Sarah Kenny

Dr. Sarah J. Kenny

BA, MSc, PhD
Pronouns: (she/her)


Associate Professor

Faculty of Kinesiology

Child Health & Wellness Researcher

Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute

Full Member

O'Brien Institute for Public Health


Educational Background

Doctor of Philosophy Sports Medicine, University of Calgary, 2017

MSc Dance Science (with Distinction), Laban Conservatoire of Dance, City University London, 2004

BA Dance Studies , University of Calgary, 2001


Dr. Kenny graduated with her BA in Dance Studies from the University of Calgary in 2001. She entered her career as an Independent Artist, performing and collaborating in various projects throughout Alberta, Canada. In 2003, Dr. Kenny moved to London, UK to pursue graduate studies. Upon completing her MSc in Dance Science with distinction, she continued her work at TrinityLaban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, lecturing and researching in the Department of Dance Science. BA and M-level courses taught included Dance Fitness, Dance Kinesiology, Dance Science, and Movement and Somatics. Prior to leaving London, Dr. Kenny was also a Dance Science Lecturer at Roehampton University and External Examiner for the MSc Dance Science at Wolverhampton University for four years.

In 2009, Dr. Kenny relocated to Houston, Texas where she worked with the Houston Ballet Academy and Hope Stone Dance Company as a Dance Fitness Consultant, delivering classes and training programs to pre-professional ballet students and contemporary dance professionals. In 2012, she returned home to Calgary, Alberta to pursue a PhD in Kinesiology under the supervision of Dr. Carolyn Emery. In July 2017, she accepted the position of Assistant Professor (Dance Science), a joint appointment between the Faculties of Art and Kinesiology.


Areas of Research

Dance Science

As a dance science researcher, Dr. Kenny investigates areas described as: ‘health for dance’ and ‘dance for health’. Specifically, Dr. Kenny’s primary research applies her experience as a contemporary dancer to the science of injury epidemiology and focuses on minimizing risk and reducing the burden of injuries across all dance populations. In addition, Dr. Kenny explores the psychosocial experiences of recreation/community dance as a form of creative physical activity for a variety of populations across the age spectrum. 

From its inception as a scientific discipline, dance science has acknowledged the importance of interdisciplinary perspectives to examine the health and wellbeing of dancers, and beneficial contributions of participating in dance for all populations. The integration of multiple perspectives such as sociocultural contexts, health psychology, pedagogy, exercise physiology, nutrition, biomechanics, and epidemiology brings a holistic approach to the field of dance science, which is essential to Dr. Kenny's research. 

Participation in university strategic initiatives


Course number Course title Semester
DNCE 235 Safe Dance Practice
DNCE 359 Dance Anatomy
DNCE 363 Dance Science
KNES 402 Dance and Health Promotion


  • Peak Scholar’s Award, University of Calgary. 2019
  • Healthy Dancer Canada Research Award, Healthy Dancer Canada. 2018
  • IADMS Student Research Award, International Association for Dance Medicine and Science. 2017
  • Nomination for Top 40 under 40, Avenue Magazine, Calgary AB. 2016