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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Stretch?


Harrison

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Hi guys, I'm just wondering if this stretch is safe, after warming up obviously. If you lay on your back and have someone push your leg up and hold it at at a point you cant stretch anymore for 30 seconds then lower and repeat slowly getting higher. I have found this has improved my flexibility.

 

Thanks

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Harrison, I am not one to favor students stretching students. Unless they are very experienced I really don't think they have the knowledge to know exactly how to do things and how far to go. I really don't think think that this is a stretch that needs someone else to do it for you.

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I do this same stretch by myself with a Theraband. If you wrap the band around your heel or ankle, and pull both ends toward you in this stretch, you will be able to control the stretch yourself without needing someone else to stretch you. My teacher recommended using the Theraband to me, and my flexibility has improved greatly.

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dreamofdancing-

That stretch only works well if one is not hyperexteded, or if one knows how to control ones' hyperextension!!

 

Harrison-

I agree with Miss Leigh. Unless the teacher is carefully observing, and the teacher has made sure that the dancer is well warmed up, I wouldn't recommend having students stretch each other.

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Thanks, Clara 76! I am not hyperextended, and did not know that the stretch can't be used by those who are. Thank you for letting me know; I'll be sure not to recommend the stretch to any hyperextended dancers!

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  • 1 month later...

dreamofdancing, at an SI I went to last summer we had a class in injury prevention from a very reputable physical therapist who works with dancers at NYCB. He told us never to "never stretch with something stretchy" such as a Theraband, because it is more difficult to feel your body and can cause injury. Instead, he suggested using a towel for stretches such as this.

 

*edited to fix typo

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Good to know, winddancer9! Thanks! I now do that stretch using my hands- it's actually easier for me that way, anyway.

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dreamofdancing, at an SI I went to last summer we had a class in injury prevention from a very reputable physical therapist who with dancers at NYCB. He told us never to "never stretch with something stretchy" such as a Theraband, because it is more difficult to feel your body and can cause injury. Instead, he suggested using a towel for stretches such as this.

 

I would qualify that advice somewhat. In the named stretch, it would be best to use a Theraband or other resistance therapy aid which is the most inelastic. That's the one that feels like you could use it as the rope in a tug-of-war, only don't do that, either. Harrison is in his first year of study, and needs input from people who can see him. Although we can advise from the sidelines, he still needs to be supervised in this sort of exercise.

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