TitleInclusion of Dancer Wellness Education Programs in U.S. Colleges and Universities: A 20-Year Update.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsCardinal, MK, Rogers, KA, Cardinal, BJ
JournalJ Dance Med Sci
Date Published06/2020

During the 1990s dancer wellness education began to be codified and understood empirically in U.S. colleges and universities. Those efforts stemmed from a burgeoning knowledge base in dance medicine and science that continues to evolve. However, the current status of dancer wellness education remains largely undocumented. The purpose of this study was to explore the inclusion of dancer wellness education in U.S. colleges and universities. The results were derived from a cross-sectional study of 199 higher education dance administrators at 4-year institutions that were selected using stratified random sampling procedures with data collected through an online survey. Seventy-two participants (36.18%) completed at least part of the survey, and of those 62 (86.11%) completed the entire survey. The majority of dance programs were undergraduate-only (71%), not accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance (67%), and emphasized dance performance and choreography (89%). Sixty percent offered a formal dancer wellness program, 70% had at least one dancer wellness specialist on faculty, and 20% offered training programs to become dancer wellness specialists. Fewer than half (42.19%) preferred their faculty to have college or university level study in dancer wellness, and only 17.19% required it. Of 11 possible curricular topics, the typical undergraduate program included 64.52% and the typical graduate program 51.87%. Regardless of program level, the top five topics were anatomy, kinesiology, somatics, dance conditioning, and dance injuries. The average school offered 58% of identified supplementary programs at "high levels." Only modest differences were found between programs based on degree level, accreditation status, or program affiliation. Although some positive trends in the evolution of dancer wellness education have occurred over the last two decades, there remains a need for ongoing advocacy and widespread implementation in U.S. colleges and universities.

Alternate JournalJ Dance Med Sci
PubMed ID32456762