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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Knees


Guest frokenvin

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Guest frokenvin

Hello -- I am 20 yrs old (was a ballet student ages 12-13)... I have slight knee issues. I've never had an injury to them, but they are easily stressed. They will sometimes pop (click) when I do something stressful like putting a lot of weight on the knee bones when bending the legs. I don't often experience pain from it (a few times have felt somewhat of "sharp" pain to one or both :jawdrop: )though I notice when I am more motive and attentive to my body my knees are in "better health"

 

I will be attending classes 2-3x/week beginning sometime this month. I'm wondering if there are any excersises I can do to build strenth around the knees for better support?

 

Or maybe advice can be given on what to or what not to do... Any ideas are greatly appreciated. I'm concerned about my dance future and body health in general.

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With any hint of knee problems I generally recommend no grand pliés, except possibly in second position, if there is no pain when you do them. The most important thing in terms of ballet is to learn alignment and balance point, and how to get your body weight lifted up off of your legs. Even when you bend your knees, the feeling must be one of going UP, not down!

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I've found physical therapists and chiropractors indespensible, if you have the means to work with such people. Also a lot of reading and research about sports/dance medicine and anatomy and kinesthesiology will help you to recognize what exactly may be causing the issues. Sometimes we feel pain in the knees or hips and it's caused by some misalignment somewhere else. It's probably not so much thatyou need "strength" around the knees. It could be that you're not rotating properly or that your hips are not aligned right. Diligent attention in class--especilally barre work-- can be useful.

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Guest frokenvin

I've yet to attend classes again and I will keep this in mind. I did purchase a ballet-body anatomy book the other night. -Should prove to be very insightful and applicable!

 

Well- thanks for the help :o

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In general I agree with lampwick, though I would recommend a PT over a chiropractor, but that just my personal bias. I think in doing class, it’s good to try everything as everyone else does and see how your body reacts. The rule is if it hurts, don’t do it. Usually your body sends you strong messages when you do something it doesn’t want to do, so don’t do something when you get that message and don’t worry about doing something other than what the teacher is asking the class to do (e.g., 2 demi plies = 1 grand plie).

 

My experience is that jumping is the knee killing exercise, whether it’s ballet or basketball. Lots of complex stresses on the knee during a landing even with so-called perfect technique. I don’t know that there is much one can do about that. There is an old sports saw—if you think or worry about being injured, you will get injured. I don’t think that’s a terrible way to think about it.

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