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Laboratory for Science and Health in Artistic Performance (SHAPe)

Shape student assisting with physical activity


The SHAPe Lab focuses on various methods of quantifying the demands of performing arts on the body and applying them to performing arts ergonomics, injury prevention, injury care, and artist wellness. In partnership with a related facility, the Clinic for Science and Health in Artistic Performance (SHAPe Clinic, Putnam Hall 304), the lab draws attention to the health needs of performing artists and gives specialized research attention to concussion in theater and dance, risk factors for injury in musicians, detrimental sound exposure in marching band and osteopathic care in performing arts.

Virtually all of the research from the Laboratory for Science and Health in Artistic Performance focuses on community-engagement with performing arts communities located in the United States, Europe, and Canada. It is designed to be research WITH a community rather than research ON a community.

The three primary artistic disciplines SHAPe works with include film and television stunt performers, dancers in the commercial industry, and university dance team dancers. They work with co-investigators from each of these to study concussions, musculoskeletal injuries, health care access, and physicality in artistic practice.

Student Benefits

Research is a rich and exciting way to learn, especially when the research pours value into a group of people whose needs typically are ignored. This is the situation with performing artists and their injuries.

Undergraduate students are immersed in the research process and may lead a project of their own. This opportunity could be especially suitable for HTC or other honors students seeking a thesis project. Graduate students are also eligible.




Academic Credit

Both options available.