Introducing the 2022 Student Research Award Recipients

The IADMS Research Committee is proud to announce the two recipients of the 2022 Student Research Award! Student research abstracts for the IADMS 32nd Annual Conference were blind reviewed by the Research Committee, evaluating multiple criteria, from methodological merit to originality. All of the recipients have demonstrated outstanding and promising work, and we celebrate them for their accomplishments!

In this blog post, we introduce the two Student Research Award recipients and learn more about their research and what receiving the award means to them! Be sure to check out part 2, where we introduce the four travel grant recipients. 


Jenna Magrath

Title: Undergraduate contemporary dancers' perceptions of dance-related pain, injury, and fatigue

Co-Authors: Vanessa Paglione, Lindsay Morrison, Sarah J. Kenny

Presentation: Sunday October 30, 10:30-10:45 am (GMT+1)

Award generously supported by the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries 

This research aimed to understand university contemporary dance students’ perceptions of pain, injury, and fatigue. It is known that dancers have high rates of injury, and that it is common for dancers to dance while in pain, injured, or fatigued. Cultural norms that promote dancing through pain, and fear and avoidance of disclosing pain, injury, or fatigue exist within dance contexts, and may contribute to injury risk. From our qualitative analysis, four themes were generated: (1) It’s more unusual for people to sit out than to dance through their injuries; (2) Pain, injury, and fatigue aren’t just physical; (3) Safe dancing environments are important; (4) Implementing dancer health knowledge into practice is complicated. Cultural norms of persevering through and normalization of pain, injury, and fatigue remain present in university dance programs. Findings highlight the negative psychological impact injuries can have, and that implementing knowledge into practice remains difficult. The role that dance educators play in dancers’ understanding of pain, injury, and fatigue was identified, and further emphasis on safe dance practice is needed to establish healthy dance habits. Change is still needed to foster physically and psychologically safe dancing spaces.

I am very honoured and grateful to receive this award and have my work recognized by leaders in the field of dance medicine and science. As a recent graduate navigating next steps and dealing with the ongoing effects of the pandemic, it is reassuring to know I’m on a promising path forward and that I can make an impact in a field that is personally meaningful. 


Mackinsey Shahan

Title: Survey Development For Assessing Nutrition Knowledge And Attitudes Of Collegiate Dance Faculty

Co-Authors: Joy W. Douglas, Amy C. Ellis, Seung Eun Jung, Deidre Leaver-Dunn, Toni Torres-McGehee, Stefanie A. Wind, Jeannine C. Lawrence 

Presentation: Sunday October 30, 4:30-4:45 pm (GMT +1)

Award generously supported by an anonymous donor

This research study aimed to develop and validate a questionnaire assessing college dance educators’ nutrition knowledge and their intentions to provide nutrition education and resources to dance students. The survey was created based on the Sport Nutrition Questionnaire and the Theory of Planned Behavior. After review by experts and pilot testing, the survey was distributed to a convenience sample of college dance educators and analysis was conducted. Based on this analysis, several limitations were found with the nutrition knowledge survey and indicated more research is needed in this area to adequately assess nutrition knowledge in dancers. Additionally, the theory of planned behavior survey was not supported during analysis and two smaller scales were created instead. As such, this study presents 2 valid and reliable tools for evaluating: 1) intentions of educators to provide nutrition education and resources, and 2) attitudes towards disordered eating behaviors. This is a crucial first step in improving nutrition education and resources for dancers, and addressing important nutrition-related concerns in dancers. 

I am honored to have this opportunity to present my research with IADMS and share my work on nutrition for dancers with the dance medicine and science community. Receiving this award will go to supporting my future research in this area.