Did you do Irish dancing when you were younger? You’re probs pretty lucky if you managed to escape unharmed, ‘cos new research has shown that Irish dancers are more at risk of injury than any other form of dance.
Researchers from the University of Limerick carried out a study on a group of 37 championship-level Irish dancers, which found that the majority of them sustained an injury in the past year.
Despite being in pain, they tended to continue dancing, according to the research which was published in the Irish Medical Times. Basically, they’re hard core.
The study stated: “Dance is an extremely popular activity among adolescents, with a range of associated physical and psychological health benefits.”
“However, pain/injury in young elite dancers is pervasive, and the underlying risk factors are poorly understood.”
The study revealed that 84% of the dancers recorded at least one experience of pain or injury during the previous year.
The foot and ankle were the most commonly affected.
The study concluded, stating: “This study demonstrates that elite adolescent Irish dance is associated with a substantial risk of pain/injury, which appears to be greater than that incurred by young dancers from other genres.”
According to the research, possible explanations for this include inappropriate technique progression, an overly arduous calendar of competitive events and “unique” choreographic features.