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Specificity of foot configuration during bipedal stance in ballet dancers.

Casabona A, Leonardi G, Aimola E, La Grua G, Polizzi CM, Cioni M, Valle MS. Specificity of foot configuration during bipedal stance in ballet dancers. Gait Posture. 2016 May;46:91-7.

Learning highly specialized upright postures may be of benefit for more common as well as for novel stances. In this study we asked whether this generalization occurs with foot configurations previously trained or depends on a generic increase in balance difficulty. We also explored the possibility that the benefit may concern not only the level of postural performance but also the structural organization of upright standing. Ten elite professional ballet dancers were compared to ten untrained subjects, measuring the motion of the center of pressure (COP) across a set of five stances with different foot configurations. The balance stability was measured by computing the area, the sway path, and the root mean square of the COP motion, whereas the structure of the postural control was assessed by computed approximate entropy, fractal dimension, and the mean power frequency. The foot position included common and challenging stances, with the level of difficulty changed across the configurations. Among these conditions, only one foot configuration was familiar to the dancers. Statistically significant differences between the two groups were observed for all the parameters except for the stance with the foot position familiar to the dancers. Stability and structural parameters exhibited comparable differences. We concluded that the benefit from classical ballet is limited to a specific foot configuration, regardless of the level of stance difficulty or the component of postural control.

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Author:Casabona, A.; Leonardi, G.; Aimola, E.; La Grua, G.; Polizzi, C.M.; Cioni, M.; Valle, M.S.
Publication:Journal of Dance Medicine & Science
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Oct 1, 2016
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