Effectiveness of Rotator Discs on Functional Turnout of College Ballet Dancers
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Maintenance of turnout, or external rotation at the hip joint, is essential in ballet technique and securing a dancers safety while executing dance movement phrases. Nontraumatic and overuse injuries due to reduced functional use of turnout has been reported by dancers (Negus, Hopper, & Briffa, 2005). Turnout in dancers varies considerably, and dancers have a tendency to use less turnout while standing than when measured passively lying supine on a table (Welsh, Rodriguez, Beare, Barton, & Judge, 2008). This study investigates the effectiveness of rotation discs to determine whether participants would gain more strength, range of motion, and consistency of their functional turnout during complicated dance phrases (n = 16). Dancers were formally trained on a series of 11 rotation disc exercises performed three times a week for 2 weeks in dance technique classes. Dancers then performed the exercises three times a week for another 12 weeks. Significant (p < 0.001) mean improvement existed between baseline and subsequent trials for the movement phrases (adagio, petit allegro, and grand allegro). Comparisons revealed significant increased scores in adagio, petit allegro, and grand allegro across all testing. Left external rotation (ER) active range of motion (AROM), left ER passive range of motion (PROM), right ER AROM, right ER PROM, and right internal rotation (IR) PROM showed significant changes over 12 weeks. Left ER and right ER manual muscle test also showed significant changes over 12 weeks. No significant changes were shown for left IR AROM, left IR PROM, or right IR AROM or for AROM differences using the protractor test with and without the rotator discs. Results show this Pilates regimen on rotator discs was effective in increasing functional external rotation in university-level dancers.