Congratulations to Jenna Magrath, recent graduate from University Calgary's combined BKIN/BA dance degree, who is the recipient of Healthy Dancer Canada's 2022 Research Award. Her study, Undergraduate contemporary dancers' perceptions of dance-related pain, injury, and fatigue, aimed to understand university contemporary dance students’ perceptions of pain, injury, and fatigue. It is known that dancers have high rates of injury, and that it is common for dancers to dance while in pain, injured, or fatigued. Cultural norms that promote dancing through pain, and fear and avoidance of disclosing pain, injury, or fatigue exist within dance contexts, and may contribute to injury risk. From our qualitative analysis, four themes were generated: (1) It’s more unusual for people to sit out than to dance through their injuries; (2) Pain, injury, and fatigue aren’t just physical; (3) Safe dancing environments are important; (4) Implementing dancer health knowledge into practice is complicated. Cultural norms of persevering through and normalization of pain, injury, and fatigue remain present in university dance programs. Findings highlight the negative psychological impact injuries can have, and that implementing knowledge into practice remains difficult. The role that dance educators play in dancers’ understanding of pain, injury, and fatigue was identified, and further emphasis on safe dance practice is needed to establish healthy dance habits. Change is still needed to foster physically and psychologically safe dancing spaces. Jenna also received a 2022 Student Research Award from IADMS for this research.
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