SPEAKER - Sarah Carter

Sarah Carter

Sarah was part of the inaugural group of students to complete the Bachelors of Podiatric Medicine at UWA in 2009 and in 2012, moved to Dundee, Scotland.

There she completed a Master’s of Science in Motion Analysis at the University of Dundee.

Her thesis title was an “Analysis of the kinetic and kinematic data in lower limbs during highland dancing”.

Currently, she is her final year of a joint PhD between the Podiatric Medicine and Surgery Division and the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.

Her Thesis title is “Lower leg and foot contributions to turnout”. She presented two papers at the 26th Annual Conference for the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science (IADMS), in Hong Kong, 2016 and in 2017 at the Australasian Podiatry Conference in Melbourne.

The first two articles for her thesis are soon to be published in the Journal of Sports Biomechanics and the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association (JAPMA). In October, she will be presenting this paper at the IADMS 27th Annual conference in Houston, USA.


3D kinematic analysis of the lower leg and foot contributions to turnout in female pre-professional dancers


The act of externally rotating the legs or “turnout” is central to ballet dancing technique. A high incidence of lower limb injury has been attributed to dancers with limited hip external rotation who compensate turnout using the lower leg and foot. Using 3D motion analysis, this study compared the lower leg and foot compensations to turnout performed by pre-professional female dancers in functional turnout, forced turnout and sauté conditions. Active and passive external tibiofemoral rotation of the dancers was also measured. A strong negative relationship was observed between hip external rotation and foot abduction in the three turnout conditions. A moderate negative relationship was found between hip and knee external rotation at the lowest point of a sauté movement and between the passive tibiofemoral external rotation and foot abduction in all three turnout conditions. Our findings suggest dancers are more likely to pronate about the foot/ankle complex, than rotate at the knee to compensate for limited hip external rotation. Whereas dancers with less foot mobility may force additional rotation via the knee which may contribute to rotational joint laxity. Ongoing research would benefit from more in-depth analyses of the foot/ankle complex such as that provided by multi-segment foot models.

  • Company:Podiatric Medicine and Surgery Division, UWA and the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts
  • Short Bio:PhD student
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