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balletbabe

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HELP!

 

I just turned 17 and have wanted to be a dancer since I was 3. I'm a Cecchetti V graduate and two time YAGP regional 3rd place winner in Jr. classical & contemporary. I have good ballet feet and pointe was my strength. At 14, I was accepted on scholarship to a year round "big ballet" school where I have been retraining in Balanchine. They have also helped me straighten my knees, fix my tilted pelvis, and strengthen my core.

Fast forward 2 years, 5 inches and 20#. I have seen an ortho, 4 PTs, 3 Pilates instructors, 2 massage therapists, and a podiatrist. After being partly off last spring and completely off last summer, I am now back to dancing 11 hours a week of complete ballet technique and modern classes. No pointe yet because my feet are still recovering from bruised metatarsals from wearing too tight pointe shoes.

In addition to classes, I am doing daily exercises to increase flexion in my feet and calves, core strength, and working deeper muscles to take over for the hip flexors. Every night, I am icing hip flexors, achilles, and metatarsals. It could be geting better, but I don't know any more...

This is a critical time in my training. I'm not getting any younger and I am really worried! I think a smaller program in the west might be a better fit and more therapeutic for me in the fall. How do I find the right one since I am not 100% yet? Any other ideas?

 

Thanks for listening!

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Hi, balletbabe, and welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers' Young Dancers' forums.

 

Apart from the feet, where does it hurt? If an area isn't painful, there's little reason to be icing. I wonder if, from what you've told us, taking the summer off might not be the right answer for you, to let things heal back to where they should be, so that you can return to class next term all recovered.

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Mr. Johnson, your question for Balletbabe about taking summer off is interesting. How does a dancer make that decision wisely? It seems some say you should take off to recover while others say never take off. I also have noticed times when my body just won't work because it is feeling overworked. If I take a few days off, usually doing my own stretching and pilates like exercises, my hip flexors relax and I am able to turn out better when I return. However, teachers often disagree with that approach and say never take off.

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  • Administrators

Not the teachers on this board, sarahlyn! :) If there is an injury, you have to allow it to heal. Putting the same stress on something over and over just makes it worse. If you are not injured, but work when you are highly fatigued, you are just inviting injury. Common sense is needed here, and if a teacher wants you to push through an injury, then I would seriously consider finding another teacher.

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Thanks for responding to my question(s).

 

Mr. Johnson - It hurts in all three areas - hip flexors, achilles and metatarsals - not a pain any more, but a soreness. The PT is trying to get the hip flexors to not engage automatically. The podiatrist is working on the other things. Taking last summer off did help, but it just came back when I got back into complete classes.

 

sarahlyn - I know what you mean... it is "you need to heal" and "why aren't you dancing yet?" at the same time!

 

Miss Leigh - My current program doesn't seem to be helping me progress since I was not able to meet the goals they had set. It seems like they have lost interest in me. I thought a fresh start with a less rigorous program of smaller classes, and more personalized attention might help me work through all of this and come back. But, how do I find one that is right for me?

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balletbabe, the first order of priority is to clear up the injuries.

 

Are you scheduled for a Summer Intensive? Have you auditioned for other residency programs that you liked? Have you read all the info that we have on the Pre-professional and Residency programs? I would start there.

 

That said, the first thought that I had, after reading what you are looking for, was that Walmut Hill might be a good place for you to look at, if you have not checked that out.

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You are fast, Miss Leigh! I'm going to finish out the year here and didn't do the audition season because of not being on pointe. In June, I'll be at Ballet Idaho for two weeks. I am living with my mom now and we have the freedom to move, but not a lot of money. (I have always been on scholarship.) Where do I find the info. you recommended?

 

P.S. I attend a long distance school and will graduate next year.

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  • Administrators

We have a forum entitled Pre-professional Schools/Residence Programs.

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Thanks, Miss Leigh. I haven't had much direction from the ballet school I attend now as far as recommendations for treatment. It is taking a long time to figure it all out on my own. I guess what I am looking for is a place that would be more supportive to my recuperation and future training.

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