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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Hyperextended Back


Redstorm

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DD was told at her SI that she needs to work on her back. They said she swayed her back. She is extremely flexible and has gotten much better but obviously she needs to work harder on it. How would she go about fixing it?

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DancesInHerSleep

My non-DD has clinical Lordosis or "sway back". One of the exercises she does is to lay on her back with her feet flat on the floor, and try to push the small of her back against the floor. My DD said she does a similar exercise in her pilates class at the local SI. Sometimes non-DD puts a pillow underneath her buttocks and holds her knees to her chest so she's curled in a ball. My non-DD also has several other problems that aggravate the lordosis, so I'm not sure if all the exercises would be appropriate for your DD. My non-DD gets her exercises from a PT.

 

I think I recall another thread on lordosis. I'm not sure how recent it was because I may have done a search on it....so it could have been several years old. I think Mel made several comments on it.

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In younger kids lordosis is not abnormal. They can grow out of it; some grow out of it a bit later. My dd had it FOREVER, took her corrections ad infinitum, and now it is gone and she has a very flexible back (not my words). The lordosis pretty much corrected itself after her growth spurt. If it is pronounced, you may want to consult a professional. I can tell you that "stand up straight" doesn't work! :blink:

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DancesInHerSleep

Taradriver, what do you consider "younger". Only reason I'm asking is because my non-DD is almost 14! Hers actually became more pronounced as she entered puberty and went through a growth spurt.

 

But you are oh so right, "stand up straight" DOES NOT WORK! I've even condensed it to "Posture"! As in, "What do you 'posture' want for supper tonight?" or "Is your homework 'posture' finished"?

 

 

And, my hand to my own belly witha slight lift of the chin is our sign language for "posture".....for those times when she's across the room or surrounded by friends.

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DD's posture looks fine to me. She can stand up straight. She sees a chiropractor regularly and he has never said anything about it. I have no idea what the teachers at her SI meant. She said they tried to correct her by having her lift up and push her hips out but she said it felt as if she was tilting and it felt "funny".

What exactly is lordosis and what does it look like? DD was told when she was younger that she arched her back too much but her teacher said it is much stronger and she doesn't do it often, only when she is not paying attention. Is this the same thing?

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I've fought with lordosis (well, and hyperextension EVERYWHERE) and I'm 24. It kind of looks like your back is a backwards "S". I can take a picture tonight if you'd like. I do excerzises like dancesinhersleep's on-dd does and when I'm in class, I really focus on my abdominals. I find that when my abs are strong enough to support my back, it doesn't bend as extremely as it wants to.

 

I took a master class with Stephen Wynne and he said something that made sense. He said that if you have a swayback, not to try to over compensate by tilting the pelvis, but to imagine lifting everything upwards as much as possible

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Thanks SeaMonkey. I think I get the picture. DD's back is not that pronounced but her teacher has said in order to fix her back, she needs to have stronger abs. Now I understand why. DD's must not be too bad but evidently it is cause for some concern. I will have her try some of the exercises listed and see if that helps. :blink:

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DancesInHerSleep

I think stronger abs are the key to correcting lordosis. But, my daughter's PT said the "normal" ab exercises don't isolate the correct muscles...i.e. crunches, situps etc. That's why she does the floor exercises I mentioned before. My daughter has what I call a paunch. She's not even slightly overweight, but looks like she is has because of the weak muscles and therefore poor posture, which in turns causes her belly to stick out.

 

I'm also a little confused. My daughter was specifically told to stop taking ballet because it would make the lordosis worse! Everything I'm reading however on this board seems to say the opposite. She also developed a pelvic tilt from trying to compensate for Femoral Anteversion. The FA was also cited as a reason NOT to take ballet. We were told that turning out would actually stretch the ligaments and therefore cause her to flop, and "turn in" even more. However, years ago we were advised she SHOULD take ballet and gymnastics because it would teach her to point her feet in the correct direction.

 

Then, to top everything off, she has very slight scoliosis. We only found this when her most recent x-rays were taken to check on the lordosis! I read all kinds of posts from Mel and Ms. Leigh about correct position of the pelvis, and alignment of the body, so again I'm thinking maybe I've been steered in the wrong direction by a PT who doesn't like dancers or gymnasts.

