Unraveling the Complexities of Ballet Injuries: Understanding Stress Factors and Promoting Healthy Mindsets in the Dance Community

Researchers in Fort Worth are studying the health of female ballet dancers – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Dr. Stephen Fung, a Performing Arts Medicine Fellow, was motivated to find out why dancers experience stress injuries and fractures through his personal experience as a Dancesport competitor. He initiated a study to identify risk factors and solutions to prevent these injuries in ballet dancers. His research focuses on women dancers, acknowledging the biological differences that can impact their health.

Bethany Bailey, a dance student and teacher at TCU, adds to the discussion by mentioning the prevalence of eating disorders in the dance community. She emphasizes the importance of promoting a healthy mindset and body image in dance departments.

Historically, female ballet dancers have faced the pressure to be strong yet maintain a slender appearance. Dr. Fung highlights the importance of addressing the aesthetics that young dancers are concerned about during their training. This pressure may lead to body image issues, eating disorders, and calorie restriction among dancers seeking a certain look.

Dr. Yein Lee, the Fellowship Director at UNT Health Science Center, mentions that they often see these issues in clinic from a sports medicine perspective.

Researchers at the Performing Arts Medicine Clinic at UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth are studying how these sacrifices can affect a dancer’s health, specifically their bone health. Dr. Fung’s research aims to create a self-assessment checklist for women ballet dancers to identify their risk factors and promote their overall health and enjoyment of dancing.

Ultimately, the research aims to support dancers in staying healthy while pursuing their passion by promoting healthy habits within dance departments.

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