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Dr Luke Hopper

Vice-Chancellor's Research Fellow

Staff Member Details
Telephone: +61 8 6304 8234
Campus: Mount Lawley  
Room: ML14.112  

Luke is a Lecturer, Postdoctoral Research Fellow and co Director of the Dance Research Group at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.

Current teaching

  • DAN1034 - Integrated Body Practices 1
  • CUAWHS403 - Incorporate anatomy and nutrition principles into skill development
  • CUAWHS501 - Maintain a high level of fitness for performance
  • CUAWHS601 - Apply advance gym and weight training to ballet


Dr Hopper completed a PhD specialising in the biomechanics of dance and injury prevention at the University of Western Australia’s School of Sport Science, Exercise and Health in 2011. Dr Hopper coordinated the biomechanics module in the pioneering Master’s of Dance Science at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in 2010 before commencing as a lecturer in biomechanics at the University of Notre Dame Australia. Dr Hopper’s work in dance science and performing arts health has involved several collaborations with international ballet companies such as the Birmingham Royal Ballet and with industry partners Harlequin Floors. Dr Hopper continues to work with the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science and the Australian Society for Performing Arts Healthcare in the development and dissemination of health evidence in preventing injury and illness in performing artists. In his position at ECU, Dr Hopper is developing a health education and research program for the performing arts using his specialised skills in biomechanical 3D motion capture facilities and in collaboration with the WAAPA staff and students.

Professional associations

  • 2014 - Present - Australian Society for Performing Arts Healthcare; (President)
  • 2007 - Present - International Association for Dance Medicine and Science; (2014-2016: Board of Directors)

Awards and recognition

National and International Awards

  • 2019 - Incite Awards; Most Transformative Impact on Education
  • 2018 - Winston Churchill Memorial Fellow
  • 2009 - International Association for Dance Medicine and Science Student Research Award
  • 2007 - International Association for Dance Medicine and Science Student Research Award

University and National Teaching Awards

  • 2016 - Vice Chancellor’s Staff Award, Rational Inquiry; Edith Cowan University
  • 2013 - Vice Chancellor’s Commendation for Teaching Excellence; University of Notre Dame Australia
  • 2011 - Vice Chancellor’s Commendation for Teaching Excellence; University of Notre Dame Australia

Research areas and interests

Luke’s research focuses on performance enhancement and injury prevention for performing artists.

This includes:

  • Dance science
  • Performing arts health
  • Biomechanics
  • Motor control
  • Virtual reality


  • Graduate Certificate in University Teaching, University of Notre Dame Australia, 2013.
  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Western Australia, 2011.
  • Bachelor of Science with First Class Honours Human Movement, The University of Western Australia, 2008.

Research Outputs

Journal Articles

  • Hendry, D., Leadbetter, R., McKee, K., Hopper, L., Wild, C., O'Sullivan, P., Straker, L., Campbell, A. (2020). An Exploration of Machine-Learning Estimation of Ground Reaction Force from Wearable Sensor Data. Sensors, 20(3), Article number 740.
  • Mills, B., Dykstra, P., Hansen, S., Miles, A., Rankin, T., Hopper, L., Brook, L., Bartlett, D. (2020). Virtual Reality Triage Training Can Provide Comparable Simulation Efficacy for Paramedicine Students Compared to Live Simulation-Based Scenarios. Prehospital Emergency Care, 24(4), 525-536.
  • Blevins, P., Erskine, S., Moyle, G., Hopper, L. (2020). Student and teacher attitudes towards overtraining and recovery in vocational dance training. Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, 11(1), 5-24.
  • Cripps, A., Banyard, H., Woods, C., Joyce, C., Hopper, L. (2020). Does the longitudinal development of physical and anthropometric characteristics associate with professional career attainment in adolescent Australian footballers?. International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching, 15(4), 506-511.
  • Hopper, L., Blevins, P., Erskine, S., Hendry, D., Hill, R., Longbottom, R. (2020). Sustaining dancer wellbeing through independent professional dance careers. Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, 11(4), 470-786.
  • Duncan, R., Wild, C., Ng, L., Hendry, D., Carter, S., Hopper, L., Campbell, A. (2020). Dancers’ Joint Strategies for Achieving Turnout in Low and High Friction Conditions. Medical Problems of Performing Artists, 35(2), 96-102.
  • Hendry, D., Chai, K., Campbell, A., Hopper, L., O'Sullivan, P., Straker, L. (2020). Development of a Human Activity Recognition System for Ballet Tasks. Sports Medicine - Open, 6(1), article number 10.
  • Blevins, P., Erskine, S., Hopper, L., Moyle, G. (2020). Finding Your Balance An Investigation of Recovery-Stress Balance in Vocational Dance Training. Journal of Dance Education, 20(1), 12-22.

