Factors Associated with Musculoskeletal Injuries in Pre-Professional Modern Dancers before and after the COVID-19 Pandemic

Lital Kishon, Hilla Sarig Bahat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Chester Step Test showed that dancers with higher aerobic fitness were injured less. Pre-professional modern dancers who followed a strength exercise regimen were injured less when compared to those who only danced. Dance training programs should consider adapting evidence-based sports training methods and integrating aerobic and strength training. Mental support for dancers should be considered, at a minimum during times of perceived high stress. Highlights: The prevalence of dance-related injuries is high, yet risk factors remain unclear in modern dance. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the continuity and nature of dance programs. The objectives were to investigate factors associated with musculoskeletal injuries in pre-professional modern dancers before and after the pandemic and to qualitatively describe the dancers’ experiences during COVID-19. We examined 31 modern dancers (19.42 ± 1.57 years) pre-COVID-19 and re-examined 21 participants after one-year post-COVID-19, using objective physical tests for upper and lower body strength, aerobic fitness, hip ranges, injury history, and training hours’ data. The injury rate remained mostly unaffected (0.87 ± 0.88 pre-, 0.76 ± 0.83 post-COVID-19), but weekly dance hours were reduced (33 pre-, 21.40 post-COVID-19). Dancers significantly improved their push-up score (p = 0.016) and decreased their compensated turnout (p = 0.022). Notably, non-injured dancers scored higher in the pre-COVID-19 Chester Step Test (p = 0.033) and practiced more strength training independently post-COVID-19 (p = 0.024). No significant differences were found between injured and non-injured dancers in the other parameters. Dancers reported negative thoughts and difficulty maintaining their fitness during the pandemic. In conclusion, strength training and aerobic fitness were identified as potentially important factors related to injury risk in modern dance and should be examined further for their injury prevention value.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3018
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • COVID-19
  • aerobic fitness
  • dance
  • injury risk
  • strength training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Instrumentation
  • General Engineering
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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