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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Dancers and Backpacks


Victoria Leigh

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The school, which my daughters attended, lent me the second set of books so I did not have to pay for them. I think that I had a medical note for the older daughter and then just requested the books for the second daughter when the time came.

 

Our doctor was very sympathetic because he was seeing so many middle school/high school aged students with back problems cause by back packs. So, he was willing to write detailed letters explaining the problems.

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Good ideas folks, and parents of dancers, especially during growth spurt years, please do pay attention to this. DD was growing fast in 7th grade, and attended a middle school that banned rolling backpacks and had no lockers. Consequently, she carried a heavy load all day. We are just now, in 11th grade, finished with the physical therapy required to correct the severe muscle and skeletal changes that occurred as a result of the inappropriate backpack. It affected both her appearance and her dancing, and took her years to get back to "normal".

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Good Morning America did a segment this a.m. on the "best" backpacks. It was VERY interesting.......all 4 of the children who were wearing these backpacks were standing with their shoulders rounded forward and their heads too far forward....and they were NOT overloaded backpacks. When I see what most children are carrying around these days I get so upset, because it is obvious what they are doing to their bodies, dancer or not. Very sad situation.

 

I plan to write to GMA, or ABC News, and bring this to their attention. All they have to do is LOOK at those children on their own tape from today's show. :D

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Guest afroballet01

*knock knock*

 

I am a teen and I have experienced having a ban on the use of backpacks.It actually worked quite well (this was when I was in middle school).Many teachers are nice and will let you keep your supplies for their class in the back of the room.Or if you have a locker in a main hall you can go inbetween classes.This year I took my stuff for the morning and put the rest in my locker.Encourage your DKs to travel light.Get them a folder for each subject (instead of a binder),and 2 notebooks (one for notes and one for work).Then,the only heavy things they will carry (if any) is their books.Hope these ideas help!

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*knock knock*

 

As a graduate of an underfunded public high school (huge workload and daily back compression by 25-lb backpack :pinch: ), acquiring two sets of books is near impossible: the school does not have enough, and parents are certainly unwilling to spend hundreds of dollars purchasing textbooks (there's college for that). I'm guessing this will probably be the case for many kids attending public schools with parents already spending a fortune on ballet. :wink:

 

What I found useful, though, was exchanging binders (watch them double, triple in size as the year progresses) for pocket folders, which are much thinner, lighter, and easier on the back. Of course, I still kept binders to store old stuff, but they're always locked away in my locker, and I used the folder to transport the most current and important papers. Also, getting rid of even small things can relieve both weight and space - keychains (middle school fashion seemed to require as much of these as would cover the entire backpack :shrug: ), useless change, and pencil pouches (honestly, you don't need that many pencils, pens, gel pens, white outs, glittery markers...).

 

My AP biology teacher told us that backpacks should ideally only be 10% of the carrier's body weight.

 

And by the way, are those messanger bags (the shoulder bags, whatever you call them, that only have one strap) even worse than backpacks, because they don't distribute weight evenly?

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Guest afroballet01

*knock knock again*

 

I have been in scool for a full week now,and have all of my textbooks.I am in 9th grade at a public school,and we do not have to carry ANY of our books to school.They all stay at home unless needed for a specific day or two.

 

I carry for all day a backpack with two 1.5 inch binders that each have folders (6 in one,4 in the other).My guess is that the whole thing weighs betweeen 4 and 7 pounds,and I weigh 108 or so.

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That's fine. Remember, backpacks are fine as long as they are used properly, which means both shoulder straps used, chest strap engaged, carry weight no more than 15% of the bearer's body weight. Messenger bags are also fine - when used for the purpose they were designed for. They were designed to be waterproof and carry papers, maps, and a small radio. Total carry weight, maybe 3 pounds.

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im a 9th grader. in addition from having to carry backpacks to and from school (which i plan to stop really soon, Ms. Leigh, promise!) , we are also required to carry our 3'' binders and all of our books in between classes. before lunch this is about 3 or 4 textbooks, and after, about 2. even though this is pretty much unavoidable, i was wondering if that is damaging as well. Also, i really reccomend buying used textbooks off amazon or ebay. You can get the really cheap ones if they are only going to be used for a year.

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Guest afroballet01

For 9th graders in NY who are taking the new course Algebra 1 (if there are any) and you need to use your book in school I don't suggest buying one since they are new and would be really expensive.

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I don't care what you have to carry or when, only HOW you carry it. Books on your back is not acceptable at ANY time for anyone who even thinks they want to be a dancer. Period. End of discussion. :(

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Dd carries her text books and notebooks in her arms in front of her (instead of back pack) between classes. (Once, last year, she overheard a petty girl passing her say: "Only NERDS carry their books that way." . . Of course, Dd later came up with a hypothetical retort about only idiots ruin their backs.) This year, in High School, there's not enough time to get to locker between some classes, and the pile is sometimes pretty heavy. She's afraid carrying them in her arms in front causes her to "hunch" as well. IS there a best way to carry loose books? . . .

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Ummm, NO, I don't think so! That would make you very unbalanced.

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Guest balletandsynchro

Believe it or not, the use of rolling backpacks are frowned upon at synchro daughters's high school (where DD used to attend before res. school). This is because the hallways are extremely narrow, plus small classrooms, and there have been accidents (with injuries! :lol: ) involving people tripping over rolling backpacks. My DD (and now SD) always carried her books in her arms in front of her, and carries a small purse with pencils, calculator, pens, etc.. Fortunately, they were/are able to get back to the locker to exchange books. I'm with Ms. Leigh all the way - regular back packs are just bad news for backs! :yucky:

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