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My old creaky knees

Guest Hilarie

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Guest Hilarie

As some of you may have already read, I'm very new to ballet. Like, "I started taking class a month ago" new. :wacko:


So here's my problem:


Recently I've started having achy knees for a couple of days following class. The ache is on the inside part of my knee, and it feels like it's "in" the knee joint. It's not intolerable, just a dull ache. What concerns me a little more is that I get clicking in my knee in the same place after the more plie-intensive barre exercises in class. I know clicking isn't bad on its own but clicking and aching is a little more worrisome.


In any case, I was wondering if I should actually be concerned or if this is just beginner pain. I always make a conscious effort not to force my turnout so I don't kill my knees, but it could be that I'm just not used to being turned-out at all yet. The studio I dance in is old and in a basement (it's not as bad as it sounds, really :D ) so I have a hunch that I'm dancing on concrete dressed up with some wood flooring on top. And to add to the mix, I have really hyperextended and bowed knees that have caused me other problems in the past. I'm tempted to chalk the pain up to a combination of all this and just deal with it... any thoughts?

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Hilarie, the knees can be a real problem for adult beginners, and especially anyone with hyperextended legs. :D Rotation is the main culprit here, not to mention grand pliés, jumping, relevés, etc. Any pain in the knees must be dealt with by a physician first, just to be sure there is nothing torn or out of place. Following that, if you plan to continue classes, I would suggest that you eliminate grand plié in every position except second. They are not essential and you can live without them. Just do demi plié instead. Demi is essential and you cannot live without that! Be very sure that your alignment and weight placement are correct, as if that is off, and you push the knees back into the hyperextension, you are doomed. Work on your rotation, but, as you already know, don't force it. Good luck!

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It's probably just beginner's pain, if there's no sudden pain associated with the clicks. I remember company class starting in a rather cool indoor/outdoor theater, and every one of these professional dancers, on the first grand plié, clicked at the exact same time. Even Mr. Joffrey broke up. :D If you're having a chronic pain, ask your teacher if you can substitute really squishy and well-released demi-pliés, except maybe in second, where a grand plié is really pretty safe.

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