Concussions in dance

Tap shoes to ballet shoes

Approximately 17 percent of all non-property claims reported by Markel Dance Program clients involve a fall. Of those claims, about 8 percent are reported as falls from elevations. When a person falls from an elevation, there is a distinct possibility that he/she can experience an impact to the head. Impacts to the head are the leading cause of concussions, which can range in levels of severity depending on the degree of impact. Understanding how to manage a potential concussion should be a part of your emergency action plan, particularly if your program involves children. The following information will help educate you and your instructors/teachers on concussion exposures.

What are concussions?

  • Concussions are a type of brain injury that can range from mild to severe and can disrupt the way the brain normally functions.
  • A concussion is caused by a blow or motion to the head or body that causes the brain to move rapidly inside the skull. The risks of catastrophic injuries or death are significant when a concussion or head injury is not properly evaluated and managed.
  • Concussions are one of the most commonly reported injuries in children and adolescents who participate in sports and recreational activities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that nearly 4 million sports- related and recreation-related concussions occur in the U.S. each year.
  • Concussions can occur in any organized or unorganized sport or recreational activity and result from a fall or from players colliding with each other, the ground, or with obstacles.
  • Concussions can occur with or without loss of consciousness. The vast majority occur without loss of consciousness.
  • Continuing to play/ participate with a concussion or symptoms of head injury leaves the young athlete (dancer) vulnerable to greater injury and even death.

Learn more about concussions

To learn about concussion injuries and concussion management, visit the CDC - Injury Prevention & Control: Traumatic Brain Injury at While this material may reference coaches, athletes, and parents, it is easily transferable to dance students.

To help create awareness among your students’ parents, share this material with them also. “Heads Up: Concussions in Youth Sports” also provides excellent resource material for parents of young dance students. You can access the Heads Up program at

Tap shoes to ballet shoes

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