Post-Hire Health Screen for Professional Dancers

Learn about the Dance/USA Task Force on Dancer Health’s Pre-Season Post-Hire Health Care Screen for Professional Dancers.

Use these links to learn about the screen:

Post Hire Health Screen for Professional Dancers

Dance/USA’s Managers Council requested that the Task Force on Dancer Health explore and make recommendations on preventing injury and illness in professional dance.  After a series of meetings, the screening project was piloted in winter 2005 with four companies participating.  Since that time, the screen has been evolving and over 30 companies across the USA and Canada are participating. 

  • The Primary Purposes of the screening should be mandatory and are:
    • To detect potentially life-threatening or disabling medical or musculoskeletal conditions that may limit a dancer’s safe participation. 
    • To detect medical or musculoskeletal conditions that may predispose dancers to injury and/or illness during their season.
  • The Secondary Purposes of the screening are essential and are:
    • To determine the general health of the dancers 
    • To assess the fitness level of the dancers 
    • To counsel the dancers and make recommendations based on the screening information. 
    • To use a standardized screening tool and associated protocols to assess dancer health. 
    • To introduce new dancers to the company’s health care team and the health resources available to them.

The information collected is private, confidential and treated like a medical record so therefore, is protected by law, including Federal HIPAA regulations. 

There are strict guidelines that instruct the health care practitioner in how to correctly conduct the screen, how to keep the information protected and how to properly store the data. The screening form and guidelines are reviewed and updated every year. 

About the Screen


The screening assessment IS:

  • A quick screen designed to find “red flags”
  • Performed by health care professionals trained to administer the tests
  • An opportunity for dancers to meet the health care team
  • A source for individual referrals, recommendations and individualized preventative exercise programs
  • A living document that changes regularly based on experience and the most recent research

The screening is NOT:

  • A comprehensive physical evaluation
  • Meant for students or non-professional dancers
  • A research tool


The Annual Post-Hire Screening Assessment was designed for the professional adult dancer. The screen is not appropriate as a tool in any other setting including school settings. 

Overview of Administering the Screen

The screening form is designed to be administered by a licensed healthcare professional (including, but not limited to a physical therapist (PT); certified athletic trainer (ATC); medical doctor (MD), etc.) trained to complete the objective tests.

Whether you are a health care professional working with a freelance dancer or helping to care for a professional dance company, it is the hope of the Dance/USA Task Force on Dancer Health that you will choose to participate in the screening project. If this is of interest to you and your institution, there are a few steps that MUST be completed before the assessments are conducted and those instructions are provided in the guidelines (see below to access the guidelines).

The screening tool is accompanied by comprehensive guidelines. If you are looking for an overview, these are key steps in beginning this process with your company.

  1. Meet with your company’s AGMA dancer representatives or dancer leadership to fully explain this program so that they understand it and can be supportive.
  2. All dancers should complete the medical history section of the screen BEFORE their scheduled assessment. They can either complete the paper form or log on directly to the Dancer Wellness Project.
  3. The most important aspect of this process is the comprehensive health history. It is possible for companies to only use this section.
  4. The physical assessment portion of the screen is designed to take no more than 30 minutes, INCLUDING the individual review and recommendations time.  However, the first screenings may take longer as the medical professional become familiar with the form and format.
  5. READ the guidelines and practice the physical assessment with a colleague before your dancers arrive. 
  6. Larger companies have found that doing the screen in sections assists them in seeing 3-4 dancers per half hour. Smaller companies have found that the 1 on 1 model is more efficient. Either model can work well, as long as there are 5-10 minutes at the end for individual and private review of the health history, physical assessment findings and any necessary recommendations.

All of the above points are explained in further detail in the guidelines.

How to Access the Screen and the Guidelines

The screening document and guidelines are available to help assist and support the health care professional administering the screen. The form MUST be filled out every year, regardless if the form has been filled out previously. The registration form MUST be completed before any documents are disseminated. 

Follow the instructions below to access the materials.

Registration Form (via links below)

Each organization decides what information they want (screening, injury tracking or both), how best to implement the screen, what to do with the information, how to store data, etc. Recommendations for these items are listed in the screening guidelines.

While the injury tracking project is currently on hold, we are still happy to provide the documents to companies wishing to utilize the protocol.

Once the registration form is completed and verified, the most recent and updated documents will be sent via email.

Please contact the Screening Committee with questions.

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