n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Self-reported incidence of injuries among ballroom dancers

Volume 18 Number sup-1
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


Ballroom dancing is an increasingly popular sport around the world. However, unlike other forms of dancing such as ballet and modern, very little is known about the incidence, nature and severity of injuries sustained by dancers. The aims of this study were: 1) to quantify the incidence of injuries 2) to identify the nature of injuries; and 3) to identify potential aetiological risk factors of injury retrospectively, by means of a questionnaire, at the 2004 South African national championships. The overall incidence of injury was 0.99 per 1 000 dancer-hours. There was a statistically significant difference (p<0.001) between males (0.49) and females (1.45) with regard to incidence of injury per 1 000 hours of dance. Acute injuries occurred more frequently in males (80%) and chronic injuries occurred more frequently in females (54.5%). Overall, the most frequently injured anatomical sites were ankle, foot and toe (39.5%), followed by back and neck (23.3%). Males showed a relatively even distribution of injuries (p>0.05), whereas a statistically significant difference (p<0.05) was observed among females, where muscle spasms (24%) and blisters (21%) were the most frequently occurring injuries. In conclusion, dancers need to be educated about the necessity to seek medical advice when injured, and should supplement their dance training with core stability strengthening exercises and fitness training that reduce the risk of injuries and improve performance.

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