Comparison of Functional and Compensated Turnout in Ballet and Jazz Dancers
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Poor turnout technique and compensation are two of the main causes of lower extremity injuries in dancers. Most of the research investigating the effects of compensation on injury risk is limited to ballet dancers which may not generalize to all dance styles. Purpose: To compare external hip rotation during functional and compensated turnout in ballet and jazz dancers, examine the relationship between compensated turnout and injury history, and determine the compensatory motions most frequently used during compensated turnout. Methods: External hip rotation during functional and compensated turnout was evaluated in female ballet, jazz, and non-dancers recruited from the university and several dance studios. All participants completed a brief demographic questionnaire containing questions about age, height, weight, dance style, years of experience, and injury history. A 3 x 2 repeated measures ANOVA was used to evaluate differences in external hip rotation during turnout. Correlation analysis was used to examine the relationship between degree of compensation and injury history. Snapshot photographs were taken of the lower extremity of all participants performing turnout to determine compensatory motions most commonly used. Results: Ballet dancers had significantly higher external hip rotation compared to jazz and non-dancers during both functional (p<.01) and compensated turnout (p<.01) In addition, both ballet and jazz dancers had significantly higher external hip rotation during compensated turnout compared to functional turnout (p<.05); however, no differences were found in non-dancers (p>.05). No relationship was found between injury history and degree of compensation (p>.05). The most common compensatory mechanisms were genu recurvatum, anterior pelvic tilt, and flat back. Conclusion: Both ballet and jazz dancers used compensatory motions to increase external hip rotation during turnout. The degree of compensation and range of motion varied across dance styles indicating that research on one group may not be relevant to all dance styles. Although no relationship was found between turnout and injury rate, which contradicts current research, results may have varied from differences in sample size and measurement technique.