Study finds ballet training may improve balance and coordination in daily activities

From the American Physiological Society:

A ballet dancer’s grace is not just because the dancer constantly practices moving with poise. New research published in the Journal of Neurophysiology reports that professional ballet dancers’ years of physical training have enabled their nervous systems to coordinate their muscles when they move more precisely than individuals who have no dance training.

In this study, a research team at Emory University and Georgia Institute of Technology examined whether long-term training to enhance physical coordination, such as dance training, affects how motor modules are recruited when moving.

"This study helps us understand how long-term training in an activity such as dance affects how we do everyday tasks," says study author Lena Ting, PhD. "We found that years of ballet training change how the nervous system coordinates muscles for walking and balancing behaviors overall. This may also have implications for how training through rehabilitation helps people with impaired mobility." Ting is professor in the Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory and in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. She is also a faculty member in the NS program.

Click here to view the full story in the Emory News Center.