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

Sanna M. Nordin-Bates, Imogen J. Walker, Jo Baker, Jocelyn Garner, Cinzia Hardy, Sarah Irvine, Corinne Jola, Helen Laws, Peta Blevins

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Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-85
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Dance Medicine & Science
Volume15
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011

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Nordin-Bates, S. M., Walker, I. J., Baker, J., Garner, J., Hardy, C., Irvine, S., Jola, C., Laws, H., & Blevins, P. (2011). Injury, imagery, and self-esteem in dance: healthy minds in injured bodies? Journal of Dance Medicine & Science, 15(2), 76-85.