Twenty-four dance couples performing at the 2011 IDSF (International DanceSport Federation) International Slovenia Open were divided into two groups: the first twelve placed couples (top ranked) and the last twelve placed couples (lower ranked). Video recordings were processed automatically using computer vision tracking algorithms under operator supervision to calculate movement parameters. Time and speed of movement were analysed during single natural (right) and reverse (left) turns performed during the Viennese waltz. Both top and lower ranked dancers tended to perform similar proportionate frequencies of reverse (≈ 35%) and natural (≈ 65%) turns. Analysis of reverse turns showed that the top ranked dancers performed less turns on a curved trajectory (16%) than the lower ranked dancers (33%). The top ranked couples performed all turns at similar speeds (F = 1.31, df = 3, p = 0.27; mean = 2.09m/s) all of which were significantly quicker than the lower ranked couples (mean = 1.94m/s), the greatest differences found for reverse turns (12.43% faster for curved trajectories, 8.42% for straight trajectories). This suggests that the ability to maintain a high speed in the more difficult turns, particularly the reverse turns on a curved trajectory, results in the overall dance appearing more fluent as the speed of movement does not fluctuate as much. This aspect of performance needs to be improved by lower ranked dancers if they wish to improve rating of their performance. Future research should determine which factors relate to the speed of turns.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.