Medical Problems of Performing ArtistsMedical Problems of Performing Artists

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Influence of Movement Quality on Heart Rate While Performing the Dance-Specific Aerobic Fitness Test (DAFT) in Preprofessional Contemporary Dancers

Annemiek Tiemens, Rogier M. van Rijn, Matthew A. Wyon, Emma Redding, Janine H. Stubbe
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 33 Number 2: Page 77 (June 2018)

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Abstract: OBJECTIVES: To explore whether movement quality has influence on heart rate (HR) frequency during the dance-specific aerobic fitness test (DAFT). METHODS: Thirteen contemporary university dance students (age 19 ± 1.46 yrs) underwent two trials performing the DAFT while wearing a Polar HR monitor (Kempele, Finland). During the first trial, dancers were asked to perform the movements as if they were performing on stage, whereas during the second trial, standardized verbal instructions were given to reduce the quality of movement (e.g., no need to perform technically correct pliés). The variables measured at each trial were HR for all five stages of the DAFT and HR recovery (1 and 2 min after finishing the DAFT), movement quality (MQ) score, and rate of perceived exertion score (RPE). RESULTS: There were significant differences in HR between Trial 1 and Trial 2. For all stages and the resting period, HR was lower during Trial 2 (p<0.001). Also, the RPE score was significantly lower and the MQ score was significantly higher, indicating a poorer performance, during Trial 2 (both p<0.001). CONCLUSION: The results suggest that DAFT performance with lower movement quality elicits lower HR frequency and RPE during the DAFT. We recommend that specific instructions be given to participants about executing the movement sequence during the DAFT before testing commences. Also, movement quality must be taken into account when interpreting HR results from the DAFT in order to distinguish if a dancer¿s low HR results from good aerobic fitness or from poor performance of the movement sequence.

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