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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2011 June;51(2):194-203


language: English

Physiological characteristics of elite sport-dancers

Bria S. 1, 2, Bianco M. 2, 3, Galvani C. 3, Palmieri V. 1, 3, Zeppilli P. 2, 3, Faina M. 1, 3, 4

1 Medical Commission, Italian Dance Sport Federation, Rome, Italy; 2 Sports Medicine Unit, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy; 3 Motor Science Degree Course, Applied Exercise Physiology Laboratory, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan, Italy; 4 Institute of Sports Medicine and Science, Italian National Olympic Committee, Rome, Italy


AIM: Dancesport is increasing its popularity and it becomes to be considered as a real sport. Few studies are available about the physiological strain of dancesport competitions: moreover, recent changes in the official rules make it mandatory to revise our knowledge about the specific physiologic demands during competition. The aim of our study was to evaluate physiological parameters in top-level dancers.
METHODS:Twelve competitive dancesport couples (12 Latin-American and 12 Standard dancers) composed the study population. The first testing session was aimed at determining physical and physiological characteristics of athletes in laboratory; the second, at establishing physiological responses during simulated competition on field, involving the measurement of O2 uptake (VO2), heart rate and blood lactate (BL).
RESULTS:Male dancers showed a peak-VO2 of 60.9±6.0 and 59.2±7.0 mL/kg/min for Standard and Latin-American dancers, respectively. For females, peak-VO2 was 53.7±5.0 mL/kg/min in Standard and 52.3±5.0 mL/kg/min in Latin-American dancers. During simulated competition, male dancers reached the 75.7±10.6 and 84.2±11.2% of peak-VO2 (P<0.05) for Standard and Latin-American sequence, respectively. For females, no difference was observed (70.8±13.8% in Latin-American and 72.5±12.8% in Standard). Peak-BL during simulated Standard competition was 6.50±2.1 and 6.91±2.6 mM in males and females, respectively, and, for Latin-American sequence, 7.95±2.1 mM in males and 6.04±2.5 mM in females.
CONCLUSION:Dancesport can be defined as a sport discipline with an alternate physical activity with medium lasting and high energy-demanding (both aerobic and anaerobic) consecutive phases, separated by short recovery periods. These data must be kept into account while planning specific training programs in sportdancers.

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