Musculoskeletal effects and injury risk in collegiate Indian classical and ballet dancers
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Dancers of all forms often engage in aesthetic yet challenging movements. Their training, choreography, and performances require strength, stamina, flexibility, grace, passion, and emotion. Ballet and Bharatanatyam (an Indian classical dance form) dancers utilize two movements in each of their dance forms that are similar—a half-sitting pose and a full-sitting pose, both requiring external rotation of the legs and bending at the knee joints. The purpose of this study was to examine and compare the biomechanics of joint reaction forces and knee angles in both styles of dance for these particular poses. The study included nine female ballet dancers and seven female Bharatanatyam dancers. Hamstring and gastrocnemius flexibility were measured for each dancer. Knee angles, vertical peak forces, and moments were determined for dancers at the lowest point of their bending positions. Mann-Whitney U tests found significant differences in hamstring flexibility, right gastrocnemius flexibility, and knee angles for the full-sitting poses between ballet and Bharatanatyam dancers. No significant difference was found in the vertical peak forces as a ratio to total body weight and moments between the two styles of dance. Further research can be done to more directly assess a difference in injury risk between the ballet and Bharatanatyam dancers.
CitationPrakash, Roshni (2016). Musculoskeletal effects and injury risk in collegiate Indian classical and ballet dancers. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/12378.
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Rights for Collection: Undergraduate Honors Theses and Student papers