Honors Theses


Jerome Yorke, MFA


Theatre, Dance, and Performance Technology

Publication Date


Document Type

Honors Thesis


Dance is a physically demanding art form, placing repeated strain on the joints and muscles of the body. Western dance technique emphasizes use of the lower extremity, resulting in a high volume of injury to the hip, knee, and ankle joints. Dance companies attempt to combat injury by installing low- stiffness floors in studios and performance spaces. These floors exert less pressure on dancers’ joints during intense movement sequences. The purpose of this research is to determine the impact of floor stiffness on dancers’ susceptibility to ACL and meniscus injuries and chondromalacia, specifically. Participants were asked about past and present dance training, floor type for all training, lower extremity injuries, and their path to recovery. The data were analyzed to find the frequency of dance- related injuries of each type, on both sprung (low stiffness) and non-sprung (high stiffness) floors. The results indicated that floor type does not have an effect on injury susceptibility in dancers. They also showed that of ankle, knee, and hip injuries, ankle injuries are the most common. A torn ACL and meniscus appeared in one participant, and no occurrences of chondromalacia were reported. Overall, the data show that ACL and meniscus tear are not common in low stiffness floors. Future research may investigate the effect of floor surface on lower extremity joint injury, as floors with high slickness may have a more immediate effect on dance injury.

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This item is protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code) and may only be used for noncommercial, educational, and scholarly purposes.


Undergraduate research