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Anthropometric measurements of adolescent and professional classical ballet dancers.

Clarkson PM, Freedson PS, Skrinar M, Keller B, Carney D. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 1989 Jun;29(2):157-62

This study examined anthropometric measures of 83 female adolescent students attending the Boston Ballet summer program and 15 professional dancers from the Boston Ballet Company. Thirty-one were in the least advanced level (group A), 38 were in the moderately advanced level (group B) and 14 were in the most advanced level (group C). The adolescent dancers devoted between 17 and 23 hours per week in dance training, while professional dancers spent 39.2 hours per week in class and rehearsals. Compared to normative data, the dancers tended to be tall and slim. The skinfold, diameter, and circumference measurements were found to be very similar among groups A, B and C, and between group C and the company members. The somatograms demonstrated that the ballet dancers had relatively smaller upper arms and larger calves and ankles compared with the reference female. The data from this study suggest that the body type characteristics associated with professional classical ballet dancers are already apparent in the pre-professional adolescent dancers.