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Balance in Theatrical Dance Performance: A Systematic Review

Frances Clarke, Yiannis Koutedakis, Margaret Wilson, Matthew Wyon
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 33 Number 4: Page 275 (December 2018)

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Abstract: AIM: Due to movement complexity and the use of interdisciplinary styles, all theatrical dance genres require dancers to have excellent balance skills to meet choreographic demands. The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate the experimental evidence for the relationship between balance and dance performance, including balance testing, balance training, and balance performance. The key focus was on balance and theatrical styles of dance, involving adult participants who were either in full-time dance training or professional dancers.
METHODS: The databases MEDLINE, PubMed, Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health (CINAHL), SPORTDiscus, Cochrane, ScienceDirect, and Google Scholar were searched using MeSH terms postural balance, balance, postural, musculoskeletal equilibrium, and postural equilibrium, and used in combination with dance, between 1980 and 2016. PRISMA recommendations were applied in modifications to the search terms.
RESULTS: The initial search revealed 1,140 published articles. After applying inclusion and exclusion criteria, 47 articles were judged to be relevant for further assessment using the GRADE system. Results revealed only 1 randomized controlled trial (RCT); the remaining articles were experimental without randomisation or pre-experimental, thus achieving low scores. A total of 39 articles focused on balance ability, including postural sway and control; 5 were related to multi-joint coordination; and 3 investigated laterality and balance. Female ballet dancers were the most studied population, while a wide range of measurement tools and balance tasks were employed.
CONCLUSION: The available material on balance and dance performance is of rather low quality. There is a need for more RCTs and intervention balance studies.
https://doi.org/10.21091/mppa.2018.4041

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