• Associations between balance ability and dance performance using field balance tests

      Clarke, Frances; Koutedakis, Yiannis; Wilson, Margaret; Wyon, Matthew (Science & Medicine, 2019-09-01)
      Purpose: Although balance is a key element of dance, it remains to be confirmed which balance components are associated with dance performance. The aim of this study was to assess the associations between different balance field tests and dance performance in an in-house measure in ballet, contemporary and jazz genres. Methods: 83 female undergraduate dance students (20±1.5 years; 163.04±6.59 cm; 60.97±10.76 kg) were subjected to the Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT), the Airplane test, a dance-specific pirouette test, the modified Romberg test, and the BioSway Balance System (Biodex, USA). The results from these balance tests were compared to the participants’ technique and repertoire performance scores in ballet, contemporary, and jazz genres. Results: Ballet scores were best predicted by SEBT 90˚ and Romberg for technique (r = 0.4, p = 0.001, SEE ±2.49) and Romberg, SEBT 90˚, and SEBT 225˚ for repertoire (r = 0.51, p = 0.001, SEE±1.99). Contemporary data indicated SEBT 90˚ and Romberg for technique (r = 0.37, p = 0.001, SEE±2.67) and SEBT 225˚ for repertoire (r = 0.27, p = 0.015, SEE±2.29). Jazz indicated SEBT 90˚, Romberg, SEBT 315˚, and SEBT 225˚ for technique (r = 0.51, p = 0.001, SEE±2.28) and SEBT 225˚ and Romberg for repertoire (r = 0.41, p = 0.001, SEE±2.29). Conclusion: The present study suggests that balance ability has a limited influence on dance performance, with existing field balance tests demonstrating low to moderate associations with dance technique and repertoire.
    • Balance in theatrical dance performance: a systematic review

      Clarke, Frances; Koutedakis, Yiannis; Wilson, Margaret; Wyon, Matthew (Science & Medicine, 2018-12-01)
      AIM: Due to movement complexity and the use of interdisciplinary styles, all theatrical dance genres require dancers to have excellent balance skills to meet choreographic demands. The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate the experimental evidence for the relationship between balance and dance performance, including balance testing, balance training, and balance performance. The key focus was on balance and theatrical styles of dance, involving adult participants who were either in full-time dance training or professional dancers. METHODS: The databases MEDLINE, PubMed, Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health (CINAHL), SPORTDiscus, Cochrane, ScienceDirect, and Google Scholar were searched using MeSH terms postural balance, balance, postural, musculoskeletal equilibrium, and postural equilibrium, and used in combination with dance, between 1980 and 2016. PRISMA recommendations were applied in modifications to the search terms. RESULTS: The initial search revealed 1,140 published articles. After applying inclusion and exclusion criteria, 47 articles were judged to be relevant for further assessment using the GRADE system. Results revealed only 1 randomized controlled trial (RCT); the remaining articles were experimental without randomisation or pre-experimental, thus achieving low scores. A total of 39 articles focused on balance ability, including postural sway and control; 5 were related to multi-joint coordination; and 3 investigated laterality and balance. Female ballet dancers were the most studied population, while a wide range of measurement tools and balance tasks were employed. CONCLUSION: The available material on balance and dance performance is of rather low quality. There is a need for more RCTs and intervention balance studies.