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Achieving the Split Position in a Saut de Chat Leap

Danielle N. Jarvis, Kornelia Kulig
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 35 Number 2: Page 68 (June 2020)

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Abstract: OBJECTIVES: Dancers frequently perform complex jumping skills that involve achieving specific body positions while in the air. An examination of how skilled dancers achieve these aesthetic demands can provide information useful for dance training. The purpose of this study was to examine the temporal coordination of the hip and knee joints during the flight phase of a saut de chat leap, where dancers aim to achieve a split position in the air when the center of mass (COM) reaches peak height. METHODS: Thirty healthy, experienced dancers with 22.5±4.5 years of dance training performed 5 saut de chat leaps. The timing of peak hip and knee joint angles and velocities for the takeoff and leading legs were extracted and compared to the time when COM reached peak height in the leap using a repeated measures ANOVA, with post-hoc comparisons made using paired t-tests. RESULTS: Dancers demonstrated significant differences in timing associated with achieving the split position (main effect p<0.001), with only peak leading leg hip flexion occurring at a similar time to the COM reaching peak height (paired t-test p=0.074). CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study provide insight into coordination patterns used by trained dancers. Trained dancers demonstrate patterns in timing that may be important for successful performance. The hip and knee coordination patterns during flight demonstrate how dancers work to achieve the desired aesthetics of a saut de chat leap. However, it appears that dancers do not reach the full split position at the height of the leap, as would be aesthetically desirable.
https://doi.org/10.21091/mppa.2020.2011

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