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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Question About Hyperextension


Snow Maiden

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After seeing the recent Lucia Lacarra thread, I was looking at some photos of her work and found several where she seems to be fairly far back in her hyperextension while en pointe. I have noticed this on other professional dancers as well. I have always been told to pull up out of my hyperextension, and have seen it mentioned many times in threads about hyperextension. Is something like this Lucia Lacarra sitting in one's hyperextension, or do professionals learn to be up out of their legs while showing off their hyperextended line?

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No, she is not sitting into the hyperextension, as she is lifted up out of her supporting leg and not pushing back with her weight....however, she is also supported here. :thumbsup: The amount of hyperextension in her legs is quite extreme, and I'm sure she has to work very hard to control it, especially with those feet that want to go over so far, but she is not doing anything wrong in that photo. (Well, lower body, anyway.) Controlling hyperextension is done with placement, not with bending the knees, which she would have to do in order for the lower leg to be straight and not curved backward. The curve is fine as long as her hips and weight are controlled. It does, however, take a long time and a lot of strength to be able to control that much hyperextension.

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At a certain point in training, after hyperextension is under control, the dancer can learn to work within the confines of "looking straight" and going back a bit into the hyperextension, but never to the locked state.

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Thanks for clarifying this for me, :jawdrop: I've been wondering about it for a while. It didn't look like she was sinking into her leg in that picture, but because she is so far back in her hyperextension I wasn't sure.

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