Date of Award

Spring 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Athletic Training – Post Professional Concentration

Committee Chairperson

Nicole M. Cattano, PhD, LAT, ATC

Committee Member

Katherine E. Morrison, PhD, LAT, ATC

Committee Member

Kenneth Clark, PhD, MS, CSCS



Objectives: To determine differences in lower limb landing biomechanics and lower extremity function scale scores between champion levels, in young female Irish dancers.

Design: Cross-sectional.

Setting: McDade-Cara School of Irish Dance

Participants: 12 Open Champion (OC) level female Irish dancers (11.9 ± 3.37 years) and 9 Preliminary Champion (PC) Irish dancers (13.5 ± 3.37 years) performed the landing error scoring system test (LESS), and completed the lower extremity functional scale (LEFS) and a descriptive data questionnaire

Main outcome measures: LESS scoring sheet and LEFS PRO

Results: No significant differences found between OC and PC levels on the LESS (p=0.14) or the LEFS (p=0.14). No correlation found between LESS and LEFS scores (p=0.326). The descriptive data had no significantly different answers between levels except for years of dance experience and level (p=0.006). Two dancers reported injury history (p=0.74), yet several dancers reported pushing through pain (p=0.51).

Conclusions: Both OC and PC level demonstrated a transfer of landing technique to non- Irish dance related tasks, reflective of the lack of joint displacement, excessive external rotation of the foot, and narrow stance. Majority of dancers landed in peak flexion with a valgus load at the knee, which could be related to the unique technical training patterns. Poor LESS scores could put this population at risk for LE injury as well as other risk factors such as being female, a young, age, a high training load, and being at a champion level.

Keywords: Irish dance; Lower extremity injury; Landing mechanics; Level