Professor Jaak Jürimäe, PhD, University of Tartu
Senior Lecturer Jarek Mäestu, PhD, University of Tartu
Professor emeritus Toivo Jürimäe, PhD, University of Tartu
Professor Yiannis Koutedakis, PhD, University of Thessaly,
Greece and Visiting Prof. University of Wolverhampton, UK
DanceSport is a set of partner dances that emerged from ballroom dancing. It has three disciplines: Standard Dances; Latin American Dances; and Ten Dance. During competitions dancers are judged on both their physical abilities and expressiveness.
The general aim of this study was to investigate anthropometric parameters, body composition and aerobic capacity in international DanceSport athletes in relation to gender, dance styles (Standard Dance, Latin American Dance and Ten Dance), international rankings and other dance genres (classical ballet and contemporary dance).
Typical DanceSport competitions last for a number of rounds throughout the day before reaching the final dance round - around 10 hours in total. It has been hypothesised that DanceSport athletes with better aerobic capacity gain higher places in competitions. Our study indicated that aerobic capacity values in international DanceSport dancers of different styles are relatively high. The average maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max) values were 59.6±5.1 and 51.2±6.2 ml•min-1•kg-1 for male and female dancers, respectively. However, no relationship was found between international ranking and aerobic capacity. We further found that competition intensity during Latin American dances was significantly higher than with other dance styles, while there were no differences in aerobic capacity values between the styles. Therefore, it has been suggested that Latin American dancers turn more of their attention to the development of aerobic capacity. Furthermore, the results showed that Standard dancers with greater musculature were more successful, which indicates a specific body shape that should be targeted during training and the talent selection process.
Comparison of dance genres showed that ballet dancers had the lowest body fat percentage. DanceSport dancers are less muscular with higher aerobic capacity values compared to classical ballet and contemporary dancers.