Prevalence of strength training for student and professional dancers

Farmer, Claire ORCID logoORCID: and Brouner, James (2021) Prevalence of strength training for student and professional dancers. In: Denver Live: International Association for Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS) 31st Annual Conference, 21-24 Oct 2021, Virtual. . [Conference or Workshop Item]


Literature review:
It has been suggested that dancers should include strength training within their programme, however many dance companies and schools are either reluctant to include it, or do not have the means or expertise to incorporate strength training effectively. Previously it has been posed that dancers are unsure of strength training due to a fear of muscle hypertrophy and the impact this may have on dance aesthetics. Recent research however has suggested that this may no longer be the case, and that perceptions of strength training are shifting, particularly amongst student and professional dancers.

The aim of this study was to understand current levels of participation in strength training in student and professional dancers, and how those dancers were educated in strength training.

Ethical approval for this study was granted by Kingston University and informed consent provided by all participants. A modified version of the Training Information Survey (TIS) was provided via online survey software.

Results and discussion:
Sixty-four dance students and twenty-two professional dancers completed the modified TIS. Sixty-one percent of dance students were required to strength train as part of their dance training programme, compared with only 28% of professional dancers as part of their dance contract. Despite this, 89% of dance students and 90% of professional dancers carried out strength training independently anyway, training 2.78±1.55 and 3.31±1.66 days per week respectively. Sixty-two percent of respondents reported they had learned strength training techniques from their dance teacher, whilst 23 percent had learned from a strength and conditioning professional. Most dancers had learned from a mixture of sources including peers and self-taught from the internet.

It is proposed that dance students and professional dancers are aware of the physiological demands of dance choreography and are keen to train to meet these demands despite provision within their own schools or companies. It is therefore recommended that dance schools and companies begin to address the inclusion of strength programmes, taught by qualified professionals, into training programmes.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Presentation)
Research Areas: A. > School of Media and Performing Arts > Performing Arts > Dance group
Item ID: 34086
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Claire Farmer
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2021 17:24
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2021 17:24

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