The dancer as a performing athlete: physiological considerations.
Cast your vote
You can rate an item by clicking the amount of stars they wish to award to this item.
When enough users have cast their vote on this item, the average rating will also be shown.
Your vote was cast
Thank you for your feedback
Thank you for your feedback
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractThe physical demands placed on dancers from current choreography and performance schedules make their physiology and fitness just as important as skill development. However, even at the height of their professional careers, dancers' aerobic power, muscular strength, muscular balance, bone and joint integrity are the 'Achilles heels' of the dance-only selection and training system. This partly reflects the unfounded view, shared by sections of the dance world, that any exercise training that is not directly related to dance would diminish dancers' aesthetic appearances. Given that performing dance itself elicits only limited stimuli for positive fitness adaptations, it is not surprising that professional dancers often demonstrate values similar to those obtained from healthy sedentary individuals of comparable age in key fitness-related parameters. In contrast, recent data on male and female dancers revealed that supplementary exercise training can lead to improvements of such fitness parameters and reduce incidents of dance injuries, without interfering with key artistic and aesthetic requirements. It seems, however, that strict selection and training regimens have succeeded in transforming dance to an activity practised by individuals who have selectively developed different flexibility characteristics compared with athletes. Bodyweight targets are normally met by low energy intakes, with female dance students and professional ballerinas reported to consume below 70% and 80% of the recommended daily allowance of energy intake, respectively, while the female athlete 'triad' of disordered eating, amenorrhoea and osteoporosis is now well recognised and is seen just as commonly in dancers.An awareness of these factors will assist dancers and their teachers to improve training techniques, to employ effective injury prevention strategies and to determine better physical conditioning. However, any change in the traditional training regimes must be approached cautiously to ensure that the aesthetic content of the dance is not affected by new training techniques. Since physiological aspects of performing dance have been viewed primarily in the context of ballet, further scientific research on all forms of dance is required.
CitationSports Medicine, 34(10): 651-661
- Cardiorespiratory Considerations in Dance: From Classes to Performances.
- Authors: Rodrigues-Krause J, Krause M, Reischak-Oliveira Á
- Issue date: 2015 Sep
- Physiological fitness and professional classical ballet performance: a brief review.
- Authors: Twitchett EA, Koutedakis Y, Wyon MA
- Issue date: 2009 Dec
- Do increases in selected fitness parameters affect the aesthetic aspects of classical ballet performance?
- Authors: Twitchett EA, Angioi M, Koutedakis Y, Wyon M
- Issue date: 2011 Mar
- Fitness in contemporary dance: a systematic review.
- Authors: Angioi M, Metsios GS, Koutedakis Y, Wyon MA
- Issue date: 2009 Jul
- Athletes Doing Arabesques: Important Considerations in the Care of Young Dancers.
- Authors: Wilson JC, Quinn BJ, Stratton CW, Southwick H, MacDonald JP
- Issue date: 2015 Nov-Dec