By on December 30, 2012


Scoliosis is a abnormal frontal plane curvature of the vertebral column.  Generally the lower or middle portion of the spine curves sideways (as in this x-ray). Mild cases of scoliosis can be asymptomatic, but may result in malalignment of the hips or shoulders. Back pain is not uncommon among people with scoliosis. Severe scoliosis can dramatically impair posture and cause chronic and significant back pain.  The curvature of the spine may also place stress on the internal organs and in serious cases may impair the functioning of the lungs, resulting in difficulty breathing. The symptoms of scoliosis tend to worsen over time.


Impact on dance technique:

Scoliosis has obvious implications on dance technique, particularly with respect to posture and alignment.  Severe cases may impair range of motion and flexibility of the spine, affecting the dancer’s ability to complete a forward or side bend from the waist. There is a higher prevalence of scoliosis among ballet dancers than the general population, primarily in females. There is evidence that suggests that scoliosis can develop as a result of the female athlete triad: amenorrhea (cessation of menstruation), disordered eating, and reduced bone mass.  Delayed puberty has also been correlated with a higher incidence of scoliosis.

Further Reading:

In Dance Teacher Magazine: How to Spot–and Train–Dancers with Scoliosis



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