Document Type



Dancers wear pointe shoes while performing a Grand Jeté because the shoes produce an illusion that dancers are floating. Since dancers are required to absorb a significant amount of force in a small area on the toes during landing, this then causes a high incidence of injury. The question of how to perform a Grand Jeté safely for both feet remains unaddressed. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the vertical ground reaction force and lower body joint angular displacements in the skill of a Grand Jeté between barefoot and pointe shoes for both dominant and non-dominant legs. Seven female experienced dancers performed a Grand Jeté and jumped and landed on top of a force plate barefoot and with pointe shoes for both dominant and non-dominant legs. Vertical ground reaction force was measured with a force plate and joint angular displacement was recorded using a high-speed camera. A two-way (2 sides of the body x 2 landing footwear conditions) repeated measure ANOVA was conducted at α = 0.05. A t-test with a Bonferroni adjustment was then conducted to further investigate the statistical significance of all tested conditions. The results of this study showed an observable difference between the landing force of the dominant and non-dominant side, regardless of footwear, with the non-dominant side having a larger landing force than the dominant side. Additionally, a statistically significant difference in joint angular displacement was found as a result of the pointe shoe, regardless of landing side, during all three phases of landing. The results of this study indicate that dancers may benefit from addressing any bilateral asymmetries or deficiencies in muscular strength, technique, and joint stability and flexibility before beginning to dance in pointe shoes. Correcting any bilateral asymmetries may decrease some of the risks introduced by wearing pointe shoes by ensuring equal and proper strength and stability on both sides of the body when landing. This will allow the dancer’s joints to better withstand the joint angular

displacements and high landing forces imposed. This study further investigated the difference in vertical ground reaction force between all the conditions and was able to identify the momentous joint angles that place dancers at a higher risk of injury. This study will provide a comprehensive understanding on the mechanics of performing a Grand Jeté; practitioners may utilize this information for teaching instruction and to prescribe a proper strength and conditioning program to reduce the risk of injury.


Movement Arts, Leisure Studies, and Health Promotion

Thesis Comittee

Dr. Tong-Ching Tom Wu, Thesis Director Dr. Martina Arndt, Committee Member Dr. Karen Richardson, Committee Member

Copyright and Permissions

Original document was submitted as an Honors Program requirement. Copyright is held by the author.