Date of Publication

5-2011

Degree Type

Honors Thesis

Department

Dance

First Advisor

Dr. Suzanne Oliver

Abstract

While ballet looks graceful and soft, there is a real threat of injury to the ballet dancer. This senior honors thesis looks at common injuries suffered by the dancers, their cause, and ways to avoid them. The first danger explained is over-exerting children. Children have growing bodies, with underdeveloped bones and muscles. Because of this, they should not be expected to perform certain movements that adult ballet dancers are capable of. Often child dancers will attempt unmodified techniques that are unsafe for people at their developmental level.

The thesis continues to explore injuries commonly shared among ballet dancers of all ages. These include injuries to the spine such as scoliosis, and spondylolysis. Injuries of the hip such as trochanteric bursitis, coxa saltans, and osteoarthritis. Injuries to the knee including patellar tendonitis, and meniscal tears. Injuries to the ankle and foot such as acute fractures, hallux valgus, and flexor-hallicus longus tendinitis. The author concludes that most of these injuries are preventable, therefore ballet instructors should have a proper training and certification in order to teach safely, and avoid injuries to students.

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