• Injury, imagery, and self-esteem in dance healthy minds in injured bodies?

      Nordin-Bates, Sanna M.; Walker, Imogen J.; Baker, Jo; Garner, Jocelyn; Hardy, Cinzia; Irvine, Sarah; Jola, Corinne; Laws, Helen; Blevins, Peta (J Michael Ryan, 2011-06)
      The purpose of this study was to investigate a selection of psychological variables (help-seeking behaviors, mental imagery, self-esteem) in relation to injury among UK dancers. We recruited 216 participants from eight dance styles and six levels of involvement. It was found that 83.5% of the participants had experienced at least one injury in the past year. The most common response to injury was to inform someone, and most continued to dance when injured, albeit carefully. Physical therapy was the most common treatment sought when an injury occurred (38.1%), and dancers seemed to follow recommendations offered. Injured and non-injured dancers did not differ in their imagery frequencies (facilitative, debilitative, or injury-related) and scored similarly (and relatively high) in self-esteem. Neither facilitative nor debilitative imagery was correlated with self-esteem, but dancers who engaged in more facilitative imagery in general also reported doing so when injured. Altogether, it appears that injury is not related to dancers' self-esteem or imagery, at least not when injuries are mild or moderate. Even so, such conclusions should be made with caution, given that most dancers do sustain at least one injury each year.
    • A mixed methods investigation of dropout among talented young dancers: findings from the UK Centres for Advanced Training.

      Walker, Imogen J.; Nordin‐Bates, Sanna M.; Redding, Emma; Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London (J Michael Ryan, 2012)
      The aim of this study was to understand reasons for dropout from a dance-talent program in the UK, using a mixed methods design. In-depth interviews were conducted with ten dropout students to explore the influencing factors in their decision to leave the program. In order to triangulate these findings, reasons for dropout were then examined from descriptive records of 147 young dancers who had withdrawn from the talent program over a four-year period. Overall, the most frequently cited reasons for dropping out were conflicting demands, change in aspirations, course content, difficulty making friends, and lost passion. Injury, financial factors, low perceived competence, and teacher behavior emerged as minor reasons. Intervention strategies that focus on changes in course content may be the easiest to implement and most effective means to enhance student retention.