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Other forms of exercise


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Hi :grinning: I am after advice on different types of exercise that can be done to complement ballet. I know yoga and Pilates are always good options, and I also understand that running is really wearing on dancer's hips, knees (!!) and ankles :innocent: . I'm fairly fit, and I'm wondering is if there are any forms of exercise that are absolute no no's for dancers, and any that are recommended? Thanks in advance for your advice :thumbsup:

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Downhill skiing is pretty much contraindicated, as is sumo wrestling. :grinning:


Swimming is always good, and hiking is also fine. Biking is not bad, either, as long as you stretch after. Everything is predicated on a "recreational" level of intensity. Swimming Olympic laps will build strangely muscular shoulders, twenty-mile forced marches will build all sorts of unfortunate leg muscles, a three-day bike race is just pure suffering!

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It has been said here a zillion times that running is a no-no for ballet dancers, but I just want to share my personal story to anyone reading this about consequences of running!


Anyways, last year I decided, hey let's have a normal life and play a school sport (my school is VERY sports oriented). For some reason, speed and endurance come naturally to me so I went out for cross country. It went on for a few weeks: running sprints and/or 5-8 miles before about 3 hours of class each night. At the same time, I was growing a few last inches. The combination of overuse and growing caused my muscles to be stretched super tight and pull on my bones, causing inflamation in my hips.


Soon, there was a crack in the iliac crest of my left hip and inflamation in that of my right. (It's called iliac crest apophosytis.) I couldn't straighten my legs in any thing closer together then a second position or walk normally. This went on from August to January, and I wasn't thinking so I went to a doctor that knows nothing about ballet. He told me "it could be better between 2 weeks to a year."


During that time, I had to take some steroids for an allergy problem and without being able to work out or dance, I put on a lot of weight. Nutracke was missed. By the time audition season came around, I had been dancing for only a few weeks with many snow days in between. Not many schools come to my area for auditions, but I wasn't about to make my parents take me to the closest big city when I was hardly at my best. (However,I got lucky and one of the few schools that came to the area to audition seemed to be the perfect match.)


So that is my personal experience with running and ballet. I plowed through and worked hard from January to June, ending up on scholarship for next year at my year round program but still: BIG WARNING TO ANYONE CONSIDERING IT!!

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I'm glad you seem to be back on track. Thanks for sharing.

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Hahaha Thankyou Mr Johnson for that astute advice :lol: . But seriously, thanks alot for your help; I'm glad to know that swimming, biking and walking are good for dancers, because they are all things I do on a fairly regular basis. Thanks for sharing your story with me allegrogirl987, that really put things in perspective :pinch: . So basically light weight-bearing excercise is good, and swimming can also be beneficial. Everything in moderation :thumbsup: . Thanks

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