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Ballet Talk for Dancers

How strong should a dancer be at 13?


Nyathina

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You might want to consider a consult with a nutritionist. Even if she eats "healthy," she may need a little tweak to grow and maintain muscle. There is a lot going on with the body at thirteen! (FWIW - I'm not saying that is the answer, just that visiting a good nutritionist does no harm. ;-) )

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  • 6 months later...

I have removed a couple posts making specific program recommendations, which is taking the thread :offtopic:

 

We don't make specific recommendations for specific dancer, as none of us can see or know individual dancers. Different young dancers and their family lives have different needs, wants, and wishes. There is no "one size fits all" in pre-pro training. :)

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Since this old thread has been revived and I was an early commenter I would like to add my own update.

 

I posted that my DD was 12.5 and needed to build strength. She has a long lean body type and strength has always been her weakness. She is now 14 1/2. I wanted to share that in the last year she has grown SO much stronger! She still has a little ways to go and I am sure will be hitting her stride in another year.

 

She was one of those dancers who was told she needed to work on building strength and I just wanted to share that she developed that through dance. Ballet 6x per week (plus rehearsals) and 3-4 hours of pointe her week, plus other dance forms and pilates.

 

So if you are worried about your child building strength just stay the course, feed them a well rounded diet and keep driving them to dance. For some it is about needing more dance hours and for others it is simply body type and the rate of development.

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I'm just going to add a thought here from observatin and experience. Another thing that comes with maturity is awarness. Awareness during barre of the muscles being used properly, tendues fully using all those intrinsic foot muscles, plies using continuous turnout muscles in the hips, etc. I find when really focusing on those tedious repetitive excercises that are done every class, every day - wow! A whole lot of strength is built.

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I guess I would add that today's dancers do a lot of cross training. In my DD's program she does about 1 hour of pilates room 3-4 times per week, her own abs routine each night, a separate set of strength and stretches to improve turnout 3 times per week, 1 mat pilates class, and 2-3 times per week elliptical or bike. And honestly, I think that pro dancers do a lot of cross training as well. I guess that I am saying that for my DD just doing dance class has not been enough. I am just adding that to the mix. People don't have to agree.

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At 13, the teens are in growth mode. Over-training and over-use can set up injuries. More is not always better.

 

Please be sure to check with ballet teachers, your doctors, and physical therapists familiar with ballet and growing bodies.

 

Not looking at king for an argument, just giving some caution.

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Cammies, WOW! Thank you for this info.

 

As the mom of a limby colt, (13 in a month) I will tell you how frustrating it is to hear that my DD needs to build strength in order to improve her dancing. And receiving multiple rejections from Summer Intensive auditions doesn't help. She is 5'7" and grew 4" this year. She has gorgeous long legs, is hypermobile, with very archy feet--the right facility for a great dancer (so I've been told by numerous people) but she needs to get stronger. I don't think she'll reach her potential and strength until she's stopped growing. In the meantime, I'm going to ensure she's getting the best training she can. It seems like that's the best option.

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So if you are worried about your child building strength just stay the course, feed them a well rounded diet and keep driving them to dance. For some it is about needing more dance hours and for others it is simply body type and the rate of development.

I would like to second this response. My dd grew a lot between 12 and 14. In addition to her regular classes the only difference was an occassional private to make sure she was using the correct muscles in class and about four months of weekly pilates (on a reformer) privates to build strength right after the major growth spurt. I know this is not necessarily the path for every dancer but she had her best year ever in the last year.

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