post, see you next week for my project updates (and maybe a short “FAQ section” as well for things I might’ve missed in this blog post! Thank you so much for reading and have a great week. 😀
Adam MU, Brassington GS, Matheson GO. Psychological Factors Associated With Performance-Limiting Injuries In Professional Ballet Dancers. J Dance Med Sci. 2004;8(2):43-46.