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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Calves tightening


drives2much

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My daughter has told me that recently she has noticed when she gets to the part of class for jumps, her calves have been tightening up and becoming hard as rocks. This also is happening when she goes on pointe. She frequently needs to go to the barre and stretch them. This is fairly new as she says that normally her calves are more supple.

 

She seems to growing again, could this be a cause? Could she be missing something nutritionally, perhaps not enough calcium? I believe she drinks enough fluids.

 

Or, is this normal?

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It could be growth spurt, but it could also be that the amount of demi plié and slow calf stretching warm up things at the barre are not sufficient for her. She may need to do some extra stretching before class, and some nice slow tendus with demi plié. If the technique is focusing on speed and not using enough fondu in the barre, it could be a problem. There is also the possibility that she is gripping her feet, using excess tension and not allowing the calves to stretch properly. Massage will also help. :)

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Thanks, Ms. Leigh. I had my daughter read your response. She said they spend alot of time at barre and does not think that the focus is on speed.

 

As far as gripping feet, do you mean throughout class or specifically when jumping or on pointe?

 

Since there hasn't been a change in classes (length or amount of) or how they are being taught, I'm curious why this has popped up now. Perhaps we won't know the cause......the above tips will be helpful in how to manage this problem, however.

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Gripping throughout class :) It's usually the toes that grip, and it could also be that her body weight is now too far forward, placing strain into the calves.

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And, if she is not putting her heels down when she jumps and relevés, that could also cause the problems.

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And, if she is not putting her heels down when she jumps and relevés, that could also cause the problems.

 

At right about the time DD started pointe, the amount of sautes, jumps, releves, etc. increased with the increased number of ballet classes she was taking. She, too, began experiencing big, tight knots in her calves. Turned out, she was not following through with the teachers' constant admonisions for "dancers, put your heels down!" , especially in those sautes.

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