Book an Open Day

Department menu

Dr Sarah Needham-Beck

Research Fellow in Exercise Physiology

Sarah is a Research Fellow in the Occupational Performance Research Group (OPRG), where she primarily works on delivery of research projects for the British Army, in particular currently developing physical employment standards for personnel serving in non-ground close combat roles.

Prior to joining OPRG, Sarah worked in vocational and professional dance as a researcher, guest lecturer, and manager of the Healthier Dancer Programme at One Dance UK. Her PhD research focused on the cardiorespiratory demands of contemporary dance training and performance and examined appropriate methods for documenting this. Therefore, Sarah is also involved in delivery of the BSc Dance Science course and is currently undertaking research with colleagues in the dance department investigating the training load of dance students and the physiological demands of professional touring. 


  • 2017, PhD Dance Science, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
  • 2010, MSc Dance Science, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
  • 2009, BSc (Hons) Exercise and Sport Sciences, University of Exeter
  • British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES), professional member
  • International Association for Dance Medicine & Science (IADMS), professional member and serving on the promotion committee


Siddall, A.G., Thompson, J.E.S., Powell, S.D., Edwards, V.C., Needham-Beck, S.C., Kefyalew, S.S., Singh, P.A., Orford, A.R., Venables, M.C., Jackson, S., Greeves, J.P., Blacker, S.D., & Myers, S.D. (2019). Validity of energy expenditure estimation methods during 10 days of military training. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 29, 1313-1321.

Chasse, E., Tingelstad, H.C., Needham-Beck, S.C., & Reilly, T. (2019). Factors Affecting Performance on an Army Urban Operation Casualty Evacuation for Male and Female Soldiers. Military Medicine, 184(11-12), e856-62.

Needham-Beck, S.C., Wyon, M.A., & Redding, E. (2019). The Relationship Between Performance Competence and Cardiorespiratory Fitness in Contemporary Dance. Medical Problems of Performing Artists, 34(2), 79-84.

Aujla, I.J., & Needham-Beck, S. (2019). Subjective well-being among young dancers with disabilities. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 1-8.

Beck, S., Wyon, M.A., & Redding, E. (2018). Changes in Energy Demand of Dance Activity and Cardiorespiratory Fitness During One Year of Vocational Contemporary Dance Training. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 32(3), 841-848.

Sliiden, T., Beck, S., & MacDonald, I. (2017). An evaluation of the breathing strategies and maximum phonation time in musical theatre performers during controlled performance tasks. Journal of Voice, 31(2), 253-1-11.

Wyon, M.A., Allen, N., Cloak, R., Beck, S., Davies P., & Clarke, F. (2016). Assessment of maximum aerobic capacity and anaerobic threshold of elite ballet dancers. Medical Problems of Performing Artists, 31(3): 145-150.

Beck, S., Redding, E., & Wyon, M.A. (2015). Methodological considerations for documenting the energy demand of dance activity: a review. Front. Psychol. 6:568. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00568


Research Interests:

  • Field measurement of physiological demand
  • Development of fitness testing protocols/physical employment standards
  • Training load monitoring
  • Supplementary fitness training interventions for dancers