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Zapateado Technique as an Injury Risk in Mexican Folkloric and Spanish Dance: An Analysis of Execution, Ground Reaction Force, and Muscle Strength

Soledad Echegoyen, Takeshi Aoyama, Cristina Rodríguez
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 28 Number 2: Page 80 (June 2013)

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Abstract: Zapateado is a repetitive percussive footwork in dance. This percussive movement, and the differences in technique, may be risk factors for injury. A survey on zapateado dance students found a rate of 1.5 injuries/1,000 exposures. Knee injuries are more frequent than in Spanish dancers than folkloric dancers. The aim of this research was to study the relationship between technique and ground reaction force between zapateado on Spanish and Mexican folkloric dancers. Ten female dance students (age 22.4 ± 4 yrs), six Spanish dancers and four Mexican folkloric dancers, were considered. Each student performed zapateado with a flat foot, wearing high-heeled shoes during 5 seconds on a force platform. Videotapes were taken on a lateral plane, and knee and hip angles in each movement phase were measured with Dartfish software. Additionally, knee and ankle flexor and extensor strength was measured with a dynamometer. Ground reaction forces were lower for Spanish dancers than Mexican folkloric dancers. Spanish dancers had less knee flexion when the foot contacted to the ground than did Mexican folkloric dancers. On Spanish dancers, the working leg had more motion in relation to hip and knee angles than was seen in folkloric dancers. The ankle extensors were stronger on folkloric dancers, and there were no differences for the other muscle groups. Knee flexion at foot contact and muscle strength imbalance could be risk factors for injuries. It is suggested that the technique in Spanish dance in Mexico be reviewed, although more studies are required to define more risk factors.

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