Journal Articles

  • Sato, N., Nunome, H., Hopper, L., Ikegami, Y. (2019). Ankle taping can reduce external ankle joint moments during drop landings on a tilted surface. Sports Biomechanics, 18(1), 28-38.
  • Cripps, A., Hopper, L., Joyce, C. (2019). Can coaches predict long-term career attainment outcomes in adolescent athletes?. International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching, 14(3), 324-328.
  • Hendry, D., Straker, L., Campbell, A., Hopper, L., Tunks, R., O'Sullivan, P. (2019). An Exploration of Pre-Professional Dancers’ Beliefs of the Low Back and Dance-Specific Low Back Movements. Medical Problems of Performing Artists, 34(3), 147-153.
  • Carter, SL., Bryant, A., Hopper, L. (2019). An analysis of the foot in turnout using a dance specific 3D multi-segment foot model. Journal of Foot and Ankle Research, 12(2019), article no.10.

Journal Articles

  • Hopper, L., Weidemann, A., Karin, J. (2018). The inherent movement variability underlying classical ballet technique and the expertise of a dancer. Research in Dance Education, 19(3), 229-239.
  • Chan, C., Hopper, L., Zhang, F., Pacey, V., Nicholson, L. (2018). The prevalence of generalized and syndromic hypermobility in elite Australian dancers. Physical Therapy in Sport, 32(July 2018), 15-21.
  • Carter, S., Duncan, R., Weidemann, A., Hopper, L. (2018). Lower leg and foot contributions to turnout in female pre-professional dancers: A 3D kinematic analysis. Journal of Sports Sciences, 36(19), 2217-2225.
  • Carter, S., Sato, N., Hopper, L. (2018). Kinematic repeatability of a multi-segment foot model for dance. Sports Biomechanics, 17(1), 48-66.

Conference Publications

  • Hopper, L., Sato, N. (2018). Integrating Biomechanical and Animation Motion Capture Methods in the Production of Participant Specific, Scaled Avatars. Proceedings - 2018 IEEE International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality, AIVR 2018 (237-240). IEEE.
  • Sato, N., Hopper, L. (2018). Reliability of the evaluation of humanoid animation as a visualizing tool in hip-hop dance. 36th Conference of the International Society of Biomechanics in Sports Proceedings (199-202). International Society of Biomechanics in Sport.

Journal Articles

  • Woods, C., Cripps, A., Hopper, L., Joyce, C. (2017). A comparison of the physical and anthropometric qualities explanatory of talent in the elite junior Australian football development pathway. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 20(7), 684-688.
  • Carter, SL., Bryant, AR., Hopper, L. (2017). Lower-Leg and Foot Contributions to Turnout in University-Level Female Ballet Dancers. A Preliminary Investigation. Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association, 107(4), 292-298.
  • Hopper, L., Chan, C., Wijsmann, S., Ackland, T., Visentin, P., Alderson, J. (2017). Torso and Bowing Arm Three-Dimensional Joint Kinematics of Elite Cellists: Clinical and Pedagogical Implications for Practice. Medical Problems of Performing Artists, 32(2), 85-93.
  • Cripps, A., Joyce, C., Woods, C., Hopper, L. (2017). Biological maturity and the anthropometric, physical and technical assessment of talent identified U16 Australian footballers. International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching, 12(3), 344 - 350.
  • Meyer, K., Chan, C., Hopper, L., Nicholson, L. (2017). Identifying lower limb specific and generalised joint hypermobility in adults: validation of the Lower Limb Assessment Score. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 18(2017), 9p..

Journal Articles

  • Hopper, L., Sato, N., Weidemann, A. (2016). Single-leg squats can predict leg alignment in dancers performing ballet movements in “turnout”. Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine, 7(16 Nov. 2016), 161-166.
  • Cripps, A., Hopper, L., Joyce, C. (2016). Maturity, physical ability, technical skill and coaches’ perception of semi-elite adolescent Australian footballers. Pediatric Exercise Science, 28(4), 535-541.
  • Cripps, A., Hopper, L., Joyce, C. (2016). Coaches’ perceptions of long-term potential are biased by maturational variation. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 11(4), 478-481.

Journal Articles

  • Cripps, A., Hopper, L., Joyce, C. (2015). Inter-Rater Reliability and Validity of the Australian Football League’s Kicking and Handball Tests. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 14(3), 675-680.
  • Hopper, L., Alderson, J., Elliott, B., Ackland, T. (2015). Dance floor force reduction influences ankle loads in dancers during drop landings. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 18(4), 480-485.
  • Wellisch, M., Hamer, P., Hopper, L., Bulsara, M., Debenham, J. (2015). Eccentric Loading Increases Peak Torque Angle of the Ankle Plantar Flexors in Healthy Volunteers. International Journal of Sports and Exercise Medicine, 1(2), 1-6.
  • Cripps, A., Hopper, L., Joyce, C., Veale, J. (2015). Pathway Efficiency and Relative Age in the Australian Football League Talent Pathway. Talent Development and Excellence, 7(1), 3-11.

Journal Articles

  • Hopper, L., Allen, N., Wyon, M., Alderson, JA., Elliott, BC., Ackland, T. (2014). Dance floor mechanical properties and dancer injuries in a touring professional ballet company. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 17(1), 29-33.
  • Hopper, L., Wheeler, T., Webster, J., Allen, N., Roberts, J., Fleming, P. (2014). Dancer perceptions of the force reduction of dance floors used by a professional touring ballet company. Journal of Dance Medicine and Science, 18(3), 121-130.

