Should ballet dancers vary postures and underfoot surfaces when practicing postural balance?

Nili Steinberg, Gordon Waddington, Roger Adams, Janet Karin, Oren Tirosh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Postural balance (PB) is an important component skill for professional dancers. However, the effects of different types of postures and different underfoot surfaces on PB have not adequately been addressed. Purpose: The main aim of this study was to investigate the effect of different conditions of footwear, surfaces, and standing positions on static and dynamic PB ability of young ballet dancers. Methods: A total of 36 male and female young professional ballet dancers (aged 14-19 years) completed static and dynamic balance testing, measured by head and lumbar accelerometers, while standing on one leg in the turnout position, under six different conditions: (1) "relaxed" posture; (2) "ballet" posture; (3) barefoot; (4) ballet shoes with textured insoles; (5) barefoot on a textured mat; and (6) barefoot on a spiky mat. Results: A condition effect was found for static and dynamic PB. Static PB was reduced when dancers stood in the ballet posture compared with standing in the relaxed posture and when standing on a textured mat and on a spiky mat (p < .05), and static PB in the relaxed posture was significantly better than PB in all the other five conditions tested. Dynamic PB was significantly better while standing in ballet shoes with textured insoles and when standing on a spiky mat compared with all other conditions (p < .05). Conclusions: The practical implications derived from this study are that both male and female dancers should try to be relaxed in their postural muscles when practicing a ballet aligned position, including dance practice on different types of floors and on different types of textured/spiky materials may result in skill transfer to practice on normal floor surfaces, and both static and dynamic PB exercises should be assessed and generalized into practical dance routines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-66
Number of pages22
JournalMotor Control
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018

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Postural Balance
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Shoes
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Steinberg, Nili ; Waddington, Gordon ; Adams, Roger ; Karin, Janet ; Tirosh, Oren. / Should ballet dancers vary postures and underfoot surfaces when practicing postural balance?. In: Motor Control. 2018 ; Vol. 22, No. 1. pp. 45-66.
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Should ballet dancers vary postures and underfoot surfaces when practicing postural balance? / Steinberg, Nili; Waddington, Gordon; Adams, Roger; Karin, Janet; Tirosh, Oren.

In: Motor Control, Vol. 22, No. 1, 01.2018, p. 45-66.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Should ballet dancers vary postures and underfoot surfaces when practicing postural balance?

AU - Steinberg, Nili

AU - Waddington, Gordon

AU - Adams, Roger

AU - Karin, Janet

AU - Tirosh, Oren

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N2 - Background: Postural balance (PB) is an important component skill for professional dancers. However, the effects of different types of postures and different underfoot surfaces on PB have not adequately been addressed. Purpose: The main aim of this study was to investigate the effect of different conditions of footwear, surfaces, and standing positions on static and dynamic PB ability of young ballet dancers. Methods: A total of 36 male and female young professional ballet dancers (aged 14-19 years) completed static and dynamic balance testing, measured by head and lumbar accelerometers, while standing on one leg in the turnout position, under six different conditions: (1) "relaxed" posture; (2) "ballet" posture; (3) barefoot; (4) ballet shoes with textured insoles; (5) barefoot on a textured mat; and (6) barefoot on a spiky mat. Results: A condition effect was found for static and dynamic PB. Static PB was reduced when dancers stood in the ballet posture compared with standing in the relaxed posture and when standing on a textured mat and on a spiky mat (p < .05), and static PB in the relaxed posture was significantly better than PB in all the other five conditions tested. Dynamic PB was significantly better while standing in ballet shoes with textured insoles and when standing on a spiky mat compared with all other conditions (p < .05). Conclusions: The practical implications derived from this study are that both male and female dancers should try to be relaxed in their postural muscles when practicing a ballet aligned position, including dance practice on different types of floors and on different types of textured/spiky materials may result in skill transfer to practice on normal floor surfaces, and both static and dynamic PB exercises should be assessed and generalized into practical dance routines.

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