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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Danza- question about back


Danza2

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I just had somebody discuss that my daughter did not have hyper-extension of the back, as if it were a desired feature in some dance companies. He said this is not something you can achieve. You either have it or not. My daughter is flexible in the back, but does not have hyper-extension of the back. Is hyper-extension of the back common? Desirable for a dancer?

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TwelfthNight

I am sure Ms. Clara or one of the other instructors could answer your question about whether it more desirable or not. I will say, though, that I think your daughter is better off not having the hyperextension. As with all hyperextension, there can be issues with it. DD has a hyperextended back. She can comfortably bend her back to where her head is the same level as her rear and just an inch away from touching. She has had extensive conditioning to strengthen the lower back, however, she still was injured last year and the injury keeps her from using the full extent of her hyperextension and she doesn't utilize the flexibility as much as she could before the injury. DD also has a short torso, so she has been told that the force of jumps, etc. goes to the lower back so that might also play a part, but I feel the hyperextension adds additional problems to the area by making it weak. So, while the hyperextension is beautiful, it can be very weak and prone to injury. Personally, I would rather DD have the flexibility than the hyperextension.

 

As far as whether it is common, I have no idea. DD also is one of those people with the over 180 turnout that can stand in 1st position and comfortably turn her legs back at the hip so her feet look like they are on backwards. It tends to "freak out" some of the kids at her studio that she is hyperextended everywhere, but I tend to think there are a lot of kids out there with hyperextension all over. Again, while it is supposed to be desirable in ballet, it does tend to cause a lot of problems with strength and they can be very prone to injury so I am not sure I would envy anyone with it.

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:thumbsup: Took the words right outta my mouth!

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