 

FA is a structural condition that usually corrects itself by the age of 8, but of course it hasn't. The only sure fire way of correcting it is invasive surgery which involves sawing both femurs in half and repositioning them. :sweating: Sorry, I know femoral anteversion isn't the topic, but I'm just not sure how much it's contributing to the lordosis. One doctor and PT says yes, another says NO...another says MAYBE....even took her to Shriners. They would only help if the condition was so bad that she couldn't walk. Nevermind, that she can't walk or stand correctly.

 

Does anyone have any experience with Femoral Anteversion? Or experience with a PT saying ballet is good for lordosis/FA or bad for lordosis/FA?

 

By the way, just to clarify, the daughter I'm talking about is NOT currently dancing.

 

Sorry Redstrom, I didn't mean to hijack your thread!

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This caught my eye...my DD (who is 8+) still stands in what I would call a "toddler" position where her stomach seems to be out and she actually reminds me, posture wise, of the letter C. I am constantly telling her to "stand up straight" and can't understand how a kid who has been at a pre pro school for 4 years,etc...doesn't "get it". She's very thin, so I know it's truly not her tummy, but after reading this topic I wonder if it's not her fault and will go away as she gets older.... :sweating:

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DancesInHerSleep

gsmom,

 

When my daughter was little I used to say she had the perfect "gymnast" body. She reminded me of the gymnasts with their arched backs when they saluted before starting their routines. I didn't know it was a bad thing. I wish I had, because maybe we could have tracked it a little better. Hers however, didn't become extremely pronounced until she hit puberty. And as I've stated there are other factors I think that may be involved.

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Redstorm, your daughter's swayback could easily be a 'left over' from her skating years. This is very common with skaters and conscientious work in ballet class supplemented with either Pilates or floor-barre should rectify most of it.

 

DancesInHerSleep, the femoral anteversion can depend on the inherent pelvic structure OR in can be developmental. In either case, ballet would not, in my opinion, be a problem, provided that the teacher teaches how the turnout is supported, not just using feet/ankles :angry:

 

Neither figure skaters or gymnasts use turnout the way ballet dancers do (nor to the extent). Skaters will turnout a 'free leg' but the skating leg is turned in (except for the occasional 'two-footed' manuever such as Ina Bauers or spread-eagles). Gymnasts use minimal turnout that is all-too-often from the knees down. There are precious few PTs (who do not have personal dance experience) who have a clear understanding of the complexity of turnout in ballet :sweating:

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It definately helps to have a physical therapist who either used to dance, or understands dancers. I had a physical therapist who used to dance and it was wonderful because she didn't tell me things like "lift weights and run". Both of my ballet teachers know that swayback is something I fight with. I've talked to them about it and they work with me a lot on using the correct muscles to keep it stable. Before they really started getting on me, my lower back would hurt a lot, but now it doesn't. They also suggested doing a floor barre, which has helped a lot.

 

I've become increasingly loose jointed as I get older, which is kind of annoying and gross, but I've talked with all my teachers and they do work with me a lot on using the correct muscles to keep things stable.

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Victoria Leigh

The use of the abdominal muscles is crucial in correcting the back, along with an understanding of alignment and weight placement. Ballet will do this, but only IF taught correctly and constantly corrected until the student not only understands, but is able to maintain the alignment. One of the biggest problems I see with this is with students who ONLY try to correct it in class, and do not work on it 24/7. It has to become a habit, a way of life, and if they think they can correct it just in class or PT sessions, they are delusional. I watch the way they walk and stand when not in class, and see why it is not working for them IN class. They have to be commited, and focused enough to carry the correction outside of the ballet classroom. AND..........this is important, they HAVE TO LOSE THE BACKPACKS!!!!!!!!! I cannot stress enough the damage that these things are doing to the posture problems we have in ballet.

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Dances in her sleep

I know exactly what you mean by the gymnast salute because that is what my daughter reminds me of ! I will definitely keep an eye on her and as Ms. Leigh suggests, I will lose the backpack! (3rd. grade homework in private school starts to get brutal-- :unsure: )

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DancesInHerSleep

I think I'm going to insist my kids lose the backpacks this year too. Unfortunately the backpacks on wheels aren't seen as very "cool", which I think is the reason most kids don't use them.

 

:unsure:

 

When we lived in Florida, my son (17 and not a dancer), went to a brand new school. The school was purposely built with NO lockers! Each student was issued text books for all classes, and the books were taken home, and stayed home all year long. Then, each classroom had a textbook for each student to use while in the class.

 

This was great!

 

1. No heavy backpacks to carry.

2. No worry about weapons/drugs hidden in lockers

3. Never heard "I can't do my homework. I forgot my book at school."

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