May 22, 2024 5:03 pm
NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth reports on Fort Worth researchers’ investigation into the health of female ballet dancers.

The world of dance is a performance art that requires immense dedication and sometimes even sacrifice to reach the professional level. But what happens when these sacrifices start to impact the health of dancers, specifically in terms of bone health? Dr. Yein Lee, Director of the Performing Arts Medicine Clinic at UNT Health Science Center at Fort Worth, has been conducting research on this very topic.

According to Dr. Lee, stress-related injuries and fractures are common among dancers, particularly among women who may struggle with body dysmorphia and eating disorders in order to maintain a certain aesthetic. Former competitive dancer and Performing Arts Medicine Fellow Dr. Stephen Fung noticed this trend and decided to investigate further.

Fung discovered that many female dancers are more vulnerable due to their desire for perfection in their craft. He also pointed out that eating disorders are prevalent among dancers, which can have serious long-term consequences on their health. Dance instructor Bethany Bailey echoed this sentiment, saying 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 clinic’s research goals include developing a self-assessment checklist for ballet dancers to identify their risk factors and take steps towards maintaining good health while pursuing their passion. This tool could also be useful for other female athletes looking to prevent injuries and promote overall wellness. Dr. Lee emphasized the importance of supporting dancers in their efforts to maintain good health, establishing a culture of health and wellness within the dance community.

Overall, it is clear that ballet requires a great deal of dedication and sacrifice from its practitioners. However, with proper support and resources like those offered by the Performing Arts Medicine Clinic at UNT Health Science Center at Fort Worth, we can help ensure that these sacrifices don’t come at too great a cost on our health or our mental wellbeing as performers or as individuals striving towards excellence in our field

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