Kyphosis is an abnormally pronounced pathological curvature of the thoracic spine. It can be caused by excessive slouching and may result in the appearance of a “humpback”.
Impact on dance technique:
Kyphosis in young people can be corrected and there is some evidence to suggest that dance training can be helpful in reducing kyphosis. A group of 26 cross-country skiers (who generally show a higher incidence of kyphosis than the general population) participated in 3 months of dance training and exhibited a reduction in the degree of kyphosis following the dance intervention. Since adult-onset low back pain can sometimes be attributed to kyphosis this study suggests that dance could be a useful intervention in treating low back pain.
An evaluation of 23 first-year students (10 years old) at the Swedish Ballet School found that young dancers have less prominent kyphosis relative to a control group of non-dancers. However, it must be taken into consideration that many ballet schools require physical examination before acceptance and it is unlikely that they would choose students with profound kyphosis.
On Dance Advantage: