Joint hypermobility is defined as an excessive range of motion. Although the dance profession has often promoted hypermobility for aesthetic reasons, there is a belief amongst health professionals that potential risks associated with the condition may have been overlooked. The aims of this review were to examine the epidemiology of joint hypermobility in dancers; the effects on fatigue and bone health; the injury profile of hypermobile dancers; and the use of the Beighton score as a diagnostic tool. Depending on the criteria used, epidemiological studies suggest that hypermobility among dancers can be as high as 44%, especially in students. As hypermobility has been linked to fatigue in the general population, the hypermobile dancer should be careful given the association between fatigue and aetiology of injury in dance. Similarly, in light of research encouraging dancers to become fitter, this recommendation may not be appropriate for hypermobile dancers. In addition, the Beighton score used in most dance related studies may not be an appropriate measure of hypermobility in these populations. More research is necessary into this area to ascertain the reasons for the attrition rate from student to soloist/principal level and whether it is linked to dance health and injury issues.
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.