Injuries common among ballet dancers: study

Victoria, Australia – Ballet dancers in elite training programs face a greater risk of injury than other adolescent athletes, according to a study from Monash University.

As part of the study, researchers tracked 266 students between 15 and 19 years old who attended one of three pre-professional ballet schools in London. Researchers tracked injury rates and types during the course of one school year.

Seventy-six percent of the students sustained an injury during that time, researchers said, and the injury rate was 1.38 per 1,000 hours of dance. The most common injuries involved ankles and joints, and 72 percent of the injuries were caused by overuse.

Injuries that caused students to miss the greatest amount of time dancing were knee injuries and bone-related injuries such as stress fractures, researchers said. The risk and rates of injuries increased as students progressed through their three-year training programs.

The study was published in the May issue of the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport.