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David X. Marquez, Robert Wilson, Susan Aguiñaga, Priscilla Vásquez, Louis Fogg, Zhi Yang, JoEllen Wilbur, Susan Hughes and Charles Spanbauer

the impact of PA on brain health ( Wilcox et al., 2009 ), and thus appear to be a population in need of intervention. Dancing and walking have been cited as the only age-appropriate PA for older Latina women ( Cromwell & Berg, 2006 ). However, unsafe neighborhoods and unfavorable weather conditions

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Susan Campbell Sandri

Dancers exhibit compliance problems in adopting advice from nutrition experts. Examination of the situation reveals an inherent culture clash between dancers and nutrition authorities. Dancers need safe methods of achieving an ultralean physique, but the recommendations of most nutritionists do not fit dancers* requirements. This manuscript is intended to provide the nutrition professional with insight into the dancer's needs and cultural/professional perspective on dieting. Dietary problems/disorders that are common among dancers are reviewed. Both general and specific recommendations are made for advising dancers and for designing their diets.

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George Sofianidis, Anna-Maria Dimitriou and Vassilia Hatzitaki

that after a 3-month systematic practice with Pilates, older individuals have improved dynamic balance, flexibility, reaction time, and muscle strength compared with a control group ( Irez et al., 2011 ). Another very alternative and popular form of exercise is dance. Dance is a form of physical

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Danielle N. Jarvis, Jo Armour Smith and Kornelia Kulig

Variability, or how a task changes across trials, may reveal differences between athletes of differing skill levels. The purpose of this study was to examine trunk and lower extremity (LE) single joint kinematic variability and intersegmental coordination variability in dancers and nondancers during bipedal vertical dance jumps (sautés). Twenty healthy females, 10 with no formal dance training and 10 professional dancers, performed 20 consecutive sautés. Single joint kinematic variability was assessed using mean standard deviation of angular displacement, and intersegmental coordination variability was assessed using angular deviation of the coupling angle between segments. Within the context of the standard error of measure, there was no difference in single joint kinematic variability between dancers and nondancers. Intersegmental coordination variability in the trunk was higher than variability in LE couplings for both groups. Dancers had lower intersegmental coordination variability than nondancers for LE sagittal, frontal, and transverse plane couplings, and sagittal plane trunk couplings. Trunk adjustments may be important for successful performance, but lower intersegmental coordination variability in expert dancers indicates a higher level of control. Trunk coordination and postural control may be important factors to investigate in skilled athletes.

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Justin W.L. Keogh, Andrew Kilding, Philippa Pidgeon, Linda Ashley and Dawn Gillis

Dancing is a mode of physical activity that may allow older adults to improve their physical function, health, and well-being. However, no reviews on the physical benefits of dancing for healthy older adults have been published in the scientific literature. Using relevant databases and keywords, 15 training and 3 cross-sectional studies that met the inclusion criteria were reviewed. Grade B–level evidence indicated that older adults can significantly improve their aerobic power, lower body muscle endurance, strength and flexibility, balance, agility, and gait through dancing. Grade C evidence suggested that dancing might improve older adults’ lower body bone-mineral content and muscle power, as well as reduce the prevalence of falls and cardiovascular health risks. Further research is, however, needed to determine the efficacy of different forms of dance, the relative effectiveness of these forms of dance compared with other exercise modes, and how best to engage older adults in dance participation.

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Sanna M. Nordin-Bates, Jennifer Cumming, Danielle Aways and Lucinda Sharp

The present study investigated perfectionism prevalence and its relationship to imagery and performance anxiety. Two hundred and fifty (N = 250) elite students (66.4% female; M age = 19.19, SD = 2.66) studying mainly classical ballet or contemporary dance in England, Canada, and Australia completed questionnaires assessing perfectionism, imagery, and performance anxiety. Cluster analysis revealed three distinct cohorts: dancers with perfectionistic tendencies (40.59% of the sample), dancers with moderate perfectionistic tendencies (44.35%), and dancers with no perfectionistic tendencies (15.06%). Notably, these labels are data driven and relative; only eight dancers reported high absolute scores. Dancers with perfectionistic tendencies experienced more debilitative imagery, greater cognitive and somatic anxiety, and lower self-confidence than other dancers. Dancers with moderate perfectionistic tendencies reported midlevel scores for all constructs and experienced somatic anxiety as being more debilitative to performance than did those with no perfectionistic tendencies. Clusters were demographically similar, though more males than females reported no perfectionistic tendencies, and vice versa. In summary, the present findings suggest that “true” perfectionism may be rare in elite dance; however, elements of perfectionism appear common and are associated with maladaptive characteristics.

