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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Weak abs??


finallykf

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My son is 10 and at a pre-pro school in Level 4 with girls who have been on pointe for a year now (as well as in Boy's classes). According to his instructors and the AD in terms of technique and musicality, etc. he is advanced for his age - they tell me that they would typically not put a boy his age in that Level but he has been mature enough to handle it and he really enjoys it.

 

One thing I am trying to figure out, and I am wondering if it is merely an age issue because none of the teachers seem particularly concerned about it, is his "tummy." He is somewhat tall for his age but of normal weight - definately not on the chubby side, but he is also not one of those scrawny bean pole legged boys - he has obvious muscle definition going on already. No matter what he does, he always looks to me like he is 4 months pregnant unless he sucks his gut in really hard - and then you can tell he is sucking his gut in. It's not fat - he doesn't have an ounce of fat on him. It's not his posture because his back is straight and his shoulders appear to be where they should be. He wears a leotard and tights to class - it's not appearant in costumes. When I have been in class during parent observation weeks and it appears to be a bigger problem the teacher will gently poke him in the tummy as a reminder as she walks past him, and he will try to pull his tummy in - but he doesn't appear to be strong enough to do it.

 

I wondered if it is that he has weak abs because I noticed during parent observation week in his jazz class that when they were doing ab work, he doesn't seem to even have strong enough abs to do a correct crunch. The AD makes him attend the Boy's classes instead of the Intermediate Men's classes even though that is the "Level" he should be taking because she says that at his young age his body isn't strong enough or mature enough to do the things that they are doing in the Intermediate class even though he is technically capable of doing them and that it would be an injury risk for him. So I wondered if that logic goes along with the reason for his "gut" problem - is this a problem that some boys have??

 

The only other boys at his studio are two slightly younger boys who are little scrawny things with literally concave chests and stomachs so I really can't compare him to their body types. The other boys are all older with major control of their abs. Is there some way to help him strengthen his abs??

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Not an expert here, but it sounds like a combination of issues; age and muscle strength. The crunches he does should help and the constant reminder to pull in his stomach his dance teachers are giving him. My ds was similar at that age, he did a lot of ab exercises on his own (his idea). At 14, no ab issue. I wouldn't stress over it too much, because the guys compare their bodies as much as the girls. Mine used to worry that he wasn't very strong. I reminded him that not many 13 year olds can bench press their own weight ( ie lift a girl).

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