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Biomechanical analyses of injury risks experienced in elite dance training

This project is conducting a world class program of clinical biomechanical dance research, representing the first step towards the development of an internationally recognised ECU research program for science and health in the performing arts. Dance is a profession and a passion for millions worldwide. Elite dancers undergo high volumes of intense training in order to reach and maintain a professional level of dancing ability. Musculoskeletal injury in dance is common and limits the cultural depth of the world’s performing arts industry. Injury can prematurely end dance careers and reduce the quality of one of Australia’s most beloved art forms.

Clinical biomechanics has been an integral part of sport medicine for many decades. However biomechanical investigation of dance injury is limited to a handful of studies. The contribution of biomechanical research to the area of sports medicine is a testament to the potential of this form of inquiry to contribute to the prevention of dance injuries. The results of the research will provide new insight into dance injury mechanisms.

The ECU Mount Lawley motion capture laboratory is an internationally unique research environment which hosts a collaborative research culture integrating ECU dance academics, the biomechanical expertise of Dr Hopper with access to the world class facilities of the Mount Lawley motion capture laboratory. This novel environment allows the application of advanced research questions that are not possible in almost any other laboratory in the world. Application of the results in performing arts clinics and educational institutions will serve to improve the health and wellbeing of dancers worldwide.

Funding agency

Edith Cowan University

Project duration



Dr Luke Hopper
Mr Andries Weidemann

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