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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Overworking in class


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Hello. I was wondering if there was a way to tell if one was overworking in class? In all the classes I go to, I am always the one perspiring so much! It feels really strange to me that I am positively drowning in perspiration while my classmates all seem so dry, without any sweat marks! The last class I had, I felt myself heating up during the first plie exercise, which was new, I usually start heating up by the 2nd or 3rd exercise at the barre. Yet while I seem to be perspiring and working so much more than the rest, my technique remains average. :shrug: Thus could I be overworking myself since while there has been improvement, my technique still seems to be poorer than some of my classmates who hardly seem to perspire in class. This is a recreational class, and the odd thing is that I have always (outside ballet) been a naturally "dry" person, even before I started dancing. I hardly perspire while everyone around me(non-dancers) is soaked.


I know I am working in class, very possibly the hardest, yet could I be overworking since I feel my technique at times remains sub-par? Any insight is greatly appreciated! Thanks so much!

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I cannot tell if you are overworking but I can tell that the perspiring is a normal thing. If you do a lot of sports, you need to sweat so that your body can cool down better. The more you train, the more your body knows that it needs to perspire now to cool you. Your body knows when you do plié what will come afterwards and it prepares itself for the harder part. Don't worry about it, it is a normal reaction and it shows that your body has a healthy reaction to sports.

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If you can get to the end of the class then I don't think you're overworking! Your teacher probably likes to see a bit of sweat as it proves you are working hard!


I've never been a very sweaty person either but when I returned to dance classes in my late twenties I would be sweating by the end of the plies and that's in a cold studio! By the time we got to pirouettes it would be flicking off me - not pleasant at all but I just had to dry myself off with a towel between exercises.


Not terribly helpful for you but at least you know you're not alone!

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Relax, the posts so far are bang-on! Even if you didn't perspire as much as a youngster, as we age, many people just sweat more! It's all natural, and perfectly OK. Your teachers understand this, and are quite accustomed to it.

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Yeah, don't "sweat" it!!!!!!!! :lol::shrug::D:P


Sorry- it's my morning humor, but seriously, I sweat a lot too, even when I teach. Perfectly normal.

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I get the sweetest and politest comment from my teacher, "You're perspiring already." This has to be one of the biggest understatements I've heard :shrug: !!


By the end of tendus and we're talking like within the first 10 minutes of class, I am DRENCHED in sweat. Think of someone taking a sprayer hose and dousing me. Sweat film on my skin, sweat droplets on my skin, sweat ready to flick off into space...you get the picture. Hardly lady-like especially for a petite tiny thing like me, but hey, you just got to sweat off the hot stuff. Besides, the more you sweat, the quicker your body cools down, since all the internal heat is wicked to the skin and is evaporated.

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Guest ingve


if you sweat, you get warm and this makes it easier to work further and "harder". Sorry but I do not like the frase "working hard" in ballet. It is not the hard work that makes you better, it is the sensful work that makes you improve.


But back to sweat! Nothing as nice as to do a ballet class completely warm, and if you sweat a lot, enjoy it. If your collegaues do not sweat as much as you, do not worry about that, it does not mean a thing.


Enjoy your ballet classes!



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Good to know that there are other lonely sweaters out there. I have been officially nominated as "the meter" of the class by the teacher, so you get the idea. And with the weather getting hotter and hotter, I get worse and worse. Maybe I should bring towels to class now.

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When you get older (teens/20s and upwards) you sweat more, then when you REALLY get older (70s/80s) you sweat less due to decrease in function of sweat glands, etc.

However, HOW you work also determines how much you will sweat. In some classes I can see some people literally just "sticking" their foot out there for tendus... not pulling up the body, not rotating the standing or working leg, not pressing the shoulders down, not keeping the knees straight. Some people plie in such a nonchalant "up/down" motion; almost like they were about to pick up a pencil from the floor... not thinking about keeping the back straight, opening up the knees and hips, keeping the knees over the toes etc. These type of people will NEVER sweat.

The more I think about working my ENTIRE body CORRECTLY, the more I sweat and the earlier in the barre I sweat. So you have plenty of company. :)

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The goal of ballet training is to sweat less, as one becomes more efficient at the movements. It is possible that you are entering a phase in training where you're aware of what it takes to do the movements correctly, but your body is not yet efficient enough to do it with low sweat.


How much you sweat also depends on so many other factors --- weather, physiology, your stress levels, the construction of the class, as well as how hard (or correctly) you're working.


As others said, I wouldn't worry about it too much.

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I've actually asked myself the same question, as I find that when I am working hard on controlling the movements, the opposing muscle groups end up working against each other. I know that I should be feeling some resistance, but how much?


Siunce I am also one of those people who has rivulets of sweat running down the back, I often bring a facewasher (??facecloth??? flannel????) to class to mop myself off with, as it is smaller than a towel, but very handy for swabbing myself off with!

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Thoughts on sweat.


In and of itself, sweat is not a bad thing. In most physical activity you are going to sweat.


Unusual sweating may indicate some other health problem. You might want to see a physician just to make sure it isn’t indicative of some problem.


People who are doing some physical task inefficiently (often when just learning the task) tend to use more muscular effort, which produces heat, than people who are accomplished at the task. Typically with time and practice we become more efficient in our movements.


In doing a physical task, people in poor physical condition sweat more than people in good physical condition.


People with more fat tend to sweat more than people with less fat as fat acts as an insulator for heat created through movement.


When the air temperature is high or when it is very humid, you are going to sweat.


There are individual differences in how much people sweat. Some just sweat more than others.

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Besides my palms (which have a separate hyperhidrosis issue), I've been sweating far less within the past year or so, despite working in an even-more-concentrated manner.


I think sweating profusely is natural when you're really doing a lot of work in class. It's good, and is the body's way of balancing the effort you're putting out.


The sweat may taper off at some point when you are working more efficiently and your muscles are more trained. Just keep up the good work:)

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