Junior dancers’ training progress control using blood lactate tests


Dr.Hab., Professor R.M. Kadyrov1
Postgraduate student A.P. Rodichkin1
1Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia, St. Petersburg

Keywords: ballroom dancesport, competitive period, blood lactate, functional state.

Introduction. The dancesport community presently gives a high priority to the initiatives to improve the 8-12 year-old dancers’ training process efficiency to meet the modern competitive requirements [3, 4].
Objective of the study was to substantiate the need to apply the blood lactate variation data to design the educational and training process for the 8-12 year-old dancers during the competitive period.
Methods and structure of the study. The study involved the 8-12 year-old dancers attending "Rond" sports dance club in the period from September 2016 to May 2017, which covered the entire competitive period. For the purpose of the educational experiment, we selected 15 dance couples, who, by the time of the sports season, promoted to either Class E or D. At the same time, 8 couples practicing within the developed training system formed the Experimental Group, while 7 couples trained according to the standard club program formed the Reference Group.
The training process in the EG was characterized by a greater number of body conditioning practices - 3 times a week instead of 1. The training session included the following non-specific exercises: running with 0.5kg weight per hand, arms to the sides; jumping with the arms to the sides; static arm exercises for the Standard and Latin dances. Besides, ankle weights were used when performing various kicks. In addition, once a week, the dancers had to perform a running test: they were to run upstairs from the ground to the 4th floor, which allowed solving two tasks at once: train the lower limb muscles for strength endurance when running upstairs and speed endurance when running downstairs, as the task was to scale each step as quickly as possible.
During the body conditioning sessions, competitive semifinal and final performances were modeled: 4 Latin (Monday, Friday) and Standard dances (Wednesday, Friday) were to be performed twice. Each dance was performed for 2 min under the supervision of the coaches and other participants of the training process, which motivated the athletes to perform more responsibly and qualitatively.
Each individual training session was started with practicing a particular dance program and ended with running own variations, which enabled the athletes to maintain a motor stereotype at a proper level without fear that the muscles will "forget" the dance movements.
The blood lactate level in the dancers was measured by the medical worker according to all aseptic techniques using the portable biochemical blood analyzer Accutrend Plus (Roche Diagnostics, Germany). The samples were taken on a voluntary basis with the written consent of the subjects’ parents or guardians. The blood lactate rates ranged between 0.8-21.7 mmol/l. The lactate levels were measured in both the EG and RG 10-15 min after the competitive and training activities.
The functional state of the dancers was evaluated based on the results of the Ruffier test, carried out at the beginning and at the end of the educational experiment.
The dancers’ performance was assessed by the number of proficiency points gained in the tournaments.
Results and discussion. The monitoring of 48 8-12 year-old dance couples from St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region, according to the database of the All Russian Federation of Dancesport and Acrobatic Rock'n'Roll over the past 5 years, showed that the class-to-class transition time (from E to D and from B to C) was 2.2±0.2 years on the average. In the "Rond" club this indicator for 24 dance couples equaled 3.5±0.3 years.
The blood lactate level in all dancers after the final run-through during the competition was 15.3±0.8 mmol/l, while after the final training run-through, prior to the educational experiment, this indicator did not differ significantly and amounted to 6.9±0.3 mmol/l in the EG and 6.7±0.2 mmol/l in the RG.
5 months after the educational experiment, after the final training run-through, the blood lactate level in the EG grew statistically significantly as opposed to the RG - 12.4±0.3 and 7.2±0.2 mmol/l, respectively (p<0.05). At the same time, the EG dance couples began to regularly earn proficiency points for Class E and D. The figure increased from 20% at the beginning of the season to 75% during the tournaments with the points gained. In the RG, this indicator increased by 15% and equaled approximately 35-40%.
At the end of the regular season, 7 out of 8 EG dance couples earned enough proficiency points to progress to the next sports class. In the RG, none of the dance couples accumulated enough points.
Therefore, once the educational experiment was over, the number of proficiency points in the EG statistically significantly exceeded that in the RG: 18.4±1.8 and 11.4±1.6 points, respectively (p<0.05).
As verified by the Ruffier test, the EG and RG dancers’ functional state prior to the educational experiment slightly differed - 11.6±0.2 and 12.4±0.3, respectively. After the educational experiment, the EG subjects demonstrated statistically significantly better results as opposed to the RG ones - 6.8±0.1 and 11.4±0.2, respectively (p<0.05).
Consequently, the modern stage of the dancesport development entrusts coaches and young dancers with a number of basic tasks:
• master the modern ballroom dancesport movement technique, where movement quality depends directly on the depth of understanding and appropriateness of using the necessary technical components, as well as on how well they are coordinated [4].
• master the choreography, which is a long-term process of training a large number of complicating musical and motor skills, which must always be accompanied by a particular emotional state. The coach can not simply teach how to move, it is necessary to bring to the young dancers’ emotional expressiveness [1, 6].
• develop special regulatory elements for dance couples to be applied to athletes with different skill levels in different training modes [5].
The study showed that dancesport is among the global exercises of submaximal power, as confirmed by the blood lactate level in the athletes [7]. The more so, the results were recorded directly during the dance tournaments, which undoubtedly objectified the purity of the educational experiment. The training process under the experiment included special physical practices 2-3 times a week to model competitive semifinal and final performances with the performance intensity rated at 70% of the actual competitive one, which facilitated the bodily adaptation processes and optimized anaerobic glycolysis [2].
Conclusion. The Experimental Group functionality indices were found to have significantly improved compared to the Reference Group ones as verified by the Ruffier test.


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Corresponding author: rodichkin-anton@yandex.ru

The dancesport community presently gives a high priority to the initiatives to improve the 8-12 year-old dancers’ training process efficiency to meet the modern competitive requirements. The study data and analyses demonstrate that the blood lactate variation data may be applied to trace the sub-maximal-intensity threshold being reached by dancers. The study included blood lactate tests in the competitive process to provide sound grounds for the educational experiment. The training process under the experiment included special physical practices 2-3 times a week to model competitive semifinal and final performances with the performance intensity rated at 70% of the actual competitive one. According to the educational experiment, these practices facilitate adaptation processes, optimize anaerobic glycolysis and facilitate professional progress as verified by the statistically significant reduction of the time necessary for promotion to the next mastery class. It is also important that the Experimental Group functionality rates were found significantly higher than the Reference Group ones as verified by the Ruffier performance test.