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Ballet Talk for Dancers
Evangeline

Can't do first position beacause of overextended legs

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Evangeline

Hello!.I am a teenage ballet student.I used to do ballet when I was younger to the ages of 4-10 but I was forced to stop because of an injury.Now,after years I decided to start again!      I have to face a problem though that I remember I always had.When I was younger I had noticed that I couldn't completely straightened my legs in first position.My dance teacher told me that it wasn't some serious problem,but it was because of the way that my feet were,and that my feet were very good for dancing but I had to work on them so I wouldn't face any problems.As time passed I did some exercises my teacher told me to and until I could completely straighten my legs when they were touching in first position, I didn't close them completely,I had them in a gap a little smaller than second, and gradually my feet were able to close up more until I finally did it!Now unfortunately years later my feet do this again.Is there anything I could do to fix this even though I am not that young anymore?Thanks in advance!Also,excuse me for my bad English,I am not a native speaker.

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vrsfanatic

Heels must remain together in 1st position, in an ideal world. Sitting in your hips and into the backs of your knees accentuates the X or hyperextention of the legs. It is important to work continuously to lift out of your hips and knees. Slowly, you must bring your heels together with stretched knees.

Another way to approach it, is to begin with the heels together working to lift the knee caps strongly into the thighs.

Both approaches work but require careful monitoring by a knowledgable teacher.

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sasham

At my ballet school, that is one the most common corrections I get. My hyperextension causes me to have to separate my two heels quite wide to make my ideal first position, however, I have been working on strengthening my knees to be able to do first without such a wide gap.

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vrsfanatic

sasha I would say you have teachers who understand how to improve this weakness. Stick to it and continue to ask for their guidance 

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