Recovery-stress states and training load of professional ballet dancers during a rehearsal and performance phase of a ballet year

De Wet, Jana Senobia (2020-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2020.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Ballet dancers are exposed to high training and performance demands, which make them vulnerable to injury and overtraining. There is, however, a lack of longitudinal studies describing the change in demands placed on ballet dancers during different phases of a ballet season. The aim of the study is to get better insight into the different physical, physiological and psychosocial demands placed on professional ballet dancers during distinct phases of a season. Professional ballet dancers (male n=10, age: 28 ± 6.0 years, height: 177.9 ± 9.2cm, body mass: 76.2 ± 13.0kg, professional dancing career: 9 ± 6.4 years; female n=17, age: 25 ± 4.2 years, height: 166.2 ± 4.2cm, body mass: 56.5 ± 5.2kg, professional dancing career: 5 ± 4.5 years) from one company in the Western Cape, South Africa, were monitored during two eight-week phases of a ballet season. The Rehearsal Phase (P1) was near the start of the ballet season and the Performance Phase (P2) near the end of the ballet season. Participants were grouped in either a higher-level of performance (soloist and principal dancers [SP]) group or a lower-level of performance (post-graduate and artist [PGA]) group, as well as according to sex (male and female dancers) During both phases, the Recovery-Stress Questionnaire for Athletes (RESTQ-76 Sport) was utilised once per week to describe dancers’ recovery-stress states. Daily, dancers reported their internal training load (TL), making use of the session Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) method (sRPE TL), and their pain level using the Self-Estimated Functional Inability because of Pain (SEFIP) questionnaire. External load (impact load) was recorded once per week during P1 with STATSports Vipre® Global Positioning System (GPS) trackers (Ireland). Twenty dancers wore the GPS for the duration of company training and vertical vector magnitude was recorded. For each variable, a comparison was made between phases (where applicable), sexes and level of performance (SP and PGA). One-way ANOVA was used to compare demographic variables between groups and, a mixed-model ANOVA was used for comparisons of measurements taken over weeks and between phases. Correlation analyses were conducted by means of Pearson and Spearman correlations for TL, recovery-stress state and pain. The level of significance was set to p≤0.05. The Performance Phase was signified by lower recovery (TR p<0.01), higher stress (TS p<0.01) and higher training loads (sRPE TL p=0.01) for the total group. Female dancers had significantly lower recovery scores than male dancers during P2 (p<0.01). No differentiation in levels were found for any of the variables. No significant difference in pain scores was found between phases or any groups. Significant correlations (p<0.01) were found between internal and external training load (Rmcorr=0.25, p<0.01), and between training load and pain (r=0.21, p<0.01). Selected RESTQ-76 Sport stress scales correlated significant positively and recovery scales, negatively, with both pain and training load (p≤0.05). In conclusion, P2 appeared to be a critical period where dancers were exposed to higher physical and psychological stresses, which increase the risk for injury and the development of overtraining syndrome. It is therefore important to investigate and implement recovery strategies to balance out the high demands during such periods.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Ballet dansers word aan hoë oefen- en prestasie eise, wat hulle kwesbaar maak vir beserings en ooroefening, blootgestel. Daar is egter steeds ʼn tekort aan longitudinale studies wat die verandering in eise wat op ballet dansers geplaas word tydens verskillende fases van ʼn ballet seisoen, beskryf. Die doel van die studie is om beter insae te kry in die fisieke, fisiologiese en psigososiale eise van professionele ballet tydens spesifieke fases van ʼn ballet seisoen. Professionele ballet dansers (mans n=10, ouderdom: 28 ± 6.0 jaar, lengte: 177.9 ± 9.2cm, liggaam massa: 76.2 ± 13.0kg, professionele dansloopbaan: 9 ± 6.4 jare; vroue n=17, ouderdom: 25 ± 4.2 jare, lengte: 166.2 ± 4.2cm, liggaam massa: 56.5 ± 5.2kg, professionele dansloopbaan: 5 ± 4.5 jare) van een dansmaatskappy in die Wes-Kaap, Suid-Afrika, is tydens twee agt-weke fases van ʼn ballet seisoen, gemonitor. Die Repetisie Fase (P1) was nader aan die begin van die ballet seisoen, en die Prestasie Fase (P2) nader aan die einde van die ballet seisoen. Deelnemers was opgedeel in ʼn hoë-vlak prestasie (soliste en hoofdansers [SP]) groep of in ʼn lae-vlak prestasie (nagraads en artist [PGA]) groep, asook volgens geslag (mans en vroue dansers). Tydens albei fases was die Recovery-Stress Questionnaire for Athletes (RESTQ-76 Sport) een keer per week voltooi om die dansers se herstel-stres toestand te dokumenteer. Dansers het daagliks hul interne oefenlading met gebruik van die sessie Rate of Perceived Exertion (sRPE) metode gerapporteer, asook hulle vlak van pyn met die Self-Estimated Functional Inability because of Pain (SEFIP) vraelys. Eksterne ladingsdata (impak stres) was een keer per week ingesamel tydens P1 met ’n Globale Posisionering Sisteem (GPS; STATSports Vipre ®). Twintig dansers het vir die volle tydperk van die oefening die GPS gedra en vertikale vektor grootte was opgeneem. Vergelykings tussen fases (waar van toepassing), geslag en vlakke van prestasie (SP en PGA) is vir elke veranderlike getref. Eenrigting ANOVA was gebruik om demografiese veranderlikes tussen groepe te vergelyk en gemengde-model ANOVA was gebruik om vergelykings tussen metings, wat oor weke en tussen fases gemeet is, te tref. Korrelasie analise is met Pearson en Spearman korrelasies bereken vir oefenlading, herstel-stres toestand en pyn. Die vlak van beduidendheid was op p≤0.05 gestel. Die Prestasie Fase het laer herstel (TR p<0.01), hoër stres (TS p<0.01) en hoër oefenlading (sRPE TL p=0.01) vir die totale groep aangedui. Vroue dansers het beduidend laer herstel tellings teenoor manlike dansers tydens P2 (p<0.01), getoon. Geen verskille was in enige van die veranderlikes tussen die vlakke van prestasie gevind nie. Geen beduidende verskille in pyn tellings tussen fases of enige van die groepe, was gevind nie. Beduidende korrelasies (p<0.01) was tussen interne- en eksterne lading gevind (Rmcorr=0.25, p<0.01), asook tussen oefenlading en pyn (r=0.21, p<0.01). Selektiewe RESTQ-76 Sport stres skale het beduidend positief gekorreleer met beide pyn en oefenlading, waar herstel skale beduidend negatiewe korrelasies aangedui het (p≤0.05). Ter samevatting, blyk die P2 ʼn kritiese periode te wees waar dansers aan hoë fisieke en sielkundige stres blootgestel was, wat die risiko vir beserings verhoog asook die ontwikkeling vir moontlike ooroefening sindroom. Dit is dus belangrik om herstel strategieë te ondersoek en te implementeer om sodoende hoe eise uit te balanseer tydens sulke periodes.

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