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Question about lifting


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I appreciate the input I got when I was trying to decide on a studio for my son. If you don't mind one more question...


At my 7 year old son's former studio (that we left last week), part of the dance routine included picking up a girl, turning around in a circle while holding her, then putting her down. She was basically in the splits and he was holding her at waist height with his hands under her thighs. The girl was a little smaller than him (my son is 50" and 48 lb-- really skinny, but still pretty strong). The move was very cute and a real crowd pleaser.


I've been reading past posts on this board and have seen some comments on not doing any partnering until a boy is past puberty and has more strength. Can anyone offer me any insight on the type of lifting I just described? Is it okay? Is it dangerous? Even though we are at a different studio (and the new studio takes a classical approach to ballet training) I want to informed on this subject in case it comes up again.



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I wouldn't want pre-adolescents doing anything in the lifting department, unless it was pretty much what they do anyway when they play. (Girls at this age are typically stronger than boys!)

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It's good that your son was not injured while performing that lift, but IMO lifts should not be done by children that young. Classical ballet partnering does not begin until the students are about 14 or so because the girls must be fairly confident en pointe and the boys must be old enough to be both strong and gentle at once. Partnering requires a great deal of sensitivity, communication, and intuition from both people as well as a fairly advanced knowledge of ballet technique. For those reasons, I feel that it should only be attempted by intermediate/advanced dancers with an experienced teacher.

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My son did not start partnering until he was 14. He took partnering classes in a SI. He then took more partnering classes the following summer in a different SI. He is the only male in the advanced group at his studio so he does partner now but I would not have wanted him to partner before he was strong enough and had appropriate instruction. His former AD was adamant about him not partnering until he had proper instruction and had grown more.

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At my son's current school they have not even mentioned partnering. Heck, the boys and girls have not even made physical contact in class yet. My son is almost 14. His school last year did semi-partnering. Basically balance support for the girl while she did turns.


I do know about those crowd pleasing moments. Just add that to the list of things schools do to keep the boys and make the students look ultra advanced.

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:( Oh Gremlin - that is so true! lol. My daughter and I attended my DS's old hometown dance studio's Christmas production. Knowing what I know now (and that still isn't much) I cringed at the partnering attempts with the younger students. But of course parents and audience loved it all!! And yes, my DS was once a part of it all too. :clover: Good thing he moved on!


DS started limited partnering at age 13 at his second SI, promenades, etc. He found it quite challenging. It wasn't until this year at 16 that he has been taught serious pas work, lifts, etc. As Hans stated above, it takes time to develop the trust, communication and technique required for successful partnering. DS said one of the biggest things they work on is timing. When it all comes together on stage, it is wonderful to watch - so much effort going on, yet it all seems so effortless! :blushing:

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Just add that to the list of things schools do to keep the boys and make the students look ultra advanced.



I think you hit the nail right on the head!


My daughter had a similar experience with gymnastics. When we realized she was very serious about the sport and moved her from her recreational gym to a gym that trains through the elite levels she had to move back a couple of levels because her technique was so sloppy. Even though she was doing some neat tricks, she wasn't nearly as advanced as we thought she was!


This new studio has a classical ballet approach so I don't think lifting will come up again for quite a while. Basically, I was just wondering if small lifts up to the waist was included in the term "lifting" or if ya'll were just referring to the big, over-the-head lifts when you used that term.


Thanks for the input!

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The kind of lift I was referring to is the very simple both-arms-around-waist kind that kids do anyway, left to their own designs. Little guys can't do a lot more than that safely.

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Basically, I was just wondering if small lifts up to the waist was included in the term "lifting" or if ya'll were just referring to the big, over-the-head lifts when you used that term. 


To me, the definition of lifting is anything that involves the girl removing both feet from the floor.

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:innocent: Additional note to the lifting question - spoke to DS this week who has been rehearsing a piece for their year-end. He was a bit down as he was having trouble lifting his partner straight up over his head, while she is on her back with her leg up in develope...even at 16 these lifts take time and he still needs to gain the needed upper body strength. Was told to "have it" by April - at least he has a few months to get it all together! I think he's worried about his shoulder, which is hyper-mobile and which he dislocated last year....sigh...just a worried mom venting this am. :P
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Now's the time to learn about that all-important "timing"! They have to figure it out together.

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Yep, you're right Mel - different partner, so they are still working on timing. He told me that he is confident it will all come together...

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