The adolescent dancer

Puberty presents both opportunity and challenge for young dancers. On one hand, dancers benefit from improvements in strength, motor skills, and the activation of new motivational tendencies.  On the other, sudden changes in size and shape can disrupt flexibility and co-ordination, adversely impacting dance performance and increasing risk of injury. With the onset of puberty, many dancers also become anxious and more self-conscious about their shape and appearance; placing them at greater risk for the development of affective (i.e., emotional) disorders, specifically those related to physical attributes and performance.