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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Better results vs. textbook technique


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I've got a lot of things I'm working with anatomically, (most notably very hyperextended and knocked-knees), and I am learning to compensate for them accordingly. My question is, due to these... anomalies, is it more desirable to go for 'by the book' technique, or what I find that works on my body?

For example, I find that attaining a smoother, more controlled adage is easier when I allow my knees to be a little beyond fully straight- not locked back by any means, but still slightly hyperextended. As a result, my weight is slightly farther back, but not settled on my heels. Is this wrong?

There are a lot of little things like this that I notice during class- things that work better for me, but different from what the teacher/textbook/general authorities say on the matter.

Is it better to let my own body decide what's best for its little quirks, or should I try to achieve the ideal set forward by the experts, but for a body completely different from mine?

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Perhaps, if given enough time, the "textbook" techniques would become part of you and then become the best way to dance? In other words you have developed coping strategies to compensate for your anomolies, whereas perhaps what might have been a good idea would have been to have started off correctly from day 1.


Just as you've learned those little quirks, so too can you unlearn them and replace them with cleaner, better, stronger technique. BUT, this will require patience on your part. You may even temporarily go through times where you can't do steps that you used to do well, but they will be even better later if you have patience.

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