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Questionnaire surveys and motor performance tests were performed on 37 female students in the Department of Dance and Physical Education, Ochanomizu University, to investigate lateral differences in dance movements. Some typical movements employed for the classical ballet-balance (Developpe), jump (Grant jete) and turns (Pirouettes en dehors, Fouette en tournant, Tour piques)-were examined. The questionnaire survey showed that students tend to prefer the left lower limb as the supporting leg for each movement. Especially pirouettes en dehors were studied in detail by means of 3-dimensional graphical analysis (Ariel Performance Analysis System) of 11 students who had been trained for classical ballet. They were divided into advanced or beginning groups according to their skillfulness. The ratio of time required for each phase of pirouettes en dehors to the whole motion was analyzed with-the aid of the 3-dimensional graphics. Single rotations were broken down into 6 phases and double serial rotations into 8 phases. The advanced group showed large lateral differences: more for double serial rotations than for single rotations. The beginning group showed the opposite tendency. Large differences were found at the end of the rotations in both groups. Precessional rotation-which unavoidably accompanies pirouettes en dehors-was analyzed for each group with stick figures. Large lateral differences indicated in the double serial rotations for the advanced group could neither be recognized in the double serial rotations nor in the single rotations in the case of the beginning group. Large differences in the displacement of the centre of body mass are shown in the beginning group based on analysis of every movement. Larger lateral differences were shown in the double serial rotations than in single rotations in the advanced group. In the case of the advanced and begining group, the changes in acceleration of the centre of body mass indicate large lateral differences at the beginning and the end of rotations. It seems to be difficult for both groups to control the long axis during rotations, especially in the two phases when the swinging leg leaves the floor and touches it again. From the conscious and functional point of view, lateral differences in dance movements indicated between the advanced and beginning groups are reasonably explained from their level of skill.
Biomechanisms 12 (0), 137-147, 1994
Society of Biomechanisms