Printer Friendly

NEW STUDY SPOTLIGHTS INJURY RISKS FOR GROWING DANCERS.

All of us have heard about the challenges of growth spurts. Yet few people focus on this possibility when a young dancer stops progressing, gets injured, gains weight or becomes depressed. Now, a position paper titled "The Challenge of the Adolescent Dancer" gives a comprehensive overview of the physiological changes that occur during an adolescent growth spurt. Issued by the Education Committee of the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science, the goal is to educate dancers, teachers and parents about ways to reduce risks during this period of rapid growth and development.

According to Kathryn Daniels, author and chair of IADMS's Education Committee, growth spurts can have a negative impact on dancers' professional goals and long-term health. The good news, she says, is that there's a lot of scientific information that teachers can use to reduce the risk of problems. Daniels believes that this knowledge is especially useful during adolescence, when dancers typically commit to career paths and increase the intensity of their training.

Few young dancers understand the significant muscular and skeletal changes that occur generally between the ages of 11 and 14, or the fact that they rarely last more than a year. All they know is that it's suddenly more difficult to pirouette, hold their legs in extension and maintain a stable torso. Not surprisingly, many young dancers lose confidence during this time, as they see their technique slipping away. Injuries may also mount, particularly to open growth plates at the end of the bone, such as the knee, where strong tendons attach. Changes in body shape and size create additional stress, often leading to the "female athlete triad," comprised of disordered eating, menstrual problems and brittle bones.

What can the dance community do? IADMS's suggestions range from informing dancers and their parents about the temporary but complex physical changes that occur during adolescence to modifying class activities on an individual basis. For example, knee injuries can be reduced by limiting movements that stress the joint, such as grand plies. It's also possible to lessen the pressure on young dancers by postponing high-profile competitions and examinations until the growth spurt has ended. Finally, dance medicine specialists can help by collaborating with teachers and providing annual screenings, nutritional counseling and medical support.

To obtain a copy of the paper, log on to www.iadms.org.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Dance Magazine, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:The Challenge of the Adolescent Dancer
Author:Hamilton, Linda
Publication:Dance Magazine
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Apr 1, 2001
Words:388
Previous Article:THARP GETS A SPACE OF HER OWN.
Next Article:IRISH DANCE PICKS UP THE PACE.
Topics:


Related Articles
DANCE CAMP RX FOR OVERWORKED BODIES.
Coping with Stress.
CONDITIONING Offers Ballet Students Ounce of Prevention.
PHYSICAL, MENTAL STRESS COMPARABLE IN FOOTBALL, BALLET, SAYS STUDY.
NYCB DANCERS BONE UP ON INJURY PREVENTION.
Health and fitness for life.
How they healed: five dancers on coming back from injury.
Tips to avoid a compression injury.
In for the long haul 8 dancers share their injury-prevention tips.
Your body, yourself: advice on injury prevention from Santa Fe's growing cadre of dancers-turned-healers.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters