Professional Ballet Dancers’ Balance Ability and Psychological Traits and States: A Longitudinal Pilot Study

Kanaka Yatabe1, *, Naoko Yui1, Satomi Kasuya2, Ryota Muroi1, Rumiko Inoue1, Shu Somemura3, Kohei Ashikaga1, Fumiko Terawaki1, Hisao Miyano4, Ko Sato5, Kazuo Yudoh5, Hiroto Fujiya1
1 Department of Sports Medicine, St. Marianna University School of Medicine, Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan
2 Center for the University-wide Curriculum University, Rikkyo University, Niiza, Saitama, Japan
3 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, St. Marianna University School of Medicine, Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan
4 Department of Cognitive and Information Sciences, Faculty of Letters, Chiba University, Chiba, Chiba, Japan
5 Department of Frontier Medicine, Institute of Medical Science, St. Marianna University School of Medicine, Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan

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© 2022 Yatabe et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Sports Medicine, St. Marianna University School of Medicine, 2-16-1 Sugao, Miyamae-ku, Kawasaki, Kanagawa 216-8511, Japan; Tel: +81-44-977-8111; Fax: +81-44-977-9327; E-mail:



Professional dancers are committed to dancing despite their injuries and mood changes. Therefore, dancers’ balance ability should be evaluated as an objective indicator of the quality of their dance/dancing ability.


We aimed to examine the relationship between the balance ability of professional ballet dancers and their psychological traits and states by serotonin polymorphism, using pressure and center of gravity sensors.


Five female professional dancers participated in this three-month longitudinal pilot study. The dancers’ stress status was assessed each month on three conditional days to gauge stress conditions. Before and after their standard warm-up exercises, the dancers’ center of gravity was assessed while standing and posing in ballet-specific positions, and psychological questionnaire surveys were conducted to assess the level of anxiety and objective stress. After all observations were completed, serotonin polymorphism was analyzed as one of the psychological traits.


All participants possessed the s/s-type (short type) serotonin transporter gene promoter polymorphism, indicating high sensitivity to stress. Their average trait anxiety score was 50.80±8.47. However, all participants were able to be calm, had no injuries, and maintained a stable center of gravity throughout the study period.


Throughout the study, from ordinary practice to the time of the approaching ballet performance, the participants maintained stable balance ability regardless of their psychological traits and states of mind. It is unlikely that reactions to stress and psychological traits affected professional dancers’ physicality. Thus, continuous assessment of the balance between mental and physical aspects enhances performance management.

Keywords: Balance ability, Sway of the center of gravity, Psychological traits, Psychological states, Anxiety, Professional dancer.