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Ballet Talk for Dancers

splits?


Guest tianehu

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Guest tianehu

Hi...I just wanted to know if oversplits are in any way harmful...because I'm forced to do them all the time, as I'm in rhythmic gym as well as ballet.

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I think that if you're properly trained, there's nothing harmful in them, it's just that I don't find them very useful, or even attractive in a ballet context. And with its tradition of excellent gymnastics training, I think that Singapore would be as safe a place to learn how to do them as any. smile.gif

 

For example, there was a dancer (who shall be nameless) that I saw, and she is both hyperextended and oversplit in grand jeté. "Great," I thought, "she looks like the hood ornament on an old DeSoto automobile!" wink.gif

 

[ December 31, 2001: Message edited by: Mel Johnson ]

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Guest SwanLake

Hello! I do rhythmic gym as well...as a co-curricular activity in school. I've always been concern whether oversplits are harmful and I'm certainly relieved that they are not.

However, is it true that it is harmful to do splits without prior warmup? Because we do splits as 'warm up'...ie. it is usually the first thing we do when we train.

Thank you for your answer.

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It is not a good idea to do splits cold. Certain assumptions are made about teenage girls' bodies being naturally more limber than adults' and the assumptions just are not true enough. Doing splits cold can set you up for torn hamstrings, knee damage, and a host of other things that can keep you out of action for a long time. You should do some grand pliés and a few other barre elements before you start the class. Grands battements, anyway.

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Guest tianehu

I take rhythmic gym as a co-curricular activity in school too! Maybe I know you... smile.gif

Well, anyway, I have another question about splits. When you sit in a split, are your hips supposed to be squared? Or is it only to a certain extent? Because if your hips are squared and facing front perfectly, your legs won't be in a straight line. But if your legs are in a straight line, it looks better, but your hips will be facing the side. I've asked alot of people, but they all don't seem to know.

And regarding doing splits without warm up...once we get to the gymnasium, we usually just plop down into splits or jazz splits (at least, I *think* that's what they're called...those splits with the back leg bent...you know?) and start stretching for a while, then we'll go running right after that, then start the 'serious' stretching, that is, oversplits on chairs, and all that. Do you think that is alright? Because if it isn't, I think I shall begin by running first of all, then stretching. But if so, I'll have to run again after the splits, because we have to do that as a group.

 

[ January 06, 2002: Message edited by: tianehu ]

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OK, tianehu, in a perfect world, where everybody has perfect 180º turnout, the hips are squared in a split. But, let's face it, that's not found very often. You really shouldn't run before the splits, but should do some stretchy warmups like those I mentioned in the post above.

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Guest SwanLake

Thank you for your advice, Major Mel. smile.gif I will make it a point to do the barre elements before training.

I've been pondering on the issue of the dangers of stretching in a cold muscle for some time cause recently my right knee hurts, especially after training. Initially, I thought the cause of the pain is jumps...but now I think it might be because of the splits.

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Joelle, an oversplit is when you go beyond a split, which 180 degrees, or a straight line. It's something that gymnasts, especially rhythmic gymnasts do, but not ballet dancers.

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wow...

I havent seen anything like that?!!

Didnt really know its was possible? arent there any bones or things ( smile.gif ) in the way??

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Actually, the most difficult thing to get by is the rotator cuff tissue at the hip-joint. If that's not properly stretched and warmed up before an oversplit is tried, it is possible that the femur will fracture before that cartilage lets go! DANGER!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Over splits are not painful. But that's only if you have enough flexibility to do them! But in center splits are your knees supposed to be facing upward? Or can they turn parallel (sp?) to the floor?

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They're supposed to be up - otherwise you're stretching to a turned-in position.

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So that's bad, right? Because when I'm going down I start to turn in...should I stop and hold it just before my knees start to turn in?

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