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Straightening the Knees


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DD feels like she's straightening her knees, yet she's getting this correction often. Any advice? (As an adult student, I've gotten this correction as well and even when I think my knees are straight I find I have room to go straighter. I've tried telling her this, to no avail.) Is it something that will come with time? She's getting a little frustrated at hearing it, when in her mind her knees are straight. Her teacher hasn't said anything about DD being hypoextended, so I don't think that's the issue. Should I try suggesting DD work with a tennis ball behind her knee, sitting down with legs out straight, as I've seen suggested here before? Or should I just stay out of it altogether? :) I wouldn't think twice about it except that DD is feeling "picked on" so I know it's bugging her in some way.

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  • Administrators

The best thing to do when you do not understand a correction is to talk to the teacher about it after class. That particular kind of correction is usually best understood with a hands-on correction. The teacher needs to help her feel when her knees are really straight and when they are not. She just needs to ask for help on this one, and I think it would be best if she asks the teacher herself.

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Thank you. I'll talk to her about having her ask her teacher about it herself. Makes sense!

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Guest tipo'thetoes

As your daughter is under 13, there is a possibility that her bones are growing more quickly than her muscles and ligaments. This makes it more difficult to fully straighten the knees, but would righten itself with time. I notice with my own daughter that she seems to periodically have difficulties fully stretching her knees when she has growth spurts, but then it improves. (Her knees have some hyperextension and clearly hypoextension is not the problem). I think I have heard that stretching the calf muscles with lunges is beneficial, but check this with her teacher.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My DD has the same problem and gets the comment "Straighten back of your knees" on her yearly evaluation sheet every year for the last three years. She has the habit of walking on tip of her toes since she was a toddler. It is not an anatomical problem ( her pediatrician assured us) just a habit but surely effects the flexibility of her calf muscles. She has been stretching her calf muscles out of ballet class lately and says that she now can understand how to straighten back of her knees like her teacher asks her to do.

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I have been all over this board asking for advice about my dd and her knees. Our most recent success has been through private lessons with a very experienced teacher. She has corrected dd's stance, which was too far back leaning. In correcting the stance and getting her to balance correctly over her big toe, her leg line has improved so much. As a non-dancing parent I can't actually see much difference in the way she is standing or in her posture, but I can see the straighter legs as a result. My dd is currently 11 years old. Good luck. We also tried different pointe shoes.

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At this point it is in her hands. I'm not worried about it, and she knows she can ask her teacher about it. It may be the beginning of realizing as well that ballet is about hearing the same correction over and over until body and brain have both fully grasped it. I've suggested she ask her teacher to show her what straight feels like and also let her know that maybe she isn't always straight and so is getting reminders about it; what she does now is between her and her teacher. I appreciate hearing the other stories and ideas, as always. :jawdrop:

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