Psychological Wellbeing and Grit among Freelancers in the UK Dance Industry

Imogen J. Aujla, Lindsay Jenkins, Natasha King, Rachel Farrer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The UK dance industry is composed largely of freelance workers, yet freelancers are an under-researched population within the dance science literature. The aim of this study was to investigate psychological wellbeing and grit (a combination of passion and persistence) among freelancers working in various roles in the UK dance sector. A total of 282 freelancers completed validated questionnaires tapping psychological wellbeing and grit (the 18-item Psychological Wellbeing Scale and Short Grit Scale). Analyses revealed relatively high levels of wellbeing, with participants scoring particularly high on personal growth and purpose in life (15.73 and 14.11, respectively, out of a maximum of 18). They also had high levels of grit (3.90 ± 0.33 out of a maximum of 5). Freelancers who identified as being early career reported significantly higher levels of grit than the mid and late career groups. Significant positive correlations were found between grit and the wellbeing domains of personal growth, purpose in life, and positive relations. Overall, the results of this study support previous qualitative research suggesting that a freelance dance career may provide elements of psychological wellbeing, and that passion and persistence towards long-term goals could be essential in the pursuit of a freelance career.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-237
Number of pages5
JournalMedical Problems of Performing Artists
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was commissioned by One Dance UK with funds from Arts Council England and the Dance Professionals Fund. The authors declare no conflicts of interest related to this study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Science and Medicine.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History and Philosophy of Science


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