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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Question about Hypermobility


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Dear all


I am new to this forum and have been trawling through some of the older threads and have found the information extremely informative. I have 2 girls, one is 6 and is doing pre primary RAD and my older girl is 7 and doing Grade 1 RAD. It has just been recently pointed out to me by their teacher that my older daughter has hypermobility. She has sway back knees, sway back and her shoulders roll forward. Apparently she does have a good body for ballet, has natural poise and is a very hard worker. She loves ballet and has often said she wants to be a dancer when she grows up but hey that might change a million times between now and then, she is very young.


I have read on the forum that strength is the issue with hypermobility and injuries but the lines can be nice.


My question is with these three problem areas could she still have a shot at making it professionally or would it be better just to focus on having fun or just wait and see until she is a bit older?


My other question is hypermobility also a similiar issue for jazz and tap?


My 6yo has it too and she is even a lot more bendy and I think it is pretty much in all her joints especially her fingers, they flex back incredibly.


Again I have found the information on this forum useful as when the teacher was discussing this with me, I really had no idea what she was talking about and now I am starting to get it :)

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My DD has hypermobile joints. Her range of motion is very pronounced relative to whatever is considered an average range, and "tightness" for her still appears as hyperextension.


My DD is just about to turn 13 and at age 7 she was warned about not executing movement relying on the joints themselves but rather to closely follow the instruction of her teachers who taught the students what engaging muscles means, and to work within their natural range of rotation. This meant that although my DD and some of the other students had good natural turnout they were not strong enough to work at their full range of turnout. They worked in a considerably "turned in" position and gradually developed the strength to hold their natural rotation.


At age 8 my DD was reminded by our physician that although she can contort herself she shouldn't actually do that with her body because although there may be some sort of novelty to being "double jointed" putting pressure on the joints can have injurious affects.


My opinion as a parent is to make sure that your children are working with well experienced, knowledgeable teachers who understand kinesiology and who will not push students to do too much too soon. At ages 6 and 7 my DD was still learning a lot about musicality and connecting her movements (very simple movements) to the music.


My DD has had to work slowly over time to increase her strength throughout her body and now takes Pilates classes which are helping her to learn how to stabilize her core muscles. Younger children really do not have the gross motor coordination to understand how to isolate muscle groups so at this point if you feel that your daughter's are receiving excellent training then I would focus on whether they are having fun. Ages 6 and 7 are far too young to know what could happen in terms of a professional career. I had to learn that fact too, and I am grateful that there are such excellent teachers and experienced parents of older dancers here on this forum who have helped all of us along the way.

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Thank you very much for the detailed reply I really appreciate it :grinning: To be very honest I am not sure whether or not my dds teacher is great or not from a technical point of view as I know very little about dance and we are not allowed to watch the classes. The teacher is a nice person, lovely with the little ones, the girls have fun and enjoy dancing so that has to count for something. The school owner has been a professional dancer but doesn't take many of the classes with the little ones and focusses mainly on teaching the older kids. The school is small but has produced some professional dancers.


Have read some info in old threads about pilates so will keep that in mind for the future. Thank you for your advice.

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  • 10 months later...

My 6 year old DD has a hypermobility syndrome. The issue with hypermobility is that often they lack muscle tone in specific areas. Torso (core), ankle and fingers. A physiotherapist assesment would be benefical to pin point any weakness.


This issue needs to be addressed before going on pointe for sure.


However the benefit of ballet is the slow and specific development of muscles.

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  • 1 month later...

My DS has hypermobile joints and has been in physical therapy twice already to strengthen his knees. I read the article posted above and it makes a lot of sense. I think I will print it out and give it to his teachers. Thanks for posting it!

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