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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Flexibility or strength for a "proper" plie


CO_Mom

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Please help a newbie parent who has zero knowledge of ballet. I had to google plie to make sure I was spelling it correctly. My just turned 9 daughter has been in ballet for 2 years and really enjoys it. At the last class the instructor was emphasizing that she needed to stop sticking out her derriere while doing plies. This of course has made my daughter obsessed with "practicing" them at home. I see that she defintiely both sticks out her bottom as well as brings her knees forward when coming up. It isn't clear to me whether it's strength or flexibility that is hampering her technique, or perhaps both. She can almost do the center splits, but is not particularly strong. She is very stick like in her muscle development. If someone more experienced than I could help to direct her to some simple activities that she can do at home that will help her in this area. I am not sure that doing tons of plies incorrectly at home is a useful thing. Please keep in mind, I am not an instructor or ex-dancer and have no ability or desire for anything fancy or complicated.

 

Thanks!

Edited by CO_Mom
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Perhaps you might consider speaking with her instructor. So many things can go amiss at this age and she may not have enough physical knowledge of how her body works. She is still quite young. It may be best to allow the teacher to handle it in class at this point.

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I totally agree, CO_Mom. And welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers. :)

 

We do not recommend that 9 year olds practice at home, especially on something that they are not doing correctly. It is most likely an alignment problem, and she does not yet understand how to maintain her alignment in a grand plié. That would cause the derrière to be out and the knees to be in. Best to only do that with a teacher for now.

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Oh my goodness yes, welcome to BT4D! :)

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Oh my goodness yes, welcome to BT4D! :)

Thanks for the warm welcome. I am more than happy to leave it in the hands of her teacher - now if I could just convince her that the ballet practice time at home would be better spent working on her piano, which she IS supposed to practice at home!

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Welcome CO_Mom

 

My daughter is 9 years old too and she has the opposite problem that your describe with your daughter. Mine likes to keep her pelvis tucked in at all times outside of ballet class. In our case we took her to our pediatrician to get a referral to a therapist whom she see each week along with her ballet teacher providing additional corrections during class. She also does two weekly stretch & strength classes at her ballet school. We have noticed a positive difference with her alignment and when I say to her after class" tuck-out" she knows to correct herself.

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Wendi, I'm a bit puzzled and also confused about your post. It could be a problem of a difference in terminology, but the word "tucked" is the one that bothers me. Tucking the derrière under is not correct in terms of alignment.

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I believe she tilts her pelvis too much that's why the doctor called it "tucked in". When she is laying flat on her tummy and you look at the length of her legs; the right is a few centimeters off but when you bend her legs back it the right leg length does a cross-over and no longer is the longer leg. She has a very small curve in her back that the doctor wants to see her every few months to keep an eye on.

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