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Ballet Talk for Dancers

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Guest Aleasha Barkova

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Guest Aleasha Barkova

I have very hyperextended and knocked knees. When I stand in first and straighten my knees, my heels don't touch. And, when I stand in second, my knees do! My question is: is it proper to stand in first with you knees together and your heels apart? My normal teacher (an ex-professional dancer) says its fine, but my Russian teacher (she trained in some Russian ballet school when she was young) says that its terribly improper. What do I do?

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Become a convertible!;) Just remember which teacher you're working with. Actually, I would favor a first with a little space in it for a hyperextended dancer, but that's personal. The other way, though, trains you to work to conceal the anatomical peculiarity, and do so safely, by locating your own version of straight legs. I know it will feel like your knees aren't all the way straightened, but it's great to learn how to control that condition. You'll have to rely a lot on your Russian teacher to help you keep "the look", as you will need eyes outside yourself, but it's valuable to learn, and I can certainly recall students I've taught to do that (REALLY big hyperextension), and they've worked out just fine.

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