Dancer's Wanted!

WAAPA Research Project

Photography by Sofia Caldo

Jacinta Jefferies is currently completing her Honours at WAAPA and is conducting research to determine if there is a relationship between the bone mineral density, muscle mass and a variety of lower leg injuries in tertiary dancers. This project has received ethics approval and is supervised by Dr. Luke Hopper.


The study will require attendance at The University of Western Australia for 30 minutes, where your body composition will be taken through a DEXA scan, alongside a short health questionnaire. You will also be required to fill out a questionnaire obtaining information on your dance demographic, current training and work load, previous and current injury status, current pain status, and your joint hypermobility status.

This procedure will require you to lie quietly on a bed for 8 minutes while the machine scans your body, ultimately determining your lean mass, fat mass and bone mineral density. Due to health reasons, prior to performing the DEXA test, you will be asked to declare if you are pregnant or there is a possibility that you might be. If the answer to either question is yes, then you will not be scanned.

Information Sheet on DEXA Test

Risks and benefits

The body composition scan (DEXA) involves the use of a low dose x-ray. As explained by Tim Ackland, this is equivalent to one thousandth of the background radiation you would receive from living in Perth for one year. If you feel uncomfortable at any time you may withdraw at any stage of the study.

As part of participation in the study you will receive a free body composition analysis determining your lean mass, fat mass and bone tissue composition. This information may help to determine your health status and/or be used for sports performance purposes. Should any scans uncover previously unknown issues, the participants can contact Dr. Hopper to discuss referral to an appropriate professional. Please email if you would like a summary of project results.

This study hopes to provide new information to the dance community regarding lower extremity injuries. It aims to determine if there is a relationship between them and the dancers bone mineral density and muscle mass surrounding the bone, and if this is a subject worth further study.


Data collection and analysis will adhere to the protocols adopted by the Edith Cowan University Human Research Ethics Committee for the protection of privacy and participant confidentiality will be strictly maintained at all times. The data collected will be de-identified and anonymously coded. Due to law, the DEXA scan data will be stored securely for a minimum of fifty years in an ECU box folder through the ECU Data management plan. The injury questionnaire data will be stored securely for seven years, after which the records will be permanently destroyed.


Publication of results

Data will be used for publication in the form of a thesis. Published data will be averaged and unidentifiable to individual participants. Results from the study will be freely available and a summary of the findings will be distributed to participants per their request.


Participant rights

– Participation in this research is voluntary and are free to withdraw at any stage without notice, or justification for your reason
– If you do wish to withdraw your data will be destroyed upon your request
– Participation in this research will be conducted around participant availability and will not interfere with their study and/or work schedule

If you are interested…

Please fill out the questionare

Then contact Jacinta or Luke directly.

Jacinta Jeffries:

Dr. Luke Hopper:


If participants have any concerns or complaints about the research project and wish to talk to an independent person, they may contact: Research Ethics Officer, Edith Cowan University, 270 Joondalup Drive, Joondalup, WA, 6027. Phone: (08) 6304 2170.