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Beyond Dance: Ballet Training Improves Muscle Coordination in Everyday Activities

Study examines how long-term dance training affects the nervous system’s control of movement

Bethesda, Md. (January 5, 2016)—A new article in Journal of Neurophysiology reports that professional ballet dancers have more control over their muscles than individuals with no dance training. Researchers from Emory University and Georgia Institute of Technology found that ballet training optimized muscle coordination not only for dancing but also everyday movements. Ballet dancers had better balance and used their muscles more effectively and efficiently. “Identifying how long-term training affects construction, storage and execution of movement may provide valuable insight into unknown mechanisms of motor coordination and motor learning that could guide future rehabilitation efforts,” the research team wrote. For more details of the study, view the full release.

The article “Long-term training modifies the modular structure and organization of walking balance control” is published in Journal of Neurophysiology. It is highlighted as one of this month’s “best of the best” as part of the American Physiological Society’s APSselect program. Read all of this month’s selected research articles on the APSselect site.

Physiology is the study of how molecules, cells, tissues and organs function in health and disease. Established in 1887, the American Physiological Society (APS) was the first U.S. society in the biomedical sciences field. The Society represents more than 10,500 members and publishes 15 peer-reviewed journals with a worldwide readership.