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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Past Links 2013-14


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I totally agree that this study is not the answer Clara, it is too small and more studies need to be done. It is part of the process though in an area where there isn't much research to identify the best way to approach this problem which plagues many female athletes. I know because I have researched it, talked to many physicians, therapists and nutritionists, and gotten different advice.


Finding the best way, generically, to proceed, and to understand bone minerization, and therefore health, in young athletes, is the intent. In that way it is an important step.

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It's unfortunate for dancers that certain estrogen levels are required in the body for bones to absorb calcium easily. And low body fat, which is inevitable for most dancers, inhibits regularity of periods, therefore those estrogen levels are not met. And of all professions to have a calcium deficiency! It's also unfortunate that calcium supplements are no longer considered a good option. An orthopedist recently stressed to us the value of vitamin D for bones and said to make sure to get outside in the daylight for twenty minutes a day.


The discussion of muscle growth is something that would be nice to hear expanded on and how it related to the big picture. Interesting and certainly relevant to any young dancer!

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Science as it applies to things like research in physical development in activities like sport and dance moves very slowly. Because you are working with humans over a length of time, it is extremely difficult to design an experiment (ok, I say impossible to myself) without severe threats to validity. Everyone kinda knows that. Nonetheless, I enjoy reading the research.


From my reading of the above, the major finding was the correlation between IPF (a proxy for strength) and both MBC and BMD (proxies for bone health). I don't find that surprising as it is in line with what I think I know about strength and bone health. For example, in the elderly strength is also associated with bone health, which is why things like weight training for the elderly are believed good. Lifting weights over a long time is also associated with bone growth and health. That you would find the same in three different groups of dancers comes at no surprise.


The article referenced is a summary of the research written by someone other that the study director, which for me poses some problems. For example, what were the magnitudes of the correlations found? There is a statement in the article to the effect that there were significant differences between the adolescents and the university groups, but differences in what? BMC? BMD? The correlations? What exactly?


From the Youtube video, it seemed clear to me that the study author was motivated to do the study because she was interested in the relationship between diet and bone health in dancers. But nowhere in the article did I find any reference to data related to establish such a relationship. Perhaps it is addressed in the study report, but it isn't in the article. I assume (could be a bad assumption I know) that somewhere in the general medical research literature that there has been found an association between diet and bone health and that she was looking to delve into that relationship for dancers, which has its own set of problems.


I should add that association is not the same as causation. Even the nature of association has its own problems.


As someone who believes in strength as a healthy characteristic for all to have, I file this study in my folder of nice things to know.

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Agree with the above discussion. I have contacted the author to ask more questions. It may be the finding listed, as an association, not cause, was the only significant finding.


My question has more to do with what the author was suggesting on YouTube. What are the long term consequence with bone health in dancers, not only the strength issue. And is it preventable by diet or hormone replacement? Agree that exercise is known through years of study to have a positive effect on bone health. And exercise strengthens muscles too.

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ABT has been visiting Dubai/UEA now for a few years. I believe they will arrive again early in 2014.

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I lived in Abu Dhabi (part of the UAE) for 2 years when I was younger, in 3rd and 4th grade. I took ballet from Susan Nash while I was there. She trained at SAB and went on to dance with PNB, Los Angeles Ballet, and Fort Worth-Dallas Ballet Company (as a soloist). My mother still keeps in touch with her, and she mentioned something about giving private lessons to a very prominent family in Dubai. Ballet is really catching on everywhere!

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ABT has been visiting Dubai/UEA now for a few years. I believe they will arrive again early in 2014.



Really? Where do they go or who do they see? Would you have any more info on this?

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I have had an interesting back and forth with the author of the study and her supervisor.


They haven't considered hormonal status and bone health as part of their research as of yet. The author is writing her thesis and plans to submit it to Dance Medicine and Science for consideration for publication. If published, more details will be known.


In answer to some of your questions Garyecht, they compared BMC and pQCT data of bone mass, strength and density to force exerted by the dancers. I will ask about nutrition. As that is a good point as well.

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  • 3 weeks later...
As a dancer, I have to admit that sometimes, a little help with the audience wouldn't be a bad idea!

Nowadays, audiences all around the world are much more used to how to behave properly in a theatre and what to do, when to clap, etc... But some modern choreographies are hard to understand, and often causes someone to clap in an inappropriate time or total silence at the end of a piece that nobody really knows if ended or not.

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Often times when myself and other parents are watching performances of our dk's some audiences can be led by our own applause lines. some audiences are flat and some keen, but it is definitely in both cases influenced by timely and effective applause.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

From the School's Website:

We are sad to announce that our Director, Gailene Stock, passed away peacefully today after a courageous battle with cancer.



Her legacy of so many dancers living their dream will live forever; she will be missed. Our thoughts go out to her family as well as to the many students whose lives she has changed forever.

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Oh, I am sorry to hear this!


Hoping her famlly, friends, colleagues and students find solace and remember her forever fondly.



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  • Momof3darlings changed the title to Past Links 2013-14
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