Dance biomechanics: a tool for controlling health, fitness, and training.

Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Thessaly University, Trikala, Greece.
Journal of dance medicine & science: official publication of the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science 02/2008; 12(3):83-90.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The need for superior performance in dance has impelled teachers and choreographers to use increasingly effective and sophisticated methods of preparation. To that end, such modalities ofbiomechanics as advanced motion-capture, muscle-function and muscle-strength techniques are being used to provide useful information about which of the dancers' needs require special attention. This often involves improving aspects of dance technique, which, in turn, may help dancers to prevent disabling injuries, the most frequent cause of notoriously short dance careers. Biomechanics may also help dancers to assess fitness levels, to control overtraining or "burnout," and assist them and their teachers in the effective scheduling of practice and exercise sessions.

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Available from: Yiannis Koutedakis, Sep 27, 2015
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    • "Since correct technique is a factor that significantly decreases the risk of injury [14,15], and the degree of motor habit control (e.g., the proper execution of a given sports technique) determines the values of forces recorded during the landing phase [16], we observed kinematic values and recorded the technique of execution of a modern dance movement referred to as the “stag jump”. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: This paper presents a case study of kinematic analysis of the modern dance movement known as the "stag jump". Detailed analysis of the kinematic structure of this movement as performed by the dancers, accompanied by measurements of impact forces during landing, will allow the authors to determine, in subsequent model-based research phases, the forces acting in knee joints of the lower landing limb. Material and methods: Two professional modern dancers participated in the study: a male and a female. The study consisted in recording the values of ground reaction and body motion, and then determining and analyzing kinematic parameters of performed movements. Results: The results of measurement of joint angles in the landing lower limb, pelvis, and foot position in relation to the ground, as well as the level of vertical components of ground reaction, provided insight into the loading response phase of the "stag jump". The measurements and obtained results show differences between the man and woman in ground reactions and kinematic quantities. Conclusions: The results obtained during the research may be used in the development and teaching of dancing movements. Training sessions, carried out in the biomechanical laboratory, with active participation of dancing teachers, could form a basis for a prevention model of injuries and physical overloads occurring within this occupational group. Primary differences in the "stag jump" performance technique probably result from the different educational path the man and the woman went through.
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    ABSTRACT: Muscle fibers can generally be divided into slow and fast twitch according to their contraction speed. Even though an individual normally has the same ratio of slow/fast muscle fibers throughout his or her body, the lower-limb muscles are predominantly designed to provide the maximum dynamic output in rapid movements (e.g., jumping). The limited data on dancers’ muscle profiles have shown that (ballet) dancers have predominately slow fibers. Muscular strength, together with aerobic and anaerobic capacity, joint mobility and muscle flexibility, and body composition form the continuum of physical fitness. Strength is defined as the maximum force that a muscle group can generate at a specified velocity; its levels can be affected by several factors. which include age, gender, type of muscle fiber, nutrition, and body temperature. There is no scientific evidence suggesting that different strength training regimens should be employed for the different styles of dance. However, reduced muscular strength has been associated with greater severity of injury in dancers. Poor aerobic capabilities, high ectomorphy ratings with low percent body fat values, and the biomechanics of different dance techniques have also been identified as underlying sources of injury in dancers. The most common location for injury in ballet dancers is the foot and the ankle, while in contemporary dancers it is the low back and knee. Little information is available with respect to other dance styles.
    Medical problems of performing artists 12/2009; 24(4). · 0.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Performing arts medicine is a growing health care profession specializing in the needs of performing artists. As part of the performing arts venue, the dancer, a combination of athlete and artist, presents with unique health care needs requiring a more collaborative and holistic health care program. Currently there are relatively few advanced practice nurses (APNs) who specialize in performing arts health care. APNs, with focus on collaborative and holistic health care, are ideally suited to join other health care professionals in developing and implementing comprehensive health care programs for the performing artist. This article focuses on the dancer as the client in an APN practice that specializes in performing arts health care.
    Journal of Holistic Nursing 06/2010; 28(2):136-44. DOI:10.1177/0898010109350769
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