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The differences between gymnastics splits and ballet splits


shortstuff203

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i am just wondering what the major differences are between gymnastics splits and ballet splits. i am doing a speech about the differences between ballet and gymnastics and that would be a huge help if i could put that in my speech. thanks. :):rolleyes:

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Hello shortstuff, welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers :)

 

The biggest difference is that dancers have to be turned out, gymnasts do not. Gymnasts also do "oversplits", which we do not believe in for ballet training, nor do we think they are safe to do. Gymnastics is totally about flexibility, ballet is about line and shape, which includes flexibility, but not at all to the same degree.

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May I add that gymnastics is a sport and ballet is considered as an art form. :wacko:

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I just wrote a research paper on ballet and gymnastics, and I have to slightly disagree with you Claude. Ballet is considered both an art form AND a sport. =)

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By whom, letscrash?

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By the sports medicine and sports psychology communities it is considered a sport because "ballet dancers and athletes experience similar levels of physical and mental stress during training and performances [and] both dancers and athletes are also exposed to extensive treatment and rehabilition following injury" (Encarncion et al). (That was the first reference I found when I did a quick search through journal databases.) Instead of taking away from the artistic qualities of ballet, it is just acknowledging that ballet dancers are working just as hard or harder than traditional 'athletes'.

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The fact that ballet dancers work as hard or harder, or have some similar injuries, or may indeed be considered athletes, simply does not make ballet a sport as well as an art, in my opinion.

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Well, I know that not everyone agrees with this opinion and it is right that dancers are athletes, no doubt. It is also right that they suffer from the same injuries and and have the same mental stress but like Victoria Leigh said, it does npt make ballet automatically a sport. Mhhh, maybe we could open another topic for this discussion (if there is not already an existing one). :)

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Claude, it has been discussed before, but it was a long time ago. I would have no clue where to find it. However, I seriously wonder if there is anything to discuss, because I can't figure out why anyone would consider ballet a sport. It just makes no sense to me. :)

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  • 2 weeks later...
i am just wondering what the major differences are between gymnastics splits and ballet splits. i am doing a speech about the differences between ballet and gymnastics and that would be a huge help if i could put that in my speech. thanks. :PB)

 

I'm training at a full-time ballet school and also dabbled in competitive gymnastics when i was younger. In my experience I haven't really encountered any huge differences between doing the splits in gymnastics and in ballet.

 

As a gymnast, much less emphasis is placed on a turned out leg but you still do turn out especially in rhythmic gymnastics because it creates a much better line in split leaps, penchees, illusions (like a penchee but turning) etc. It is true that there is less focus on clarity of line and alignment in gymnastics than there is in ballet but this certainly doesn't carry through to elite level rhythmic gymnastics who often take ballet classes to help with their alignment.

 

I have heard of a lot of other students in pre-pro schools stretching their splits in both parrallel and turned out positions (although when you're performing you will ALWAYS be turned out in grande jetes, penchees, developpes devant and anything else that requires a split or almost split line) because the two different split positions stretch different muscles. e.g. a lot of people get a better hip flexor and quad stretch when doing the splits in parallel. At my school we do this in our stretching program.

 

We also practice over splits on chairs. It is the best way I know of for getting that extra flexibility edge. If you've ever been to a company performance and seen a professional do one of those gorgeous grande jetes where their legs go past split line, oversplits is how they acheived it!

 

PS Good luck with your assignment!

Edited by belski
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We also practice over splits on chairs. It is the best way I know of for getting that extra flexibility edge. If you've ever been to a company performance and seen a professional do one of those gorgeous grande jetes where their legs go past split line, oversplits is how they acheived it!

 

Belski, here at BT for D we do not feel that oversplits are pretty in the air at all. Just look at a photo of a profressional dancer in a grand jeté with a 180º line, and then look at the shape of the legs when they are beyond that. It is distorted and not at all a classical line. AND, stretching the splits between two chairs is VERY dangerous! :P We do NOT recommend that at all and do not want our students trying it.

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It is distorted and not at all a classical line.

 

And did we mention vulgar? Oh yeah, it looks vulgar.

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  • 2 months later...
I just wrote a research paper on ballet and gymnastics, and I have to slightly disagree with you Claude. Ballet is considered both an art form AND a sport. =)

 

 

would you consider Marching Band a sport? After all, it requires physical exertion and hard work and they compete. So, i guess Band is now a sport...at least according to your thinking

 

I did gymnastics from three years old until 16 years old. I had to quit due to an injury. I picked up ballet this past November. There are many parts that are quite difficult, but compared to gymnastics, it is like taking candy from a baby. Gymnastics is a million times harder. Lets put it this way. I worked my way into the advanced ballet class after only six months. Another girl in the class did dance in high school on her dance line and managed to enter the advanced class at the same time as I did, only she started in May, so it took her one year. I challenge any ballerina to go into a gym and join the upper level team within six months to a year...it will not happen.

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Hello dancing gymnast, welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers.

 

I think it's great that you are doing so well in ballet so quickly, but I do have to point out that the advanced level in some schools is not necessarily what might be considered advanced in other schools. In a professional school it could be quite different, or, of course it is possible that you are exceptionally talented. However, if you have never had ballet before, even if you can execute certain tricks and have a lot of flexibility, it is really not possible to learn all the basics of ballet in six months. You would need to know the entire vocabulary, which is required for a true advanced level, and the ability to execute everything with correct alignment, rotation, and articulation. I'm sure you are doing very well, but the term advanced is somewhat relative, based on the school.

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...not to mention artistry, expression and stage presence...

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