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Concept: Ballet

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In this study we sought to explore how experience with specific mental and somatic practices is associated with wisdom, using self-report measures of experience and wisdom. We administered standard surveys to measure wisdom and experience among four groups of practitioners of mental and somatic practices, namely, meditators, practitioners of the Alexander Technique, practitioners of the Feldenkrais Method, and classical ballet dancers. We additionally administered surveys of trait anxiety and empathy to all participants to explore possible mediating relationships of experience and wisdom by characteristics thought to be components of wisdom. Wisdom was higher on average among meditation practitioners, and lowest among ballet dancers, and this difference held when controlling for differences in age between practices, supporting the view that meditation is linked to wisdom and that ballet is not. However, we found that increased experience with meditation and ballet were both positively associated with wisdom, and that lowered trait anxiety mediated this positive association among meditation practitioners, and, non-significantly, among ballet dancers. These results suggest that not all practices that are purported to affect mental processing are related to wisdom to the same degree and different kinds of experience appear to relate to wisdom in different ways, suggesting different mechanisms that might underlie the development of wisdom with experience.

Concepts: Anxiety, Psychology, Difference, Ballet, Mind-body interventions, Classical ballet, Feldenkrais Method, Moshé Feldenkrais

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The purpose of this study was to describe the effects of lower limb positioning and shoe conditions on stability levels of selected single leg ballet poses performed in demi-pointe position. Fourteen female non-professional ballet dancers (mean age of 18.4±2.8 years and mean body mass index of 21.5±2.8kg/m) who had practiced ballet for at least seven years, without any musculoskeletal impairment volunteered to participate in this study. A capacitive pressure platform allowed for the assessment of center of pressure variables related to the execution of three single leg ballet poses in demi pointé position: attitude devant, attitude derriére, and attitude a la second. Peak pressures, contact areas, COP oscillation areas, anterior-posterior and medio-lateral COP oscillations and velocities were compared between two shoe conditions (barefoot versus slippers) and among the different poses. Barefoot performances produced more stable poses with significantly higher plantar contact areas, smaller COP oscillation areas and smaller anterior-posterior COP oscillations. COP oscillation areas, anterior-posterior COP oscillations and medio-lateral COP velocities indicated that attitude a la second is the least challenging and attitude derriére the most challenging pose.

Concepts: Mass, Body mass index, Oscillation, Performance, Pressure, Ballet, Human leg, Positioning

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It is known that behavioral disorders and altered food intake are linked to ballet dancers. Thus, the aim of the present study was to investigate the body composition, dietetic profile, self–perceived body image and social desirability in professional ballet dancers.

Concepts: Nutrition, Dieting, Ballet

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Screening and training of professional dancers is commonly based around beliefs that a large range of turnout is more advantageous in the ballet industry. This belief leads dancers who have limited hip external rotation to compensate by forcing turnout at the knee and ankle, which has been linked to injury.

Concepts: Belief, Joints, Ballet, Classical ballet, Turnout, Ballet technique

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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.

Concepts: Present, Male, Gender, The Association, Sense, Performance, Dance, Ballet

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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the midfoot longitudinal arch height and correlate it with active hip external rotation (ER) in dancers during static postures and technical steps of classical ballet (i.e., first position, demi-plié, battement fondu à la seconde, pas jeté à la seconde, and grand jeté à la seconde). A 3D motion analysis system was used for kinematic analysis. The arch height was significantly reduced during the battement fondu à la seconde, pas jeté à la seconde, and grand jeté à la seconde when compared to standing (p = 0.000 for all comparisons), first position (p = 0.000, p = 0.000, and p = 0.001, respectively) and demi-plié (p = 0.015, p = 0.003, and p = 0.006, respectively). No significant correlation was found between arch height and active hip external rotation (p > 0.05). Hence, active hip external rotation does not seem to be related to midfoot pronation in this sample. Other factors, such as intrinsic and extrinsic foot muscle strength, may be related to the midfoot arch height. These findings contribute to a better understanding of ballet steps, but future studies are required to clarify this topic completely.

Concepts: Foot, Muscle, Correlation and dependence, Classical mechanics, Intrinsic and extrinsic properties, Ballet, Classical ballet, Ballet technique

