Research in Dance Education call for papers

Due January 04, 2021


Dance, health and wellbeing special issue

Angela Pickard (Canterbury Christ Church University, UK) and Doug Risner (Wayne State University, US)

Research in Dance Education – Innovations in Arts Practice aims to inform, stimulate and promote the development of research in dance education and is relevant to academics, dancers, teachers and choreographers. The desire to improve the quality and provision of dance education through lively and critical debate, and the dissemination of research findings is uppermost. The journal sets out to include contributors from a wide and diverse international community of researchers, extending to all aspects of dance in education.

Dance, health and wellbeing special issue

Dance, Health and Wellbeing is about understanding and enhancing the practice of education, training and performance of dance artists for health, well-being and longevity in the profession. This is underpinned by scientific and medical developments that inform teaching, training and pedagogical methods that are applied to dance. Dance, Health and Wellbeing is also about widening participation and inclusive practice for all populations in all settings and contexts and all ages and stages in Dance Education.

Work in dance medicine and science (e.g understanding anatomy, physiology and psychology) has investigated and contributed to knowledge in, for example, models of screening for dancers, supplementary training to enhancing fitness and reducing fatigue, pain and injury as ways to develop optimal performance and physical and psychological health in dance.

Dance has benefits for wider populations. Evidence suggests that physical activity of any kind has beneficial effects such as development of greater strength, fitness, co- ordination, confidence, motivation and an increase in adrenaline and endorphins from being physically active. Health and wellbeing effects of recreational dance interventions with children and young people include opportunities for expression and creativity, enhanced self-concept, confidence, optimism, hope, a sense of agency and capacity for resilience. There is work developing to enhance inclusive dance environments for all ages, stages and abilities. Dance-related reviews of evidence have examined the effective- ness of dance on psychological and physical outcomes in, for example, cancer patients, for schizophrenia and on depression. There is also a developing knowledge base in relation to dance for Parkinson’s and dance for dementia with wider populations of older people. 

The impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic on Dance Education are complex and far-reaching. Researchers in dance education play a key role in understanding and addressing the unfolding impacts of the pandemic. For example, dance is social but social distancing practices challenge the physical proximity of dancing. Yet dance com- munities have cleverly and creatively embraced video technology to develop on-line dance participation and social engagement.

This special issue Dance, Health and Wellbeing calls for papers in three main areas:

(1) professional dance training, (2) health and wellbeing benefits and inclusive dance, (3) impact of COVID-19 on dance education.

We ask:

  • What constitutes a healthy dancer today and how have perceptions, knowledge and understanding been informed/transformed over time?
  • Do notions of the healthy dancer differ internationally, according to, for example, technique/choreography/performance/culture?

  • How can advances in dance science inform dance training and education practice to enhance dancer longevity and optimal performance?

  • What contradictions may exist between artistic and health/pedagogical priorities and practice?

  • What are the risk factors, prevalence, management and implications of musculoskeletal pain and injury amongst dancers?

  • What are the health and wellbeing benefits of dance for different populations and communities?

  • How does embodied identity as a dancer affect physical and mental health and wellbeing?

  • How has COVID-19 impacted on and influenced dance education?

  • In what ways has technology influenced dance health, wellbeing, participation and social engagement during the global pandemic?

We invite papers addressing issues, challenges or concerns that may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Examination of inclusive dance research, knowledge exchange and practice in school-based and/or community-based settings and with different ages and stages of development.
  • Engagement with historical, social, political, economic structures and/or educational policy, pedagogy and practice relating to dance, health and wellbeing.
  • The healthy dancer, aesthetics, culture(s) and performance.
  • Exploration of dance, health and wellbeing outcomes relating to, for example, dance and social diversity, widening participation and/or mental health.
  • Critical discussion of the impact of positive, enabling, motivating, environments for dance through philosophical, social, artistic, psychological and pedagogic lenses and analyses. 
  • Integration and implementation of dance science research and/or somatic practices into the studio teaching environment and/or choreography.
  • Consideration of pain, injury and implications in dance training and performance.
  • Analysis of the impact of inter/multi-disciplinary health and wellbeing practices.
  • Exploration of the digital innovation on dance health, wellbeing, participation, inclusion, community and social engagement during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Discussionofimpactonmentalhealthofrestrictedpublicaccesstoandinteractions with dance under ‘lockdown’ during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Theoretical, empirical, mixed-method and practice-based articles using varied modes of enquiry will be considered.

Deadline for paper submission is 4 January 2021

We seek contributions of ideally 5000–8000 words addressing any of these suggested issues and focussed on Dance, Health and Wellbeing. When submitting please click the special issue tab on ScholarOne so that the submission can be considered for the special issue. The papers will be blind reviewed by two reviewers. A decision will be returned that may require major or minor amendments or the paper may be accepted without further work or rejected if the paper is deemed unsound or unsuitable. The process of review until acceptance can take up to 6 months. If there are more papers submitted than exceed space to print within the special issue, these will be considered within the reviewing process for publication in the main issue.

Papers by previously unpublished authors may be submitted to be considered for the Linda Rolfe New Writers Prize. The New Writer’s Prize is an open competition across the issues published within the year. Two/three articles will be shortlisted but only one prize will be awarded by the board. The winning article will receive a prize bundle. Please indicate if you wish to enter when you submit your paper by selecting ‘New Writers Prize’ as the manuscript type.

Manuscripts should be submitted online at the Research in Dance Education Manuscript Central site at For further informa- tion on the journal and Instructions for Authors, please visit the journal’s dedicated website