Conference Publications

  • Hopper, L., Alderson, J., Elliott, B., Ackland, T., Fleming, P. (2014). Do dance floor force reduction and static stiffness represent dynamic floor stiffness during dance landings?. Procedia Engineering (931-936). Elsevier.

Journal Articles

  • McEldowney, KM., Hopper, L., Etlin-Stein, H., Redding, E. (2013). Fatigue Effects on Quadriceps and Hamstrings Activation in Dancers Performing Drop Landings. Journal of Dance Medicine and Science, 17(3), 109-114.
  • Reeve, HK., Hopper, L., Elliott, B., Ackland, T. (2013). Lower limb kinematic variability in dancers performing drop landings onto floor surfaces with varied mechanical properties.. Human Movement Science, 32(4), 866-74.

Journal Articles

  • Hopper, L., Alderson, J., Elliott, B., Ackland, T., Fleming, P. (2011). Dancer perceptions of quantified dance surface mechanical properties. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part P: Journal of Sports Engineering and Technology, 225(2), 65-73.

Journal Articles

  • Alderson, J., Hopper, L., Elliott, B., Ackland, T. (2009). Risk factors for lower back injury in male dancers performing ballet lifts. Journal of Dance Medicine and Science, 13(3), 83-89.

Research Projects

  • Development and evaluation of a novel gamified education package enhancing pandemic preparedness for frontline healthcare response staff and students, Department of Health WA, Future Health Research and Innovation FHRI Focus Grants: COVID-19, 2021 ‑ 2023, $224,446.
  • Out-of-hospital immersive birthing simulation training for WA Paramedics and Ambulance Officers using virtual-reality technology, Department of Health WA, Clinical Simulation and Training Grants, 2021 ‑ 2023, $49,853.
  • Using virtual reality to create novel metrics of expertise in safety-critical decision making, Defence Science and Technology Group of the Department of Defence, Defence Research Network for Undersea Decision Superiority, 2020 ‑ 2023, $45,000.
  • Australian Centre for Research into Injury in Sport and its Prevention (ACRISP), International Olympic Committee, Research Centres for Prevention of Injury and Protection of Athlete Health, 2019 ‑ 2022, $568,107.
  • Early identification of and appropriate response to aggressive behaviour for hospital workers, Department of Health WA, Clinical Simulation and Training Grants, 2020 ‑ 2022, $49,794.
  • Virtual-reality-enhanced advanced tactical parachute training , Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation, Defence Science Collaborative Research Grants, 2021 ‑ 2022, $148,145.
  • Informing Detailed Design of Emergency Management and Response Virtual Simulation for the Western Australian Emergency Management Training Centre, Department of Fire and Emergency Services, Grant, 2020 ‑ 2021, $53,702.
  • Opening new choreographic opportunities through 3D virtual dancers performing in mixed reality, Department of Local Government and Communities, Creative Development Grants, 2019 ‑ 2021, $14,943.
  • Towards an evidence-based training approach for the elite contemporary dance industry, Edith Cowan University, ECU Industry Collaboration Scheme - 2016 Open Round, 2017 ‑ 2018, $22,500.
  • Biomechanical analyses of injury risks experienced in elite dance training, Edith Cowan University, ECU Early Career Researcher Grant - 2015, 2015 ‑ 2016, $25,000.
  • Power to the performer: Self-directed training practices for the healthy dancers, Australian Society for Performing Arts Healthcare, ASPAH - Healthy Partnerships for the Performing Arts (HPPA), 2015, $2,500.

Research Student Supervision

Principal Supervisor

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Technique re-framed body re-wired

Associate Supervisor

  • Master of Education, Going 'full time': An exploration of vocational bal,let training in Perth, Western Australia

Principal Supervisor

  • The effect of knee joint stability when landing from a jump.
  • The relationship between foot architecture and foot mobility in dancers.
  • The estimation of subject-specific archilles tendon moment arms using ultrasound and three dimensional motion analysis.
  • Gender influences on dancers' perceptions and preferences of performance qualities of varied dance floor surfaces.
  • Variability of lower limb coordination in dancers performing drop landings onto floor surfaces with varied mechanical properties.
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Lower leg and foot contributions to turnout in pre-professional female dancers: A clinical and kinematic analysis
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Dancing through it: Enhancing psychological recovery in dance
  • Master of Arts (Performing Arts), Tracing the ancestral roots and the flow of pedagogical practices in the development of ballet teaching from 1950 to 2016 in Perth, Western Australia.
  • The relationship between movement patterns in games and during dield-tests in senior Western Australian football players.

Associate Supervisor

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Pedagogy in performance: An investigation into decision training as a cognitive approach to circus training.
  • Master of Arts (Performing Arts), 'It's all in the timing' - A research project that explores the complexities in the relationship of actor to audience, in musical theatre
  • Doctor of Philosophy, I am here now. A play -and- : Polyvocality, the unhomely and the methods of mike leigh in playwriting. an exegesis
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Amnesiac. A stage play. - and - playwriting migration: Silence, memory and repetition. an exegesis
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