Ballet/strength

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Question
my dd is 14 and has been working hard on her flexibility.at 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

Answer
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, http://ballettoeshoes.com/flexibility-exercises-for-dancers-2/

the bottom DVD Ballwork Releasing Muscle Tension will help your daughter.

http://balletshoesandpointeshoes.blogspot.com/2010/07/get-higher-developpe.html  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:

http://blog.thebodyseries.com/injuries/whats-up-with-snappingpopping-hips

I hope this is helpful Steph. Regards, Dianne

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Dianne M. Buxton

Expertise

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".

Experience

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

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

Publications
http://ezinearticles.com http://ballettoeshoes.blogspot.com http://streetarticles.com http://balletconnections.com

Education/Credentials
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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