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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Dance Bad for you?

Guest Rythm

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Hi everyone. I am a new member of this this bulliten. I have been dancing with a local company since I was 10 years old, but started dance at age 4. I love ballet and jazz and tap, theres no doubt about that.But In my years of danceI have experienced my share of injury's. My body, personal, was not made for dance, but that doesnt matter to me. My one big question to all of you is Is dance bad for the body? I mean I lvoe it now and my life couldnt be better, but what will I look like when I am 80? Will I be hunchbacked and have arthritis in my knees from all of those grande plies? I've always wondered and have asked my ballet mistress, but shes stuck on the idea that dance is the best thing in life and its just all about the joy it gives you. I agree, but I dont want to be slowely shortening my bodys life expectancy by living out my dance dreams.

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Hi, Rythm. Welcome to Ballet Alert! We have different forums for different topics, to make it easier for people to find things. Your question is best answered in the Special Groups forums; that's where we talk about technique questions.


I'm going to move your post to the Young Dancers forums where our dance teachers will see your question. We have two of these, for different age groups. I don't know your age, so I'm moving it to the 13-16 year olds. We can move you to the older group later, if this is the wrong place.

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Hi Rythm, welcome to the Young Dancers forum!


Your question is a good one, and I think there are a couple of different ways of looking at it. Looking at the potential for injury and arthritis, it's certainly there, however dancers' injuries are rarely crippling and usually they recover faster and better than most people. As to arthritis, most older people have that, whether they dance or not. The idea of being hunchback is definitely NOT caused by dancing. That is usually caused by osteoporosis, which happens to a lot of older people and has nothing at all to do with being a dancer. A healthy dancer has a better chance of NOT getting it and remaining stronger and straighter by far than most people. I say healthy because one of the factors in osteoporosis, besides genetics, can be a stop in the menses of young females due to eating disorders. This also is certainly not limited to dancers, but it can happen with dancers who are anorexic and do not get their periods. The lack of hormones can lead to early onset osteoporosis.


The other way to look at it is that most dancers are younger looking and stronger and more active for many more years than most "normal" people BECAUSE of what they do. They are more fit, healthier, work longer, take care of themselves better, and therefore are more likely, IMO of course, to be far better at an older age than more sedentary people.


A further thought, as I read your post is that I really don't think you should be worried right now, as a teenager, about what you will be like at 80! :eek:

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Haha, thankyou everyone for your helpfulness and willingness to answer my questions. I am glad everyone here is into specifics. Now that I have that out, I will tell you a little bit about myself. I am 15 years old and about 5'3". I live in a farmtown near Portland, Oregon where most of the people dont speak english. Luckily there is a studio that has fabulous training that people from all over come to take at. I was recently cast as the Harliquin Doll (Spl!?) in our studios production of the Nutcracker. We are having an exquisit male dancer from Japan, two dancers from Russia and an Argentinian ballerina shipped into our little town to take place in the production. Our studio is in need of money and we are hoping that this show will bring in good income. I am so excited. As far as my loves go, I recently fell in love with jazz. It seems to fit me right since I have rythm, (hence the name), and am rather flexible. Tap and ballet are my other highs. I dont understand how people could ever take holicigens or anti-depressents when there are so many natural highs around us. It baffles me. I'd like to get to know all of you so send me a line anytime. I appreciate your welcome and hope to hear from you all soon. Till next time. :)

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Guest clairez5

I'm sorry if this isn't the appropriate place for this, but I couln't figure out how to email Rythm so I have to ask her here...


I'm going to be back in Portland for my winter vacation and I was wondering if you could give me more information about this Nutcracker performance- where, when... Thanks!

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