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Long Distance Running and Pre/Pro Ballet Training


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I was surprised to have received a letter today from my dd's middle school track and field coach, that by looking at her mile times in Gym that she has what it takes to be a competitive miler and he would like her to be apart of their team.


Unfortunately, her dancing six days a week 1.5-2hrs per day and a lengthy commute assure her of not being able to participate. My question is, if the time issue were not a factor, could she?


She is 12 in a few weeks and has been diagnosed previously with Hyper Mobility Syndrome which means she will have to take Pilates once her growth spurt ends, as per her orthopedist.


But would there be a physical reason why she couldn't do long distance running and regular ballet together?

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My DD is 12 and her pre-pro school will NOT let her run. I am a runner and she ran with me 1 time and was sore the next day. I got in trouble for letting her do a short mile jog. It is a no no at her school.

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We don't recommend it for serious students, especially those with that much ballet at a growth age. And I would not think it would be a good thing to do for one who is hyper-mobile.

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similar thing with my daughter. She came home from school one day (6th grade) saying she set some kind of record in gym, (not for her grade but for the entire school) but had no idea what. ( If it is not dance related, she really could not care less!) Turns out it was the 40m dash! Dancers have such a high fitness level it makes sense that they could be great at first glance at almost any athletic endeavor.

She was sore the next day... for what it is worth.

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Can someone explain why running is not compatible with dance? I thought I read of several pros cross training and jogging to build stamina.

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Please delete if I speak out of turn...Every DK is different and I can only speak to our own experience. The most obvious reason for my DD would be joint injury/overuse. My DD dances 6 days a week and takes regular gym class 3 times a week. Because she is 12, and still growing her Dr and gym coach have her sit out the track segment. They were both in agreement that running (specifically) along with her dance schedule would put way too much stress on growing joints. Her coach felt that her high level of fitness meant that there was no additional benefit to be had with running. Over the years I have heard many aesthetic reasons why dancers should avoid certain types of cross training (too many bulky muscles) but for us it is all about injury prevention. She fully participates in all the in team sports in gym class and loves them. Her pre-pro school also agrees with that approach.

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I have just asked DD's school for a partial exemption from PE for her this school year. She is 12 and started pointe last year, during last school year she had overuse issues, in PE they run the mile quite often, and "warm up" by running for 10 minutes. I suggested instead she be allowed to brisk-walk or ride a stationary bike to avoid stress on her joints. I don't want to take her out entirely because I do believe there is value in team sports and she enjoys the movement during the school day.


In my State the weekly requirement for PE is 90 minutes. When I laid out her ballet schedule it is clear she is getting a minimum of 4X and oftentimes 6X that amount. I am hoping they will agree without argument. Fingers crossed.

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Can someone explain why running is not compatible with dance?


Running requires a neutral turnout. If a runner's feet (well, we know it comes from the hips, but you understand) have natural turnout, that would be considered something to fix. Every foot strike torques your knee if your feet turn out to the side when you run.


If ballet is what she wants to do, training to be a runner is probably not the best second activity.

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Thanks mousling Et al, for your valuable insight, explanation and feedback.

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