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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Knock Knees


WriteLife

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Hello,

 

I am new here and the mother of an 11 year old daughter. According to the teachers at her ballet school she is an excellent dancer and has a lot of potential.

 

One area of concern is that one knee is not over the middle of her toes. It tends to be over the 1st and second toe. We took her to an orthopedist who says she is a little knock kneed but that is because she is growing and has long legs. He thinks her quads are weak and the inner thigh muscles are very strong and that the imbalance is pulling the knee toward the inside of her thighs. I hope I 'm explaining this well enough for you to visualize. Anyway, he said that once she finishes growing her knees should straighten out more. He did not give her any exercise to strengthen her muscles because he says it will happen naturally, if it is going to happen at all.

 

She also has partially dislocated knee caps (I think sometimes it is called floating knees?) This is apparently common in very flexible girls and she is very flexible.

 

So my question after much explanation is - If her knees don't straighten out will she not be able to dance professionally? One of her teachers says that in auditions they can tell whether they want a dancer at a summer program or in a company just from the way they do plies.

 

Also, in class she is often corrected for not having that knee over her toe and it is frustrating because she says she tries but when she gets tired she can't keep it there. Is it danngerous for her to keep forcing that knee over the toe? I've read that forcing this puts torque on the knees and then you have knee injuries later.

 

I've also read that not being able to keep the knees over the toes could be a sign of tibial torsion - in which case her knee will never get over the toe.

 

I should also add that her teacher has monitored her turnout and says she is turing out correctly from the hip down and does not force her turnout from the ground up.

 

Thank you in advance.. The matter is preying heavily on my daughter's mind.

 

Kandi

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Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers, Kandi! :D

 

I was very knock kneed as a child. Also hyperextended. The knees straightened out, and one can learn to control the hyperextension. She may or may not also have some hyperextension. But I have found that the knock knee problem usually straightens out.

 

IF it is tibial torsion, that is a bone structure problem, and that would make it very difficult because while the leg may rotate from the hip very well, the lower leg is not rotated as well, and therefore the line is compromised. However, it would not totally rule out dancing professionally, depending on a lot of other things.

 

PS - I would never rule a dancer in or out just from pliés! :P

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Thank you! Very much for you answer. This has been keeping her up at nights :D

 

She is slightly hyperextended but not to the extent that you see in many professional dancers. I guess because she is not fully hyperextended, I didn't think that could be it. I will let her know what you said. Thank for such aprompt reply.

 

Kandi

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