my dd is 14 and has been working hard on her the moment she is near box and front splits.her ballet teacher and dance physio  tell me she has tight hips and bum while her modern teacher tells me she lacks in strength for splits and front side and back legs.also her left leg is always very tight and sometmes i feel it click like it is rusty and needs oiling.also the modern teacher does the splits with both legs on the chair then pushes down also she uses angle weights for the whole class is this ok

Hi Steph.

If  your dd is near splits but her hips bum and left leg are tight, I would interpret this to mean she needs a lot of muscle tension release.

It's true that as a student gets more flexible, more strength needs to be developed to hold the legs up in higher positions.

On this page,

the bottom DVD Ballwork Releasing Muscle Tension will help your daughter.  goes to an article with a link to The Body Series blog post about strengthening the muscle for holding the legs up.

I am not a fan of using weights in dance class. The dance technique exercises should develop the strength needed to dance. In some cases, a student may need to do additional exercises out of class to strengthen a particular muscle. I would personally ask a physiotherapist or a chiropractor about a weight exercise for a dancer, since I'm not an expert at weight training.

If it is your daughter's hip that is clicking, this post may help explain it:

I hope this is helpful Steph. Regards, Dianne


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Dianne M. Buxton


I can answer questions about ballet positions, ballet movements and ballet technique, pointe shoes and pre pointe exercise, mens training, ballet diet, general health issues related to dance, artistry, performance, modern dance, rehabilitation from injuries, and teaching ballet. I have taught ballet, choreographed, produced and directed dance companies. For any answers related to health questions I will offer my experience, and give references to information, but I also automatically include "see a professional".


dancer, ballet and modern, choreographer, dance teacher, artistic director, ballet mistress, producer

I.S.T.D. Actra, Actors Equity


Graduate of the National Ballet School of Canada where I studied Cecchetti, Bournonville, Vaganova and Graham technique. Taught at the National Ballet School of Canada, York University, George Brown College and Harvard University.

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