Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Health and Human Performance


Exercise Science (MS)

First Advisor/Chairperson

Dr. Marguerite Moore


Dance is a sport that places a number of physical demands upon the human body, and injuries are a common occurrence in the sport. While it has not yet been linked to dance-related injury, coordination variability (CV) is a measure of how much movement strategy changes between repetitions of a task and low levels of CV have been linked to injury in other sports. This study aimed to determine the relationship between CV and dance injury in collegiate dancers. Eight (8) undergraduate student subjects were recruited from the dance major and minor, BFA major and minor, and recreational dancers who engaged in >3 hours of dance per week. At intake dancers completed 10 trials of a sauté jump task to measure baseline CV using a modified vector coding (MVC) approach. Dancers then completed 4 months of weekly check-in forms to report any and all injuries sustained during the week and number of hours spent dancing. Analysis revealed that in general, non-injured participants tended to have more frequent fluctuations and overall higher CV values than the non-injured group, especially in couplings 1 (p = 0.052, effect size 2.31) and 3 (p = 0.31, effect size 1.59). Hours per week spent in dance and years of experience did not appear to have any effect on injury status. This study highlighted certain trends which point to a relationship between lower coordination variability and injury in dancers. This research serves as a beneficial study to examine the role of CV in sports injury.

Access Type

Open Access