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  • Author: Fong-Chin Su x
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Chia-Wei Lin, Fong-Chin Su and Cheng-Feng Lin

Ballet deep squat with legs rotated externally (grand plié) is a fundamental movement for dancers. However, performing this task is a challenge to ankle control, particularly for those with ankle injury. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate how ankle sprains affect the ability of postural and muscular control during grand plié in ballet dancers. Thirteen injured dancers and 20 uninjured dancers performed a 15 second grand plié consisting of lowering, squatting, and rising phases. The lower extremity motion patterns and muscle activities, pelvic orientation, and center of pressure (COP) excursion were measured. In addition, a principal component analysis was applied to analyze waveforms of muscle activity in bilateral medial gastrocnemius, peroneus longus, and tibialis anterior. Our findings showed that the injured dancers had smaller pelvic motions and COP excursions, greater maximum angles of knee flexion and ankle dorsiflexion as well as different temporal activation patterns of the medial gastrocnemius and tibialis anterior. These findings suggested that the injured dancers coped with postural challenges by changing lower extremity motions and temporal muscle activation patterns.

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Chia-Wei Lin, Cheng-Feng Lin, Bih-Jen Hsue and Fong-Chin Su

The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the postural stability of singleleg standing on the retiré position in ballet dancers having three different levels of skill. Nine superior experienced female ballet dancers, 9 experienced, and 12 novice dancers performed single-leg standing in the retiré position. The parameters of center of pressure (COP) in the anterior-posterior and medial-lateral directions and the maximum distance between COP and the center of mass (COM) were measured. The inclination angles of body segments (head, torso, and supporting leg) in the frontal plane were also calculated. The findings showed that the novice dancers had a trend of greater torso inclination angles than the experienced dancers but that the superior experienced dancers had greater maximum COM-COP distance in the anterior-posterior direction. Furthermore, both experienced and novice dancers had better balance when standing on the nondominant leg, whereas the superior experienced dancers had similar postural stability between legs. Based on the findings, ballet training should put equal focus on both legs and frontal plane control (medial-lateral direction) should be integrated to ballet training program.

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Pai-Yun Cheng, Hsiao-Feng Chieh, Chien-Ju Lin, Hsiu-Yun Hsu, Jia-Jin J. Chen, Li-Chieh Kuo and Fong-Chin Su

This study aims toward an investigation and comparison of the digital force control and the brain activities of older adults and young groups during digital pressing tasks. A total of 15 young and 15 older adults were asked to perform force ramp tasks at different force levels with a custom pressing system. Near-infrared spectroscopy was used to collect the brain activities in the prefrontal cortex and primary motor area. The results showed that the force independence and hand function of the older adults were worse than that of the young adults. The cortical activations in the older adults were higher than those in the young group during the tasks. A significant hemodynamic between-group response and mild negative correlations between brain activation and force independence ability were found. Older adults showed poor force independence ability and manual dexterity and required additional brain activity to compensate for the degeneration.