Aim We investigated the extent and characteristics of injuries in contemporary dance students. Methods During one academic year, 134 students of Bachelor dance and Bachelor dance teacher from Codarts University of the Arts (Rotterdam, the Netherlands) were prospectively monitored monthly, using the Performing Artist and Athlete Health Monitor which includes the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Centre Questionnaire on Health Problems. Results 130 students were included in the analyses. The response rate of monthly completed questionnaires was 80%. During the academic year, 97% of students reported at least one injury, mental complaint or other health problem. The 1-year injury incidence proportion was 81%. Of these injured students, 58% were substantially injured (ie, problems leading to moderate or severe reductions in training volume or performance or complete inability to participate in activities). The monthly injury proportion (all injuries) ranged from 23% to 43% and for substantial injuries from 6% to 17%. The injury incidence rate per 1000 hours dance exposure was 1.9 (95% CI 1.7 to 2.2). Ankle/foot (30%), lower back (17%) and knee (15%) were the most common sites of injury. Conclusion Contemporary dance students are at high risk for injuries. Injury prevention programmes among contemporary dance students should focus on the ankle/foot, lower back and knee.