Background Professional dancers are at significant risk of injury due to the physical demands of their career. Despite their high numbers, the experience of injury in freelance or part-time dancers is not well understood. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine the occurrence and characteristics of injury in part-time compared with full-time Australian professional dancers. Methods Data were collected using a cross-sectional survey distributed to employees of small and large dance companies and freelance dancers in Australia. Statistical comparisons between full-time and part-time dancer demographics, dance training, injury prevalence and characteristics were made using ��2, two-tailed Fisher's exact tests, independent t-tests and Mann-Whitney U tests. Results A total of 89 full-time and 57 part-time dancers were included for analysis. A higher proportion of full-time dancers (79.8%) than part-time dancers (63.2%) experienced an injury that impacted on their ability to dance in the past 12 months (p=0.035). Injuries characteristics were similar between groups with fatigue being the most cited contributing factor. Part-time dancers took longer to seek treatment while a higher proportion of full-time dancers were unable to dance in any capacity following their injury. Conclusion More full-time dancers sustained an injury in the past 12 months, and were unable to dance in any capacity following their injury. However injuries still commonly occurred in part-time dancers without necessarily a large volume of dance activity. Part-time dancers often access general community clinicians for treatment, who may need additional education to practically advise on appropriate return to dance.