The abstract is kind of vague about what is meant by "maturation?" Do they mean puberty? Muscle mass? Height?
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Articles: on Growth and Training
Posted 06 April 2016 - 04:21 PM
Posted 06 April 2016 - 04:50 PM
The article primarily focuses on puberty. Here are some quotes from the paper (don't shoot the messenger, these are direct quotes : )
"You can look and you can probably go I think your shoulders are a bit broad or your hips are a bit wide or you're quite young and you've already got a chest so maybe that's not, you know, gonna go in your favor."
"I think through puberty girls go through a lot of different changes which do include...gaining weight, curves in the places that the dance world doesn't want curves."
"puberty does kick in and it can radically alter...technique first...lose their jump, they lose their extensions then the body, you know, the breasts kick in and the posture goes to pot."
Posted 06 April 2016 - 05:16 PM
Posted 06 April 2016 - 08:55 PM
Trying to read this with an open mind. My DD is a late maturer for sure. 11 with zero signs of puberty, very short (most of that is genetic), not much muscle mass, etc. But she's the youngest in her ballet class and the first one to join that class and not yet get moved up. Her emotional maturity isn't delayed and she works hard at her dancing. She looks like the 8-9 year olds but would probably up and quit if she was moved from her class into theirs.
I can see a lot of different ways to measure readiness and sometimes they contradict. Bone development is very important for pointe and even non-pointe dancing. Emotional maturity including motivation, attention, willingness to sacrifice other activities for dance, etc are important too. I don't know enough about how puberty affects dancing (or any sport) but the article seems to focus on that type of maturation.
So I can nod and say, sure, that sounds important. I have absolutely no idea how it would work in practice. For my DD or for anyone.
Posted 07 April 2016 - 08:04 AM
Posted 07 April 2016 - 10:24 PM
Yes, exactly , Pensive! Or at least that is what the article should be trying to say--from the quotes on this thread, they clearly muddled it a bit.
Posted 08 April 2016 - 06:26 AM
Wow - we are failing into the usual discussion of ballet and body types. This article seems to be suggesting that it is not possible to tell if someone will have the correct body type for ballet until they have gone through puberty. Yes it is true that some dancers will not develop a perfect body but many of the physical requirements for dance are evident from a very young age - flexibility, turnout potential, good feet, musicality, etc. Should we as parents discourage our children from pursuing something they love based on our prediction of their final body type?
True, I have heard stories of dancers being accepted very young into companies and then "fired" when they finished puberty but I think the dance world is opening up it's criteria for "correct body type."
Posted 08 April 2016 - 06:40 AM
Thanks for sending me the Article Gis66le. Although it is set out in a scientific way, I am a little concerned with the comments quoted from the participating teachers. There were only 10 and I do wonder if this is truly representative of ballet schools in UK. I don't recognise this way of thinking in the teachers I know.
It has long been said that you don't know what the female dancer's final physique will be like until she has gone through puberty, but I don't recall ever hearing anyone talk about puberty as anything other than a normal phase children go through as they grow up. Yes there will always be a high drop out rate as pupils go through their teens, but this is not just due to physique.
The mother of one of my pupils is involved in career advice for students, and she says in the mid teens, they still have the illusion that anything is possible. Only as they get older does reality strike, so by then a dancer may realise that it is not the career path he/she wishes to follow.
Posted 09 April 2016 - 04:37 PM
Swanchat - I so appreciate you bringing that up about the changes and changing again. When I was young, my ballet teacher gave up on me and told my mother I wasn't going to be in her company because I didn't have the right body. Around that time, I was hitting puberty and I remember starting to fill out in my legs, hips, etc.) If she would've waited, she would've seen that my body eventually went to a very tiny facility in terms of shifting - after my menses my body slimmed down significantly - even more so than it was before then. I wish that during that delicate time there could be a little more patience given (I was barely 12 ... seriously?)
Posted 10 April 2016 - 01:24 PM
Are we missing the point of this concept? I am fairly sure that the Vaganova Schools in Russia implement this type of concept- physical exams and placement in classroom work that would more clearly match children of the same physical age. By doing so it could be said that they can then tweak the training happening inside the classroom so as to diminish injuries to developing bodies.
Is that the point of the article?
"A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor"- (Currently poking Poseidon in the netherworld with his trident)
"Christian Louboutins are uncomfortable, but I screamed the first time I put on a pointe shoe." Mila Kunis
Posted 10 April 2016 - 04:49 PM
Clara - I think that is exactly what the article is trying to convey. Adolescent bodies can withstand differing levels of training depending on what physical maturity they're in. That includes growth plate closure, muscle mass, ligaments, etc. It has less to do with what the body looks like, but more with what's going on beneath the skin. My DD has scoliosis and her doctors have all sorts of ways of determining what stage she's in as far as growth is concerned. Curves aren't really a predictor because some girls will be genetically curvier than others. One thing we do know is that bodies in the middle of a growth spurt handle physical demands differently than bodies which are fully grown and bodies which are in early growth stages.
Posted 11 April 2016 - 06:19 AM
Students are dismissed on an annual basis for not developing as hoped physically, as well as mechanically. They have their criteria. If you look at older photos you can see how the body type of today is far different from the body type of the mid 20th century. Even photos of Makarova and Baryshnikov as students are quite different from the students you will see today.
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