Other Subject Area

Psychology and Behavior


International Journal of Exercise Science 17(1): 794-809, 2024. The purpose of this study was to analyze the impact of Latin ballroom dance training on gait biomechanics, anxiety, and depression. There were twelve Latin ballroom dancers and twelve recreationally active non-dancers that participated in this research. For collecting data on gait biomechanics, participants walked on a pressure sensitive walkway system and force plates to collect information on foot and ground interactions. Reflective trackers were placed on the anterior part of their hips, knees, and ankles to measure frontal plane lower leg alignment during weight acceptance. A survey including the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7) assessment, Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) assessment, and questions developed by the researchers were used to collect psychological data. Data was analyzed using independent t-tests, one-way ANOVA, chi-squared tests, and contingency tests. Results in this study showed that Latin ballroom dancers were minimally different in their gait biomechanics when compared to the non-dancers. The only statistically significant differences in the absolute value difference between legs for peak braking impulse (p=0.04) and the difference from left to right leg in peak braking ground reaction forces (p=0.05). All other variables of gait biomechanics that were measured in this study showed no statistically significant differences between the 2 groups (p>0.05). Dancers showed higher levels of anxiety, with 58.33% of dancers having a probable anxiety disorder and 8.33% of non-dancers having a probable anxiety disorder (p=0.06). However, there was no statistically significant difference between dancers and non-dancers and their likelihood of a depression diagnosis (p=0.16). Furthermore, there were differences in when dancers experienced symptoms when compared to non-dancers. Coaches and dancers should be aware of any positive or negative effects of Latin ballroom dance training on anxiety and depression so that they can make educated decisions to facilitate and promote health, safety, and wellness among dancers.