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Ballet Talk for Dancers


L' Allegro

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I've been wondering-


I am naturally tight. My mother is flexible, my father cannot get even his fingertips to touch the floor. I take after my dad. (granted, I'm a wee bit more flexible than that). So I was thinking that flexibility must be genetic. What is different about my muscles that makes them tight? Do I lack a certain chemical or something?




(also, maybe I should have put this in nutrition/health... hmm)

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Flexibility doesn't have anything to do with chemicals in the body, but it does have to do with genetics. Beyond that, you have muscular/tendon flexibility, and joint flexibility.


What specifically are you having problems with?

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Honestly, both. My muscles and tendons are very tight, but my joints lack mobility as well. I have a whole series of exercises I do to increase flexibility in my muscles and tendons, but I'm not sure what exercises I should do for joint mobility.

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I would be very, very careful doing anything at all for joints; you run the risk of permanently damaging them, and trust me here- that is NO fun at all.


I am trying to figure out what movements in ballet, beyond the hyper-extended or over-extensions that I see, that you might think you need more joint flexibility for? What ballet exercises are you struggling with?

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  • 1 month later...

I've re-evaluated myself. My particular problem is my back- I can roll through it well (like rolling forward to put my hands on the floor). It's the arching back that is difficult. I can't do a "bridge" (I think that's what you call it... when you lie on your back, put your hands under your shoulders and your feet under your hips and push up to form an arch) at all. So my arabesques are, ah, lacking. Or maybe I have a faulty understanding of how an arabesque works?


Do I need to stretch my stomach muscles? If so, how? I also feel like my vertebrae are really close together- I sometimes have my dad "crack" my back (I'd also like to know exactly why that happens...!)


Thanks for muddling through and answering my questions!

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Ok. Have a read through this thread on the Adult Ballet Students board:



Is your torso longer than your legs, proportionately?

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