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Study Design Cross-sectional. Background Generalised joint hypermobility (GJH) may increase pain and likelihood of injuries and also decrease function and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in elite level adolescent athletes. Objectives To assess the prevalence of GJH in elite level adolescent athletes, and to study the association of GJH with pain, function, HRQoL, and musculoskeletal injuries. Methods A total of 132 elite level adolescent athletes (36 males; 96 females), mean (SD) age 14.0 (0.9) years, participated (n=22 ballet dancers, n=57 teamgym gymnasts, n=53 team handball players). GJH was classified using the Beighton scores (BS) (GJH4: BS ≥ 4/9, GJH5: BS ≥ 5/9, GJH6: BS ≥ 6/9). Function of lower extremity, musculoskeletal injuries, and HRQoL were assessed with self-reported questionnaires, and part of physical performance was assessed by 4 postural sway tests and 2 one-legged hop for distance tests. Results Overall prevalence for GJH4, GJH5 and GJH6 was 27.3%, 15.9%, and 6.8%, respectively, with a higher prevalence in ballet dancers and team gymnasts than in team handball players (GJH4: 68.2%, 24.6%, and 13.2 %). There was no significant difference in lower extremity function, injury prevalence and related factors (exacerbation, recurrence, and absence from training) HRQoL, or lengths of hop tests for those with and without GJH. However, the GJH group had significantly larger centre of pressure path length across sway tests. Conclusion For ballet dancers and teamgym gymnasts the prevalence of GJH4 was higher than for team handball players. For ballet dancers, the prevalence of GJH5 and GJH6 was higher than for team handball players and the general adolescent population. The GJH group demonstrated larger sway in the balance tests, which, in the current cross-sectional study did not have an association with injuries or HRQoL. However, the risk of having (ankle) injuries due to larger sway for the GJH group must be studied in future longitudinal studies. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther, Epub 15 Sep 2017. doi:10.2519/jospt.2017.7682.

Concepts: Longitudinal study, Epidemiology, Cross-sectional study, Quality of life, Ballet, Olympic sports, Team handball, 1976 Summer Olympics

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OBJECTIVES: Athletes who train indoors during the winter months exhibit low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations due to a lack of sunlight exposure. This has been linked to impaired exercise performance. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of oral vitamin D3 supplementation on selected physical fitness and injury parameters in elite ballet dancers. DESIGN: Controlled prospective study. METHODS: 24 elite classical ballet dancers (intervention n=17; control n=7) participated in a controlled 4-month oral supplementation of vitamin D3 (2000IU per day). Isometric muscular strength and vertical jump height were measured pre and post intervention. Injury occurrence during the intervention period was also recorded by the in-house medical team. Repeated measures ANOVA and Mann-Whitney-U statistical tests were used and significance was set at p≤0.05. RESULTS: Significant increases were noted for the intervention group for isometric strength (18.7%, p<0.01) and vertical jump (7.1%, p<0.01). The intervention group also sustained significantly less injuries than the controls during the study period (p<0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Oral supplementation of vitamin D3 during the winter months has beneficial effects on muscular performance and injury occurrence in elite ballet dancers.

Concepts: Vitamin D, Muscle, Physical exercise, Exercise, Strength training, Ballet, Isometric exercise, Classical ballet

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EEG studies investigating the neural networks that facilitate action observation (AO) and kinaesthetic motor imagery (KMI) have shown reduced, or desynchronized, power in the alpha (8-12 Hz) and beta (13-30 Hz) frequency bands relative to rest, reflecting efficient activation of task-relevant areas. Functional modulation of these networks through expertise in dance has been established using fMRI, with greater activation among experts during AO. While there is evidence for experience-dependent plasticity of alpha power during AO of dance, the influence of familiarity on beta power during AO, and alpha and beta activity during KMI, remain unclear. The purpose of the present study was to measure the impact of familiarity on confidence ratings and EEG activity during (1) AO of a brief ballet sequence, (2) KMI of this same sequence, and (3) KMI of non-dance movements among ballet dancers, dancers from other genres, and non-dancers.

Concepts: Present, Neuroscience, Cognitive science, Electroencephalography, Neural network, Expert, Dance, Ballet

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Perceiving others in action elicits affective and aesthetic responses in observers. The present study investigates the extent to which these responses relate to an observer’s general experience with observed movements. Facial electromyographic (EMG) responses were recorded in experienced dancers and non-dancers as they watched short videos of movements performed by professional ballet dancers. Responses were recorded from the corrugator supercilii (CS) and zygomaticus major (ZM) muscles, both of which show engagement during the observation of affect-evoking stimuli. In the first part of the experiment, participants passively watched the videos while EMG data were recorded. In the second part, they explicitly rated how much they liked each movement. Results revealed a relationship between explicit affective judgments of the movements and facial muscle activation only among those participants who were experienced with the movements. Specifically, CS activity was higher for disliked movements and ZM activity was higher for liked movements among dancers but not among non-dancers. The relationship between explicit liking ratings and EMG data in experienced observers suggests that facial muscles subtly echo affective judgments even when viewing actions that are not intentionally emotional in nature, thus underscoring the potential of EMG as a method to examine subtle shifts in implicit affective responses during action observation.

Concepts: Observation, Electromyography, Philosophy of science, Knowledge, Ballet, Facial muscles, Muscles of the head and neck, Corrugator supercilii muscle