SPORTS MEDICINE : MEDICAL: INJURIES : REDUCTION : RESEARCH : DANCE : PERFORMANCE: Bio-Banding Could Cut Risk of Injury for Ballet Dancers, Says Study

David P. Dillard
 

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SPORTS MEDICINE :

MEDICAL: INJURIES :

REDUCTION :

RESEARCH :

DANCE :

PERFORMANCE:

Bio-Banding Could Cut Risk of Injury for Ballet Dancers, Says Study

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Bio-Banding Could Cut Risk of Injury for Ballet Dancers, Says Study

Press Association

Monday 18 April 2016 19.22 EDT

The Guardian

http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2016/apr/19/
bio-banding-could-cut-risk-of-injury-for-ballet-dancers-says-study

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/zo6saat

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Grouping dancers by physical maturity rather than age could better equip late-maturing girls to deal with intense training

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Grouping young ballet dancers by their developmental rather than chronological age could help lower their risk of injury, a study has suggested. The technique, known as bio-banding, is growing in prominence for other sports, including football and rugby. Researchers from Bath and Bristol universities said the current practices for grouping and evaluating young dancers could be counterproductive.

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The work, which focused on girls, suggests that the late-maturing are potentially placed at a significant disadvantage during important phases of their development and at a greater risk of injury. Ballet teachers have a pivotal role at this time, and further education regarding the implications of puberty upon dance training may be helpful, the researchers said.

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Dancers in vocational training are grouped by age and can begin full-time training for up to six days a week from as young as 11. Girls of the same chronological age vary greatly biologically, with some maturing in advance or delay of others.

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Ballet has traditionally favoured late-maturing girls, who tend to be slimmer, with less body fat and comparatively longer legs in relation to their torso. But the study, published in the Journal of Adolescence, found that late maturation poses challenges for dancers, with auditioning and an increase in training often coinciding with key developmental stages. This can put young dancers at an increased risk of injury at crucial points in their development, according to the research.

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Lead researcher and former ballet dancer, Siobhan Mitchell, a PhD student at Bath Universitys department for health, said: Traditionally many people have assumed there is a bias in ballet towards late maturers, but the reality is less clear. Of the teachers we spoke to, many saw late maturation as a disadvantage, as later-maturing girls experience their growth spurt at a point where training schedules become more intense and when auditions take place, which can often make performance difficult.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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