Understanding growth and maturation in the context of ballet: a biocultural approach

Siobhan Mitchell, Anne M Haase, Sean Cumming, Robert M Malina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
136 Downloads (Pure)


The pubertal transition can present an interesting paradox for the young dancer, with growth and maturation leading to improvements in some areas such as strength and power and detriment to others, such as flexibility and co-ordination. These challenges highlight the need to consider the interactions among biological, psychological and sociocultural factors during the pubertal transition in the context of the ballet environment. Awareness of these potential interactions will likely provide insights as to why some dancers successfully adapt to the challenges of puberty while others have greater difficulty. This review explores how we might extend existing biocultural models to the context of ballet in order to garner a greater understanding of the pubertal transition. Future research should explore the interactions among social, psychological and biological factors during puberty in adolescent ballet dancers in order to document important determinants of adaptive responses at puberty and to inform future endeavours aimed at promoting healthy pubertal transitions among young dancers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-300
Number of pages10
JournalResearch in Dance Education
Issue number3
Early online date9 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Dance
  • biocultural
  • Teaching


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