By on December 30, 2012


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”.

A rigid brace can be used to treat severe kyphosis
A rigid brace can be used to treat severe kyphosis

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.

Further Reading:

On Dance Advantage:



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