NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth reports on Fort Worth researchers’ investigation into the health of female ballet dancers.

Dancing to Health: The Importance of Balance and Self-Awareness in Ballet Performance Art

Ballet is an art form that requires a lot of dedication and sometimes, sacrifice to reach the professional level. As a performance art, it puts a lot of stress on the body, which can impact the health of dancers. Dr. Yein Lee, Performing Arts Medicine Fellowship Director at UNT Health Science Center at Fort Worth, is researching why these sacrifices can affect the health of dancers, specifically in terms of bone health.

Dr. Stephen Fung, a former competitive dancer and Performing Arts Medicine Fellow, noticed that many dancers suffer from stress-related injuries and fractures. He believes that women dancers are particularly vulnerable due to their desire to maintain a certain aesthetic that may involve body dysmorphia and eating disorders. Bethany Bailey, a dancer and dance instructor at TCU, agrees with Fung and emphasizes that while not every dancer experiences an eating disorder, the prevalence of such issues has prompted many dance departments to focus on promoting a healthy mentality among their students.

The research goals of the clinic include creating a self-assessment checklist for ballet dancers to identify their risk factors and stay healthy while pursuing their passion. This tool could also be beneficial for other female athletes to prevent injuries and promote overall wellness. Dr. Lee emphasizes the importance of supporting dancers in maintaining their health by establishing a culture of health and wellness in the dance community.

In conclusion, ballet is an art form that requires dedication and sometimes sacrifice to reach the professional level. However, these sacrifices can impact the health of dancers, especially in terms of bone health. The Performing Arts Medicine Clinic at UNT Health Science Center at Fort Worth is researching this issue and aims to create tools that will help prevent injuries and promote overall wellness among female athletes like ballet dancers.

Furthermore, it’s important for dance departments to focus on promoting a healthy mentality among their students as body dysmorphia and eating disorders are prevalent issues among female athletes. By establishing a culture of health and wellness in the dance community, we can ensure that future generations of ballet artists have access to resources that will help them maintain their physical fitness while pursuing their passion for dance.

In summary, ballet is an art form that requires dedication but can impact the health of dancers if not approached with caution. The Performing Arts Medicine Clinic at UNT Health Science Center at Fort Worth is researching this issue by creating tools such as self-assessment checklists for ballet dancers to stay healthy while pursuing their passion.

It’s crucial for dance departments to focus on promoting a healthy mentality among their students by addressing prevalent issues like body dysmorphia and eating disorders head-on. By doing so, we can establish a culture of health and wellness in the dance community that will benefit future generations of ballet artists who aspire to maintain both physical fitness and mental wellbeing while pursuing their passion for dance.

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