Ballet dancers require a high level of postural balance (PB) and proprioception ability during performance. As textured insoles inserted into ballet shoes were found to improve proprioception ability, and better proprioceptive acuity was associated with better PB, the aim of the present study was to investigate whether the association between ankle inversion movement discrimination (AIMD) and PB changed following wearing textured insoles in young male and female dancers. METHODS: Forty-four dancers from the Australian Ballet School, ages 14'19 yrs, were tested for static and dynamic PB and AIMD under two conditions: in ballet shoes, and in ballet shoes with textured insoles inserted. RESULTS: Female dancers demonstrated a significant inverse relationship between AIMD and static PB in the medio-lateral direction when wearing ballet shoes, but not when wearing textured insoles. Male dancers showed a non-monotonic relationship when tested with ballet shoes only, but a significant inverse relationship between AIMD and dynamic PB in the vertical direction and with the waist/head cross-correlation acceleration in the three movement directions when they were tested with textured insoles. CONCLUSIONS: Male dancers demonstrated an improved association between dynamic PB and proprioception ability when using textured insoles, suggesting that the increased afferent information from the plantar surface had a beneficial effect on proprioception feedback about their PB. Conversely, for female dancers, that association was present when wearing ballet shoes, but not when using textured insoles, suggesting that the increased afferent information for female dancers who already had high proprioception ability was 'overloaded' by wearing the textured insoles.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Medical Problems of Performing Artists|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|