Entertainment Theatre & Arts

Thursday 17 January 2019

Top Irish dancers face the biggest risk of suffering injury

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)
Breda Heffernan

Breda Heffernan

Elite Irish dancers are at substantial risk of suffering pain and injury – more than other types of dancers.

A study of 37 championship-level Irish dancers found most had suffered at least one injury in the previous 12 months and, worryingly, they often continued to dance despite being in pain.

According to a report in the ‘Irish Medical Times’, researchers at the University of Limerick found that “elite adolescent Irish dance is associated with a substantial risk of pain or injury, which appears to be greater than that incurred by young dancers from other genres”.


It suggested this could be due to “inappropriate technique progression, unique choreographic features and an overly arduous calendar of competitive events”.

Dancers taking part in the study detailed their dance practices, general health, sleeping patterns and eating habits.

They also gave psychological information including details of their mood and passion for dance.

Some 84pc said they had suffered at least one injury during the previous 12 months, most often to their foot or ankle.

The report said factors significantly associated with pain or injury included having an unusual number of troublesome body parts, often or always dancing in pain, and “high levels of anger or hostility”.

Irish Independent

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