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Ballet Talk for Dancers

high heels & backpacks


Guest Katrina_54

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Guest Katrina_54

hey

my posture is good in dance class and that, but sometimes during the day, I feel myself slouching. I wear a backpack EVERYday bewteen EVERY class at school and during lunch time. I know that backpacks are really bad for your posture, but I don't know what else to use...I have sooo much school stuff I need, like my daytimer, binder, textbook, notebook, graphing calculator, pens, pencils...that I coulnd't exactly carry it from class to class without a backpack. Some of my dancer friends use the "off the shoulder" bags that have become popular lately, but are those a safe alternative? High heels?? Are they good or bad for posture?? I try not to wear them too often, maybe 3 days a week or so.

Thank you so much for taking time to answer this! I just wanted to add really quickly, THANK YOU SOOO MUCH Mr. Johnson, and Ms. Leigh for answering all my questions, I'm loving this message board, cause I am learning a lot of new things about ballet, and I think it's really good that you don't allow people to talk about certain things, such as weight!!! Keep up the great work:D

 

Katrina

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Backpacks and heels both bad, Katrina :) Sorry, but find another way to deal with it. I've written extensively about this on the board, and I'm sure you can find a lot of info in the archives about what backpacks can do to you. And heels are not great for dancers either, except for special occassions ;)

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Yeah Mrs. Leigh, I never wear heels, in fact I wear nothing but tennis shoes. Not quite up with fashion, but I want to be easy on my feet so they will not be tired in class. And about book bags, while bad I don't know of any alternatives.

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Rolling backpacks are very popular these days :rolleyes:

 

Using your locker and only carrying bare essentials is another possibility. Another is to have two sets of books, one at school in your locker and another at home. Go back and forth to the locker rather than carrying all the books all day. I think the rolling bag is the best idea, however. Books are just too heavy to carry on your back. I have a number of students who have severe alignment problems, especially the placement of the head, due to backpacks. I've been preaching against them for years, but have not had a lot of success. The students will pay the price. They will most likely be quite round shouldered by their 20's and their head will never work for ballet because it is too far forward and not aligned with the spine.

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Use a backpack with wheels.

 

Backpacks are not chic.

 

Heels are chic--but I don't imagine that you wear them nearly as much as you lug around that nasty ugly backpack. So save the shoes for when you need to look good but get rid of that pack and save your bones.

 

:rolleyes:

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sorry to jump in, but i have to use my backpack every day as well...if i would use a backpack on wheels...or whatever pulling behind me on wheels with my books in it....i would have a hard time at school!!!

here in holland, everyone has their backpacks...when you would go around in the schools with a backpack on wheels...you're gonna get laughed at...:mad: a bad habit of teenagers here.

besides, at my new schools, we have 5 floors, the first not being used by us, the 2nd with our canteen, the 3rd, 4th and 5th with just a few classrooms each...and we're not allowed to use the lift as being the students...only if you break your foot or whatever...so, we go up and down all day by using the stairs...a rolling backpack wouldn't be very beneficial in my situation!!!

so, when i carry my backpack (something i already did for 6 years), i try to think about my posture, and try to keep as upright as possible and not sticking my head forward to carry the weight with me...

 

~SKIP~

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That's why a convertible sack or briefcase or portmanteau with a handgrip, a set of backstraps, a collapsible handle and wheels is such a good idea. In transportation language, you can go "intermodal" as the situation demands, all with one container!

 

Now all we dancers have to do is convince the rest of the world that it's the "kewl" thing to do!:rolleyes:

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I agree with Ms. Leigh. I finally convinced my mom yesterday to buy me another set of books for math and science, so I don't have to carry them anymore. My school also has generous passing periods, and I often have enough time throughout the morning to go back to my locker and get whatever I need for the next few classes. The only times I have to carry everything are on my way to and from school, but if it's too heavy on my back, sometimes I carry some things in my arms, and then I get my mom(who works at the same school) to help me carry the books too.

 

One question would be though, would carrying some of the books by hand, at least for relatively short distances, help, or hurt in any way?

 

Dolphingirl

 

P.S. Another tip that I remember hearing is to always wear the backpack straps over both shoulders and to buckle the waist belt if you can, to help distribute some of the weight better. Does this work, and help at all?

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If you're carrying things in your arms for miles and miles, without relief, that's not good either, and yes, all the various straps on a backpack should be employed if you use the backpack as a true backpack. This includes both waistbelt, and cross-chest braces, if included.

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Guest dancergal

I have backpack problems too. My backpack is always huge. Everyone says it's bigger than I am. Whenever I carry it around I hunch over to try and prevent myself from flipping over backwards from the weight of my bag. My dad is actually getting obsessed over the matter and just ordered this weird kind of backpack that's supposed to take some of the stress off your back.

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This is a very good article, thank you Mr. Johnson. BUT, what it does not deal with is what the backpacks are doing to the alignment, and most especially the head thrusting forward problem. This is SO difficult to correct, and will not even be able to be corrected as long as the factor that is causing the problem continues. There are always other ways to do things. If you want to be a dancer LOSE the backpack NOW!!! You know, it's quite amazing, but when I went to school we did not have backpacks, and somehow we all managed to survive ;)

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And please do not say that we did not have as many books as you do, now! ;)

 

We did, and Ms. Leigh is correct. We all have spent time walking back and forth from school, up and down stairs, through crowded hallways.....not that much changes in academia over the years.

 

I am a librarian and spend a good portion of my day walking as well as carting books (and I was an Art History student straight through grad school, so I know about heavy books.) You can lose the daytimer and a few other extraneous things and save your posture. Have your parents speak to the school, or leave stuff that you don't absolutely need in your locker.

 

On the other hand, you won't ever catch me in sneakers. Younger people are smarter than I am about shoes, but we all have our own individual standards of taste. which is, after all, what makes us interesting!

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I thought what was particularly useful in the CBS article was the recommendation from orthopedists that bags contain no more than 10-15% of body weight. At West Point, the United States Military Academy, the cadets have backpacks, but their wear is not standardized, so some wear them as backpacks, some off one shoulder, and so on. The thing that IS standardized is that the bag cannot contain more than 15 pounds of anything at any time. Now, if these fine physical specimens who are the future officer corps of the Army are limited to 15 pounds, and they are huge(!) some of 'em, what should you be carrying?

 

The other good thing the article did was suggest makes of convertible traps so that the excuse of "I don't know what to look for" isn't there anymore!;)

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