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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Very flexible - Need advice


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I have a question regarding flexibility. When someone says "very flexible" what exactly are you referring to? My dd can do splits both sides and can touch her head to her back leg when in the splits. She has recently accomplished center splits with hips forward and feet turned out. She can do back bends, stand in releve with her head to her knees and hands on the floor. This seems very flexible to me, but I wonder if it is something else you are referring to? :D

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  • Administrators

Flexibility generally refers to a large range of movement in the hips, back, and hamstrings. The things you describe are certainly in the range of extreme flexibility. The split in second which you describe is more dependent on rotation, and of course dancers need exceptional amounts of both flexibilty and rotation. Those with long muscles, and long legs, often, though not always, have more flexibility than the more compact body types, however they will have to work harder for the strength to control all that flexibility! It is not unusual for those with exceptional flexibility to have a lack of strength especially during growth spurts. It takes a while after the growing finishes to get it all together again, particularly if there has been an early and somewhat extreme growth spurt.

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That is definetely my daughter! She grew almost 6" in her 10th year. Poor thing didn't know which way was up. :wacko: She does have long legs too. We are working on the strength issues with Pilates and have begun to see improvement. It seems her biggest obstacle is her abdominal muscles. She never realized how important they are and how the lack of them effects almost everything! It is especially good to hear that at just turning 12 she is "normal" in her progress / development. It isn't easy to be patient, but we are learning. :wink:

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pauline - i tried to private message you but i guess you're unable to receive pm's right now - i'd like to ask you a couple of questions about your daughters training and the new school you've found in ny. please email me. tiptaptip@aol.com

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  • Administrators

Hello pepper, and welcome to Ballet Alert! Online and the Ballet Moms and Dads forum :pinch:


Private messaging will be activated for you, and also for Pauline, when you become Full Members instead of New Members. This happens after you have 30 posts.

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  • 1 year later...

Hello to all,

I've been reading this topic because my daughter has super flexibility and extension, but "needs strengthening." After visiting a PT who specializes in dance said that every part of her core, arms, and legs were very developed EXCEPT for her hamstrings. In comparison to the rest of her body, her hamstrings were very underdeveloped. Her fanny also lacked in tone.


My DD's ballet teacher has told her that because her rotation and flexibility has always been so good, she has never really needed to use the muscles that would develop these areas. Even with 14 to 16 classes a week she will never get to where she needs to be without specifically working on these areas. So, for now, she has been cross training with the PT.


What do you think of this plan Ms. Leigh?


Currently, my DD is very, very sore, buts feels she is gaining strength. I'll keep you posted! :wink:

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  • Administrators

I can understand the lack of hamstring strength in someone that flexible, but the lack of "tone" in the buttocks is a problem that should have been dealt with by her teacher. Not using those muscles will obviously leave them lacking in tone. It also prevents correct usage of rotation, no matter how much natural rotation she has. Without those muscles working, there is less. There are 6 pairs of rotator muscles in the gluteous maximus!

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