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Career Transitions for the Young Dancer: Considering Psychological Implications, Challenges with Athletic Identity, and Need for Available Resources

Kelsey L. Griffith, Marina G. Gearhart, Dai Sugimoto, Ellen T. Geminiani, Andrea Stracciolini
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 34 Number 1: Page 47 (March 2019)

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Abstract: AIMS: Young dancers are likely to revolve their entire identity around dance, and there is the potential risk for disruption to their identity and psychological upset upon change of status or loss of dance following high school. The objective of our study was to systematically review the current literature examining psychological implications, athletic identity, and career transitions for young dancers. METHODS: A systematic review was performed covering the last 30 years of dance-related literature (1987-2017) through PubMed and EBSCOhost. To be included, the following criteria had to be met: 1) dancers' ages were between 14¿22 years, 2) dancers' training experience was documented and its duration was at least 5 years, and 3) information regarding career transition including available resources, athletic identity, or psychological impact was stated. All statements, documentation, and information related to dancer career transition and choice, including psychological impact, athletic identity, and available resources, were extracted. Quality assessment and level of evidence plans were set a priori. RESULTS: Four publications were found as a result of the systematic review; however, no study met all three of our inclusion criteria. CONCLUSIONS: No formal research exists that focuses on career transition for young dancers. More studies are needed that focus on the psychological and physical implications of career decisions for dancers in order to guide healthy decisions when transitioning out of high school into a career path.

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