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Ballet Talk for Dancers

An issue of hyper-extension or being bow-legged


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I have both hyper-extended legs and am also bow-legged and when I stand in first, either my ankles are apart and my knees are together or my knees and ankles are together but my legs are not fully straightened (extended). I was wondering what this is due to and if I can correct or change it somehow as it also makes standing in fifth a pain.

Thanks :)

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You can correct it!


Stand facing a mirror with your feet in 6th. Take a look at your kneecaps- chances are they are facing towards each other, rather than aligned straight. What this means is that your femur is inwardly rotating- not a healthy place for it to be when landing grand allegro, right?


Now engage your muscles as you would for good ballet "stance", and focus on rotating the femur so that your kneecaps are aligned straight forward in the mirror. If you can do that you can fix it in a rotated position, but there is a bit of work ahead for you. Read these topics and see if they make sense:


http://dancers.invisionzone.com/index.php?showtopic=35504- ALIGNMENT


http://dancers.invisionzone.com/index.php?showtopic=44193- ROTATION


http://dancers.invisionzone.com/index.php?showtopic=53605- EXERCISES

I would add to this one that for the last exercise of parallel relevés in 6th facing the mirror, that you also align your kneecaps to be straight while doing this, and do not allow yourself to fall back into your hyperextension.


Let me know if this helps!

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Thanks Clara,


I tried the standing in parallel and rotating and it seems to work, however, I feel as if it is straining my knees. Is this a bad thing and am I doing something wrong here?


Also thanks for the links, they really did help!

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The straining is likely because you will need to build up strength in the muscles surrounding the knee joint- quads, hammies, etc. I used that as more of an example so you can see that it is something you will eventually be able to control!


When you work on the relevés in parallel, think more about keeping your ankle bones touching on the way up, at the height of the relevé, on the way down, and when your feet land. That will likely begin the strengthening process in the right areas so that you will eventually be able to maintain without strain!

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