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Dr Luke Hopper

Vice-Chancellor's Research Fellow

Contact Information Telephone: +61 8 6304 8234, Email:, Campus: Mount Lawley, Room: ML14.112
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.


Recent Research Grants

  • 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,  $96,540.
  • 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.
  • Virtual-reality-enhanced advanced tactical parachute training ,  Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation,  Defence Science Collaborative Research Grants,  2021 - 2022,  $453,837.
  • Early identification of and appropriate response to aggressive behaviour for hospital workers,  Department of Health WA,  Clinical Simulation and Training Grants,  2020 - 2022,  $99,588.
  • 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,  $98,866.
  • 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,  $6,378.

Recent Publications (within the last five years)

Journal Articles

  • 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, online(online), 1-17, London, UK, DOI:
  • 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, DOI:
  • 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, DOI: 10.21091/mppa.2020.2015.
  • 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, DOI:
  • 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, DOI: 10.1080/10903127.2019.1676345.
  • 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, DOI:
  • 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, online(online), 1-6, DOI:
  • 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, DOI:
  • 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, United Kingdom, Routledge, DOI: 10.1080/14763141.2017.1375552.
  • 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, DOI: 10.1186/s13047-019-0318-1.
  • 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, DOI: 10.21091/mppa.2019.3025.
  • 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, DOI:
  • Carter, S., Sato, N., Hopper, L., (2018), Kinematic repeatability of a multi-segment foot model for dance. Sports Biomechanics, 17(1), 48-66, Oxon, United Kingdom, Routledge, DOI: 10.1080/14763141.2017.1343864.
  • 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, DOI: 10.1080/14647893.2017.1420156.
  • 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, DOI: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2018.02.001.
  • 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, London, UK, Routledge, DOI: 10.1080/02640414.2018.1446386.
  • 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., BioMed Central, DOI: 10.1186/s12891-017-1875-8.
  • 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, DOI: 10.21091/mppa.2017.2015.
  • 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, DOI: 10.1177/1747954117710507.
  • 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, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.jsams.2016.11.002.
  • 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, DOI: 10.7547/15-142.
  • 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, SAGE, DOI: 10.1177/1747954116655054.
  • 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, Human Kinetics, DOI: 10.1123/pes.2015-0238.
  • 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, Dovepress, DOI: 10.2147/OAJSM.S119388.
  • 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, Bursa, Turkey, Journal of Sports Science and Medicine.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.jsams.2014.07.001.

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, online, IEEE, DOI: 10.1109/AIVR.2018.00054.
  • 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, 36( September 10-14, 2018), 199-202, online, International Society of Biomechanics in Sport.

Research Student Supervision

Principal Supervisor

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

Associate Supervisor

  • 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
  • Doctor of Philosophy,  Pedagogy in performance: An investigation into decision training as a cognitive approach to circus training.
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