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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Puberty and strength


ifnotwhynot

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Sometimes, it has to do with being out-of-shape, and that is NOT necessarily weight-related. Kids who look like they are struggling to hold their extensions; kids who fall off balance easily; kids who go through the motion of the movement, but without any muscular reaction; kids who appear frail; kids who tire easily; kids who make movement look difficult; kids who have a more soft muscle quality as opposed to muscular definition. Those are all the kinds of things that can be strength-related.

 

If someone is saying to focus on conditioning, then that's a pretty clear clue that the body is not yet physically in shape. Again- may have NOTHING to do with a number on a scale, but simply that a dancer needs to work on her muscle defition (typically lengthening as in the type of muscle that is usually built through proper ballet training), endurance, and stamina.

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Sometimes, it has to do with being out-of-shape, and that is NOT necessarily weight-related. Kids who look like they are struggling to hold their extensions; kids who fall off balance easily; kids who go through the motion of the movement, but without any muscular reaction; kids who appear frail; kids who tire easily; kids who make movement look difficult; kids who have a more soft muscle quality as opposed to muscular definition. Those are all the kinds of things that can be strength-related.

 

 

Clara76, do you believe that, generally speaking, all the above elements can improve with increased strength?

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kids who have a more soft muscle quality as opposed to muscular definition.

 

I thought that muscular definition wasn't a 'desirable' quality for a dancer. My DD (12.5 years) has not got the same musular definition of some of her classmates, despite doing over 20 hours a week of dance related activity in a residential setting. Are children who do not develop this musculature, less strong? And if so, is it possible that they have a body type that somehow doesn't/won't develop muscle in the same way as the stronger children? Is this a puberty issue?

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I think you may be confusing muscle definition with over-developed muscles. :)

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Clara76, do you believe that, generally speaking, all the above elements can improve with increased strength?

Yes. Especially core strength. It can be a combination of things too, which means that sometimes you have to take a multi-tiered approach. If she is at a residential school, I would trust that they are addressing the issue and do not expect anything from you as a parent.

 

 

kids who have a more soft muscle quality as opposed to muscular definition.

 

I thought that muscular definition wasn't a 'desirable' quality for a dancer. My DD (12.5 years) has not got the same musular definition of some of her classmates, despite doing over 20 hours a week of dance related activity in a residential setting. Are children who do not develop this musculature, less strong? And if so, is it possible that they have a body type that somehow doesn't/won't develop muscle in the same way as the stronger children? Is this a puberty issue?

 

If a child has an extremely flexible body, they will take longer to develop. Since the dancer is in a residential setting, I would reassure her that the strength will come, and to keep working on the corrections her teachers are giving her.

 

I think you may be confusing muscle definition with over-developed muscles. :)

 

Yes! Exactly, ceecee!!

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Thanks, Clara 76. I am confident that my DD is getting the right training and attention regarding her strength, and I think she knows what it means and looks like. I just didn't have a good picture in my own mind (as a non dancer). She's certainly not weak, so I think they are more subtle (but significant) things they are working on at her residential school. Interesting that you mention flexibility--she is extremely flexible; especially in her back.

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