Jessica Sansone, Barry Parker, Morgan Mays. Shenandoah University, Winchester, VA.

Introduction: It has been postulated that dance places the emphasis on quality and execution of movement, which requires a more athletic approach to training. However, some work has reported that physical fitness in dancers is similar to sedentary populations (Wyon, 2010). The current study served to investigate this. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate physical fitness and body composition in first-year collegiate dancers. Methods: Five first-year female dance students (N = 5; age: 18 + 0 years) from the same institution volunteered to participate in this study, during the first semester of the dance program. Body Composition was measured via Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) (InBody 230). Muscular strength was assessed through the implementation of a submaximal ten-repetition maximum (10RM) bench press and back squat. Anaerobic power was determined utilizing the Wingate Cycle Ergometer Test. Results: Dependent samples t-tests were run to assess changes in various body composition measures prior to starting a strength and conditioning program after 8-weeks of training. No statistical significance was found in terms of body fat mass, lean body mass, and percent body fat (p > .05). Skeletal muscle mass significantly increased from baseline to week 12 (p < .05). No significant differences were found from baseline to post testing for peak relative power (p = .052) or fatigue index (p = .143). A significant difference was found from baseline to post testing for mean absolute power (p = .012) and mean relative power (p = .028). A significant difference was found from baseline to post testing for predicted back squat 1RM (p = .006) and for predicted bench press 1RM (p = 0.13). Conclusions: An improvement was seen in terms of the dancers’ anaerobic capacity and strength after completing the 12-week resistance training program. Decreasing fatigue index, represents the ability to maintain power output for a longer duration of exercise. Through periodized resistance training programs dancers can improve their anaerobic power and decrease the rate at which they are fatiguing the anaerobic energy systems.

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