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4 - Preparing to Perform. Periodisation and Dance -...

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Preparing to PerformPeriodization and DanceMatthew Wyon, Ph.D.Original ArticleAbstractIhis article reviews the historical and cur-rent literature on periodization in sportbefore applying the concept to dance fromscientific and anecdotal points of view.Preparing the dancer through the use ofa periodization model, in a professionalor vocational setting, will potentially helpprevent overtraining and its link to injury,while improving the dancer's readiness toperform optimally. Practical examples oftapering and periodization of training arediscussed for companies and vocationalschools.The field of dance is approach-ing a potentially definingmoment with regard to howdancers are trained and prepared forperformance. Choreography is be-coming more complex and arduous,'and the gender divide that used toexist has been eroded, while perfor-mance schedules have either remainedconstant or increased in intensity.The result is an injury rate that is notreplicated in the most strenuous of fullcontact sports.- Dancers have reportedthat they perceive this to be due tofatigue or overwork, repetitive move-ments, new or difficult choreography,and demanding rehearsal schedules.'Therefore it has become more impor-tant to provide suggestions for idealdance preparation using principles ofperiodization based on current evi-dence and clinical experience.The majority of published researchinto periodization has been conductedin sports. According to periodizationtheory and practice, the most essentialaspects of an athlete's training processare education, upbringing, teaching,and the growth of the athlete's func-tional potential.''' The main principleof periodization training is to improvethe athlete as a whole person and isdeveloped on a psycho-physiologicalbasis that includes physiological,psychological, biomechanical, andskill elements. The improvement ofthe athlete is approached in a sys-tematic and methodological mannerthat was initially developed by Sovietphysicians Matveev'* and Ozolin^ andsupplemented by Verkhoshansky.''Matveev proposed that periodiza-tion's main objective is to reach a highlevel of performance and "athleticshape" at a given time.'* To achievethis goal, Matveev suggests that theentire training program be organ-ized so that the development of skill.Matthew Wyon, Ph.D., is in the School of Sport, Performing Arts and Leisureat the University of Wolverhampton, the Jerwood Centre for the Prevention andTreatment of Dance Injuries, and l.ahan, London, United Kingdom.Correspondence:Matthew Wyon, Ph.D., School of Sport, Performing Arts andLeisure, University of Wolverhampton, Gorway Road, Walsall, West MidlandsWSl 3BD, United Kingdom; m.wyon(2)wlv.acuk.biomotor abilities, and psychologi-cal traits progresses in a logical andsequential manner and peaks justprior to competition. Verkhoshanskynoted that the athlete's reaction tothe training load can be measured viametabolic adaptations,' such as aero-bic capacity and anaerobic threshold,and metabolites, for instance creatinekinase, blood lactate, serum testoster-one concentration, and cortisol.*'"The main condition that needs to besatisfied is that the training loads musthave specific aims—i.e., be specificallyaddressed to physiological or energysystems and functional capabilitiesthat are appropriate to the perform-ance demands. A number of studieshave found that athletes who trained

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Test, Journal of dance medicine

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