On-Time Maturation in Female Adolescent Ballet Dancers: Learning From Lived Experiences

Siobhan B. Mitchell, Anne M. Haase, Sean P. Cumming

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (SciVal)


This study employed semi-structured interviews and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis to explore experiences of on-time maturation in nine adolescent ballet dancers from across three vocational ballet schools in the United Kingdom. Two themes were identified as central to their experiences: ‘A right and a wrong way to grow’, and fitting in and moving forward. Instead of perceiving themselves as ‘average’ and experiencing a relatively easy pubertal transition, on-time dancers described unique challenges associated with a fluctuation between fitting in and not fitting in within their social context. The implications of on-time maturation in this context are complex and do not appear to follow the same trajectory as early maturing ballet dancers nor on-time non-dancers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-290
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Early Adolescence
Issue number2
Early online date2 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was supported by the Economic and Social Research Council.


  • adjustment
  • maturation
  • phenomenology
  • pubertal development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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