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Functional Élevè Performance as it Applies to Heel-Rises in Performance-Level Collegiate Dancers

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In the evaluation of functional plantar flexor strength the ability to perform 25 single leg, standing heel-rises has been established as the clinical standard for a grade of "normal." Dancers, as a population, typically perform plantar flexion repeatedly in their training in an action known as élevè and relevé. This increased use of plantar flexion formed the basic hypothesis that dancers may have an increased ability to perform repetitive heel-rises, and therefore need a higher standard in order to be considered "normal" and ready to return to daily dancing activity. Ninety-seven dancers from the performance companies at Brigham Young University performed maximal repetitions of standing heel-rises. A number of variables including dance genres, gender, regular menstrual cycle, cross-training in other genres, which leg went first, leg dominance, muscular fatigue location and previous injury to lower leg, ankle, or foot were included in the analysis. The mean value for maximal number of heel-rises performed by the 97 dancers was 33 (SE 0.83; range 17 to 100). When examined by genre, the values were as follows: ballet (mean 25, SE 3.72), ballroom (mean 25, SE 3.73), folk (mean 33, SE 3.64), modern (mean 26, SE 3.82), other (mean 31, SE 4.52). The data was also analyzed as repetitions per kilogram. Significant differences were found between the dance genres, cross-training in other genres, and regular menstrual cycles. Gender was only significant in the repetitions per leg and insignificant when the data was adjusted for body weight. Which leg went first, leg dominance, muscular fatigue location, and history of previous injury to the lower limb were found to be insignificant.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Faculty of the Dance Medicine Training Facility at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah

Publication date: 2003-12-01

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