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The m/r SEBT: Development of a Functional Screening Tool for Dance Educators

Margaret Wilson, Glenna Batson
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 29 Number 4: Page 207 (December 2014)

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Abstract: Dance screenings provide direct and indirect data bearing on a dancer's readiness to undertake rigorous physical training. Rarely, however, are dance teachers able to translate results from these screenings into practical technical knowledge. In this article, an example of a preseason assessment tool is presented that translates scientific findings into useful information for dance teachers conducting auditions. Designed as a baseline assessment of the dancer during auditioning, the m/r SEBT tool helps teachers stratify technical levels, identify injury risk, and consequently assist with immediate and appropriate recommendations for supplemental training and/or follow-up with a medical professional. The tool evolved out of more than 3 years of collaborative, multisite research utilizing the Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT) as a dynamic test of balance. Modifications were made to render the test more dance-specific and to increase balance challenges. Within the 3-year period, more than 100 dancers were tested in four sites, two in the United States and two in the United Kingdom. Despite the relatively large collective sample size, neither the original SEBT nor its modifications (m/r SEBT) held robust face or content validity as balance screens. What did emerge, however, were qualitative criteria that the authors organized into a feasible assessment tool for preseason auditions. While this tool awaits further validation, its current evolution helps serve as a bridge between dance teachers' clinical and practical knowledge.

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