Researchers in Fort Worth Investigate Health of Female Ballet Dancers – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Dancing Through the Dangers: How Bone Health and Wellness are Impacted by Dance’s Demanding Sacrifices

In the world of dance, dedication and sacrifice are the keys to success. However, at what cost? Researchers at the Performing Arts Medicine Clinic at UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth are studying the impact that these sacrifices can have on the health of dancers, particularly their bone health. Dr. Yein Lee, director of the UNT Health Science Center Performing Arts Medicine Fellowship, has noted a high prevalence of stress injuries and fractures in dancers they have treated.

One researcher who has taken note of this issue is Dr. Stephen Fung, a Performing Arts Medicine Fellow and former competitive dancer. He has launched a study to identify risk factors and solutions for these types of injuries. Fung emphasizes the importance of focusing on women due to biological differences between men and women. Female ballet dancers are traditionally required to be strong but not too muscular, which can lead to body image issues, eating disorders, and calorie restrictions, especially at the pre-professional stage.

Bethany Bailey, a dance student and teacher at TCU, has been involved in ballet since she was three years old. She highlights the prevalence of eating disorders in the dance world and the efforts many departments are making to combat these issues. Lee mentions that there is a cultural shift within the dance community towards prioritizing health and wellness for dancers and providing support to ensure they can enjoy their passion in a healthy way.

One goal of this research is to develop a self-assessment checklist that female ballet dancers can use to evaluate their risk factors for stress injuries and fractures. This tool could also be beneficial for female athletes in general as it promotes overall well-being while allowing them to pursue their passions without compromising their health.

In conclusion, this study aims to keep dancers healthy by identifying risk factors for stress injuries and fractures while promoting overall well-being through self-assessment checklists. By prioritizing health within the dance community, we can help ensure that future generations of dancers can continue pursuing their passion without sacrificing their own well-being.

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