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Travis T. Simpson, Susan L. Wiesner and Bradford C. Bennett

The current means of locating specific movements in film necessitate hours of viewing, making the task of conducting research into movement characteristics and patterns tedious and difficult. This is particularly problematic for the research and analysis of complex movement systems such as sports and dance. While some systems have been developed to manually annotate film, to date no automated way of identifying complex, full body movement exists. With pattern recognition technology and knowledge of joint locations, automatically describing filmed movement using computer software is possible. This study used various forms of lower body kinematic analysis to identify codified dance movements. We created an algorithm that compares an unknown move with a specified start and stop against known dance moves. Our recognition method consists of classification and template correlation using a database of model moves. This system was optimized to include nearly 90 dance and Tai Chi Chuan movements, producing accurate name identification in over 97% of trials. In addition, the program had the capability to provide a kinematic description of either matched or unmatched moves obtained from classification recognition

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Dennis Hamacher, Daniel Hamacher, Kathrin Rehfeld, Anita Hökelmann and Lutz Schega

Dancing is a complex sensorimotor activity involving physical and mental elements which have positive effects on cognitive functions and motor control. The present randomized controlled trial aims to analyze the effects of a dancing program on the performance on a motorcognitive dual task. Data of 35 older adults, who were assigned to a dancing group or a health-related exercise group, are presented in the study. In pretest and posttest, we assessed cognitive performance and variability of minimum foot clearance, stride time, and stride length while walking. Regarding the cognitive performance and the stride-to-stride variability of minimum foot clearance, interaction effects have been found, indicating that dancing lowers gait variability to a higher extent than conventional health-related exercise. The data show that dancing improves minimum foot clearance variability and cognitive performance in a dual-task situation. Multi-task exercises (like dancing) might be a powerful tool to improve motor-cognitive dual-task performance.

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Susan Dewhurst, Leslie Peacock and Theodoros M. Bampouras

Physical activity assists older individuals’ functional ability and postural stability. Recently, Scottish country dance (SCD) was reported as being a beneficial form of physical activity for functional ability in older females. This study aims to examine the effect of SCD on postural stability. Scottish country dancers (n = 20) were compared with physically active controls (n = 33) for static postural sway measured on a force platform. The Romberg and Tandem stances were used under ‘eyes open’ and ‘eyes closed’ conditions. Ninety-five percent ellipse area and sway velocity were calculated from the center of pressure displacement. Ninety-five percent ellipse area was the same for both groups in all tests. The control group had greater sway velocity for all tests (P < .01) except Tandem eyes closed. SCD participation resulted in similar postural sway as participation in other physical activities, however nondancers may need a greater amount of regulatory activity to maintain balance.

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Alycia Fong Yan, Richard Smith, Benedicte Vanwanseele and Claire Hiller

There has been little scientific investigation of the impact of dance shoes on foot motion or dance injuries. The pointed (plantar-flexed) foot is a fundamental component of both the technical requirements and the traditional aesthetic of ballet and jazz dancing. The aims of this study were to quantify the externally observed angle of plantar flexion in various jazz shoes compared with barefoot and to compare the sagittal plane bending stiffness of the various jazz shoes. Sixteen female recreational child dancers were recruited for 3D motion analysis of active plantar flexion. The jazz shoes tested were a split-sole jazz shoe, full-sole jazz shoe, and jazz sneaker. A shoe dynamometer measured the stiffness of the jazz shoes. The shoes had a significant effect on ankle plantar flexion. All jazz shoes significantly restricted the midfoot plantar flexion angle compared with the barefoot condition. The split-sole jazz shoe demonstrated the least restriction, whereas the full-sole jazz shoe the most midfoot restriction. A small restriction in metartarsophalangeal plantar flexion and a greater restriction at the midfoot joint were demonstrated when wearing stiff jazz shoes. These restrictions will decrease the aesthetic of the pointed foot, may encourage incorrect muscle activation, and have an impact on dance performance.