NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth reports on Fort Worth researchers’ investigation into the health of female ballet dancers.

The Performing Arts Medicine Clinic at UNT Health Science Center at Fort Worth is dedicated to researching the impact of the sacrifices made by dancers on their health, particularly in terms of bone health. According to Dr. Yein Lee, Director of the Performing Arts Medicine Fellowship, these sacrifices can have a negative effect on the health of dancers.

Dr. Stephen Fung, a former competitive dancer and Performing Arts Medicine Fellow, noticed a high rate of stress-related injuries and fractures among dancers and wanted to find out why. Fung explained that women dancers are particularly vulnerable due to their desire to maintain a certain aesthetic that may involve body dysmorphia and eating disorders.

Bethany Bailey, a dancer and dance instructor at TCU, mentioned that while not every dancer experiences an eating disorder, the prevalence of such issues has prompted many dance departments to focus on promoting a healthy mentality. This research aims to create a self-assessment checklist for ballet dancers to identify their risk factors and stay healthy while pursuing their passion. This tool could also be beneficial for other female athletes to prevent injuries and promote overall wellness.

Dr. Lee emphasized the importance of supporting dancers in maintaining their health and establishing a culture of health and wellness in the dance community.

By Riley Johnson

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