Janet Wojcik, Ph.D.




College of Arts and Sciences




The purpose of this research project is to fill the lack of information on the physical components, amount of pain experienced, and past injuries of competitive dancers under the professional level. Little research has been performed in this population. A total of 15 female competitive dancers were tested between the ages of 15-18 years old. Body mass index (BMI), height, weight, muscular endurance, aerobic endurance, flexibility, and alignment were measured, and then a pain rating survey and injury questionnaire were anonymously completed by the subjects. The participants performed a three-minute, twelve-inch step test, push-ups and crunches test, sit-and-reach test, and posture screen test. These measurements were then statistically analyzed and compared. The BMI values were healthy for the participants’ age, except for two dancers, and postural deviations were very small. Aerobic endurance was above the 75th percentile in eight dancers; all dancers except for one scored below the 40th percentile in abdominal endurance, but over half scored above the 60th percentile in pushups/upper body strength. Lastly, flexibility was high with almost every dancer scoring above the 75th percentile. There were no significant correlations found between BMI and aerobic endurance, crunches and pushups, or flexibility and posture. The most pain reported was in the lower back, and most injuries reported were in the ankles and lower back. It was found that there is a need for dancers to improve overall muscular fitness, given the potential to prevent further injuries and pain experienced from dance. More data should be collected in this particular population and comparison groups such as professional dancers.