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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Large kneecaps or flexibility issue?


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My 10 year old daughter has had one consistent correction for almost 2 years now - straighten your knees. I read her the thread on "pulling up your knees" some time ago and it helped. (http://dancers.invisionzone.com/index.php?showtopic=52420&hl=kneecap#entry498848) Her knees definitely look much straighter, but in 5th and arabesques (standing leg), her knees still look like they protrude a little. Is there a way to determine if she has big kneecaps or if it is just a flexibility issue? She's has benign joint hypermobility syndrome - scored a 7/9 on the Beighton scale - but her knees are the only joints that aren't hypermobile (go figure!) She is planning to ask her instructor for some additional stretching exercises she can do at home to help with the issue, but I thought I'd toss the question out here as well.

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My DD (now 12) got the same consistent correction at that age. She is also somewhat hypermobile but has really good muscle development (never had that skinny, coltish body). What I discovered is she did not quite get what the instructor meant by "straighten your knees". When in tights, I asked her to straighten her knees while in first position parallel then placed two fingers on her kneecap. I then gently pushed. Her leg straightened that extra bit, her kneecap went up and she said "OH, I feel that!" LOL It seemed that due to her strong muscles she wasn't really achieving that straight line they wanted. She said to me " Now I get it!" I also showed her some simple stretches to do, just for her knees, before class.


I have found that sometimes there can be a disconnect between what they see and what they try to achieve. I have found that asking how something "feels" will often solves the problem.


I also wonder how much of this is age related.....


Good luck!

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My DKs have the exact same issue. This is very useful, thank you!

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Thanks buzzandmoo - it is good to know that your DD also had the same consistent correction and how you helped her understand the knee issue. My daughter asked her instructor about it at last night's class and she gave her a few hamstring stretches that she can do at home. Even though this has been a correction for a few years, the instructor didn't seem to be worried about it, which made my daughter feel better.

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My DD has this issue as well. When I was reading your post, I had a illusion of thinking,"When did I write down this?" LOLs! I think it takes time. They need to build up a good habit of "straighten up knees" extra harder than other girls, and need to remind themselves to straighten up all the time. Sitting on the floor, pulling up the heel to stretch the hamstring is a way to improve. And also I believe when they are older, with stronger thigh muscles, the problem will disappear.

Good luck to our DDs. :flowers:

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My DD is receiving this correction as well a lot recently. I was doing some searching and it seems to be common in this age group likely due to growing. I know my DD is eating a ton these days so I just know we will be pants shopping soon.:-) My understanding is that this is a time to be patient, and gentle with her body to avoid injury.

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Thank you for sharing your experiences lilypad and summer03 - its always good to know of others that are dealing with the same situation.

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