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Swayback? How to fix it?

Guest erindezeeuw

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Guest erindezeeuw


I've just taken my first week of adult beginning ballet classes!

I'm having a great time, and am pleased with myself so far for just being able to follow along and do my best. My teacher says I have perfect turnout, which makes me very happy . . . but she also says that I have a swayback and we will have to work on it.

Is this a posture thing or just the way my body is built? And is there a way to fix it?

My grandmother and cousin have scoleosis, so I hope it's not just built into me. The only thing the school nurse ever noticed in those horrible scoleosis checks was that one of my shoulders is slightly higher than the other, nothing in my back.

I've been trying to concentrate on standing up as straight as I can. I keep remembering the device that the man wore in Shall We Dance and hoping I won't need to find one!

Any tips?

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*not an adult*

Gelsey Kirkland said she had a sway back and she managed to fix it. So it can be done. I don't know anything about them though, good luck with it!


Sorry if this is off topic....is it?

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From what I have gathered, a sway back isn't scoliosis, which is a side to side (and often 3 dimensional) curvature of the spine. If one shoulder is higher, there's probably SOME degree of scoliosis present, I would guess. I wouldn't worry about that too much right now unless you experience pain or tightness. Lots of people have a bit of scoliosis, and some very great dancers have quite a case of it (look up Wendy Whelan and Alexandra Ansanelli from New York City Ballet) They both have this, and are AMAZING dancers. It shouldn't affect your ability to participate in ballet, though eventually you'll want to add some extra (precribed) exercises, I really wouldn't worry about it too much at the beginning.


A swayback is technically called lordosis (though to what degree it becomes an "official" diagnosis I don't know). It may be a structure thing, or just bad posture in your case. A doctor could tell.


Your teacher will probably try and readjust your posture so you can develop a feeling of length in the lower spine. That area of the back will be well supported if you do some extra abdominal strengthening too. It's very important to have strong abdominals to support the structure. Your teacher can probably show you some execises to start with.


Ballet classes will do a lot to help "fix" posture, and it sounds like your teacher's really on top of the situation. I wouldn't fret about it unless it becomes a major problem for you. Everyone's got thier own "issue" that needs working on. You probably won't be able to "fix" it right away. These things take time (lots of it).

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I didn't even realise that I had a swayback until I saw myself in the full length mirrors at ballet! I was horrified!


However, I have mostly corrected it now (sometimes when I am very tired I relax into my old posture). I worked on two areas to correct it- lengthening the lower back AND strengthening my abdominal muscles. The abdominal muscles help support the back, and they are also used to change the angle of tilt of the pelvis. I had to concentrate on it all the time, not just in ballet class, until it became automatic.


I also found that Pilates was good for improving my posture and those abdominal muscles!


An added advantage of correcting that swayback is that my 'curvy' bottom and tummy are not half as obvious now!

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