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The Effect of Conditioning on the Height of Dancer's Extension in à la Seconde

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Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to document the effects on the height of the gesture leg in dancer's extension in à la seconde (the combined actions of hip flexion, external rotation, and abduction) following a six-week regimen of conditioning aimed specifically at the hip flexors. Sixteen intermediate and advanced college age female dancers in a university dance program were invited to participate as a convenience sample on a volunteer basis. The subjects were divided in half, eight serving as the control group and eight serving as the treatment group. The control group continued their usual dance regimen for the six-week period. The treatment group added five minutes of therapeutic exercise three times per week following their usual dance regimen for the six-week period. T-tests served to compare the pre-test and post-test scores for the control and experimental groups. There was a significant difference in the mean height of the gesture leg in the experimental group (+ 6.25 inches, p = 0.001). There was no significant difference in the mean height of the gesture leg in the control group. Extra conditioning targeting hip flexion has been shown to be beneficial in this small sample of intermediate and advanced university dancers. Potentially, adequate strength in this vital area of the dancer's body may enhance performance and help reduce compensations that can lead to injury.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Doctor of Philosophy in Dance candidate at Ester Boyer College of Music, Department of Dance, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Physical therapist for the Department of Theatre and Dance at Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pennsylvania; Physical therapy consultant for the Princeton Ballet School, Princeton, New Jersey 2: Adjunct Professor in the Exercise Science Program, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication date: December 1, 2000

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