Wyon, Matthew A.; Deighan, Martine A.; Nevill, Alan M.; Doherty, Michael; Morrison, Sharon L.; Allen, Nicolas; Jobson, Simon A.; George, Simon R. (Human Kinetics Pub, 2007)
This study examined the cardiorespiratory and anthropometric indices of professional classical ballet dancers in relation to company seniority, gender, and supplemental training. Forty-nine participants from an international touring company carried out a peak Vo(2) test and vertical jump test. Anthropometric measurements and supplemental training activities were also recorded for each participant. Statistical analyses showed significant differences between gender and dancer seniority levels. Gender differences were seen for jump height (M = 52.7 +/- 7.12 cm; F = 37.6 +/- 5.32 cm) and peak Vo(2) (M = 49.32 +/- 3.72 ml.kg(-1).min(-1); F = 43.3 +/- 5.16 ml.kg(-1).min(-1)). Differences were also seen between dancer levels for peak Vo(2) (artist = 46.47 +/- 4.67 ml.kg(-1).min(-1); first artist = 42.72 +/- 5.81 ml.kg(-1).min(-1); soloist = 43.38 +/- 7.14 ml.kg(-1).min(-1); principal = 49.04 +/- 3.63 ml.kg(-1).min(-1)) and jump height (artist = 42.0 +/- 9.11 cm; first artist = 50.33 +/- 11.65 cm; soloist = 45.6 +/- 9.78 cm; principal = 44.67 +/- 9.53 cm). Pairwise post hoc comparisons showed that corps and principals had significantly greater relative peak Vo(2) than first artists and soloists (p < 0.05), while soloists and first artists had significantly greater jump heights compared to principals and corps (p < 0.05). Analysis of covariance modeling indicated that the self-reported mode of supplemental training had no association with relative peak Vo(2) or the percentage at which ventilatory threshold occurred. The present study has provided further insight into the cardiorespiratory profiles of classical ballet dancers, where soloists have significantly greater power capacities compared to principals and corps, who in turn had significantly greater aerobic power. These data can help guide strength and conditioning intervention strategies that need to take into account the nuances of the different seniority levels within a dance company.
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