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Getting out of PE

Guest pointequeen

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Guest pointequeen

I know that running is bad for dancers and I noticed after I learned that that I do run kinda funny...my legs were slightly turned out. I used to get a slight pain on my knees and ankles after I ran but I didn't know back then that it was because of the way I ran.


This upcoming year in PE they make you run 800 meters daily around a hard mud/dirt track and 1 mile once a month. We have a long period of soccer and a long quarter of track and field. I'm afraid that I will seriously hurt myself.


We are graded on our time too. 1 lap(400 meters) has to be under 1:30 to recieve an A and 1:45 to get a B. Before I started really working on my turnout and making my turnout better in ballet class, I was a really fast runner. If you don't keep a consistent time you get marked down.


How can I get out of running and soccer in PE? Not one person in my middle school is excused from running.


Should I get a doctor's note? What should I tell my doctor? What about my parents? What reasons should I give them? What about my PE coach and my school principal? I'm afraid that they will just tell me to "fix" my legs and feet and run turned in or parrallel. I don't even realize I'm running turned out until I feel the pain afterwards.

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Top Posters In This Topic

  • Mel Johnson


  • Dolphingirl


  • Joseph


  • koshka


Things are different from state to state, and sometimes district to district. In some, the doctor's order is law. In others, it's viewed as advisory. Check the archives under Young Dancers FAQ and YD Place in Society for some archived threads on those who have actually done it.

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Knock knock

I think there are also some threads on this topic in the parents' forum.

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Yes, try to get a doctor's note and get an official letter from your ballet school. You are correct, running is not good for a dancer's shins and knees. I got out of gym when I was in the seventh grade. You should be able to do an alternative project such as a report on ballet and how it relates to athletisism. But, Mel is right about certain states having different requirements. When I was in Massachusetts, it was required so I really had to pull some strings. Really push for it and be demanding. If you really are serious about your career in ballet you can't afford to take any chances for a gym class!



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We have also just gotten my daughter out of PE for the coming school year.


We got a letter from her ballet school that explained the pre-professional program she was in , the possibilities of injuries in gym class, and attached her dance schedule. Her ballet school even offered to grade her on a quarterly basis.


My husband and I visited the principal with this letter and we got a positive response, then, we just had to wait for it to be approved by the superintendent of school.


I think it is really worth a try , some school districts are very open to this.


GOOD LUCK :gossip:

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Guest Old Fashioned

In the middle schools of my district, students can get out of PE entirely if they are taking 7 hours or more a week of athletic extracurricular activities, such as sports, or in this case, ballet/dance. It will differ in other districts and states, but I don't think it would hurt to ask in your area if you could do something like that. :gossip:

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  • 4 weeks later...

I think those are some CRAZY requirements! I really don't like the idea of giving people grades based on how fast they run. There's a lot more to fitness, as we all know, than being able to run (and I'm the daughter of a marathoner...) At my school, there's no way to get out of PE, but we have a lot of options for our electives, and anything that's required can't hurt. There are a few non-active required classes, like "athletic training" to learn about the body and how to fix it, and then the active required ones are swim, social dance and fitness center, which can be tailored to give a workout to whatever you think needs it most. I'm really excited about taking yoga this year as one of my electives!

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Guest twinkletoad5000

:) My school district sounds alot like old fashon's. We have to have a minimum of 5 hours of physical activity during the week. I participate in the program. So every week I log in my hours of dance and my ballet teacher signs off on it. At the end of a grading cycle, I take my time form to the counsolors office. I just started the

7th grade which is the first grade you could qualify for the program. But the funny thing is that I LOVED PE. This year I wanted to be in athletics on the track team. But I know that running is bad for dancers so I chose to be excused from PE. But I really LOVED PE!!! :grinning::D

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Guest unique

i got out of PE with a doctors note(chiropractor actually) and my parents talked to the principal. both my docotr and parents explained why i could hurt myself and how many hours a week i dance. do u go to a public or private school? becuase private schools are usually easier with these type of things.

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Guest pointequeen

I talked to my doctor and she told me that she couldn't excuse me from running. She did give me a note that stated that I have knee problems and if I am in pain, I should sit out. I'm not very happy with that. My parents think that running is fine for me. my mom who is a nurse thinks that I should be happy with a note that allows me to stop when i'm in pain, and she thinks no doctor would write a not for something like that. I go to a public school

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I must say that I'm less than charmed with that decision. It sounds as if your doctor were attending to your parents' wishes, and less to the needs of the actual dance student. PE is superfluous for professional-track dance students, and can even be counterproductive. But given the tyranny of "aerobics" (in the form of running only) as the sole criterion of physical fitness, I cannot say that I'm surprised. B)

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Guest dancergal

At my old school (I am switching schools this year) I had to take PE. And of course we played sports, which meant running, and a whole lot of it. Plus, every year we had to take a fitness test which included running a mile, and we were timed. Most of our overall grade was based on how we did on that fitness test. My mom wasn't sure if I should run the mile, but I insisted because it was part of my grade. That was a mistake. I ran the mile but injured my knee because of it. After that my mom got my doctor to take me out of PE.

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I'm not a teen, so moderators please move this if you like.


For those who are unable to get out of PE, it is ultimately your responsibility to protect your own health (this is true in ballet classes as well, of course). If you have a serious concern that running will injure you, walk instead. Don't be disrespectful, and walk briskly because the low-impact exercise is good for you. Do as much as you can safely and after that change the exercises into what you can do safely. A positive, hard working "I want to do everything I can safely" attitude is very important.


This can impact your grade, sometimes severely. It would be a good idea to discuss this with your parents to let them know what you're doing and why.


If you're worried about college, don't be. If you are in middle school, PE grades mean absolutely nothing. Even if you are in high school, you can include a note with your application explaining your PE situation, and include some photos of your dancing - this would be looked on favorably.


Think of it like this: if your PE teacher (or your dance teacher, or your parents, or anyone!) gave everyone in the class a parachute but you, and said that you had to jump off a cliff to get a good grade, what would you do? At some point you have to say "I know my body best, and this is very dangerous for me, so I won't do it."




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That's one answer, but it won't work in the state of New York. Middle school PE doesn't count, but at 9th grade, the student accrues ¼ credit per year for PE, and I've seen students fail to graduate for want of a properly exempted PE credit.

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Of course, even if you can't get out of the class because of your parents, doctor, or just the way the school/school district does things, you can always try talking to your particular teacher. I know that most of the gym teachers at my school are willing to arrange something, because the goal of my school's PE program is to get everyone active and find a sport for each person that they can play forever. My experience was more with my knee, but even after it was healed and I could do anything that felt comfortable, all I had to do was say that I didn't feel comfortable doing something since it worried me, and they would find something else that would be a proper substitute. Hopefully you can make an arrangement with your teacher that will allow you to walk instead of run, or do x instead of y and get graded on your abilities to do that instead.

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