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 Post subject: Body types and such.
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2001 4:23 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 98
Location: U.S.A.
Hello there! I start ballet in about a month to two months and I was wondering. I know that any type of body is suitable for ballet as long as there's a strong willed mind behind it, but I would like to know if mine will need extra work or attention. First off, let me give you a (not so brief) description.<P>I'm short (5 feet tall) and underweight, however I have good stamina. I'm extreamly flexible. I can bend uver and put my palms on the ground without stretching first. But while my felxibility is great my strength leaves something to be desired. I'm not sure what my turnout is because I've never taken ballet, but When I do the butterfly stretch, my knees almost touch the ground. I recently discovered that I'm slightly bowlegged (i think that's what it's called.) That's when my knees don't touch when my ankles are together. I can make them touch, but it takes intense concetration and effort. My feet are small and norow, but with a high arch.

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 Post subject: Re: Body types and such.
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2001 6:51 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Althena - sounds like you have a lot of good stuff to work with. But, please, don't try to press your knees together -you will really hurt them. I know - I also have slightly bowed knees.<P>Everyone has a different degree of strength and stretch. Have you read the thread we have on that:<P><A HREF=../../../ubb/Forum7/HTML/000291.html><B>STRETCH AND STRENGTH</B></a><P>Your turnout is not entirely based on the ability to do the butterfly stretch. There are other things involved. Scroll down and read the thread on "hip parts" I think that was it anyway. <P>It will be exciting for us to hear about your experiences when you start your classes, Althencait.....what a wonderful world awaits you.<P>And a strong willed mind is important - and a thinking mind....and a mind that knows when to enjoy. Lots of luck to you.


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 Post subject: Re: Body types and such.
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2001 7:06 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2001 12:01 am
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Location: Basking Ridge, New Jersey, USA
Athenacait, it is very exciting that you are getting closer to the start of your ballet career.<P>You already know that your body and your mind are both factors in your training. Every body has strengths and weaknesses. There are some things that come more naturally, and others we have to work at harder. This is true of every dancer. Even the seemingly "perfect dancers" have plenty to work on in ballet.<P>Part of the adventure for you will be discovering where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Your teacher will be the one who will guide you through and help with your assessment, as he/she is the one who will actually see you, and who has the expertise to evaluate your needs.<P>Generally speaking, from what you have said, your height is a given -- nothing to do about that! Flexibility is a plus in ballet, and you will balance it with strength as you train. Being a little bowlegged is not uncommon in dancers, and can add to beautiful line. Here your teacher's advice will be helpful. The same for turnout, which is still an unknown, and for your feet, as there are many factors which come into play regarding how the feet function in ballet.<P>I think the main thing is to go into class with an open mind, a willingness to learn, an expectation of enjoyment, and oodles of patience. I sincerely hope that you will find your ballet experience as wonderful and fulfilling (even with the hard work and challenges...) as I and many others here have found it to be. <BR> <P>


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 Post subject: Re: Body types and such.
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2001 12:36 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2001 11:01 pm
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Location: uk
Is bow-legged (knees) the same as hyperextended??

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 Post subject: Re: Body types and such.
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2001 5:58 am 
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Location: Wisconsin
Bowleggedness and hyperextension are not the same thing (as far as it has been explained to me).<P>Stand with your feet together (parallel or "6th" position) and look at yourself in the mirror. If you are bowlegged your feet will touch but your knees won't.<P>Now take a first position and look at yourself in the mirror. You are hyperextended if your knees touch but your heels don't.<P>I know there are French terms for bowleggedness and knock-kneedness (one starts with a J and the other with an A) but I can't recall.


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 Post subject: Re: Body types and such.
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2001 6:16 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Bree is correct in her description.<P>In first position - bowed knees: heels touch and knees do not.<P>In first position: hyperextended knees touch and ankles do not.<P>Each construction has assets and liabilities. Simply stated they are that a bowed knee is a stronger construction, but a bit less beautiful if much bowed. A hyperextended knee achieves a straighter more pleasing line, in my opinion, but is not as strong a construction.<P>An extreme of either is difficult to work with. And in both cases the dancer has to learn to work with whatever type of knee she has.


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 Post subject: Re: Body types and such.
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2001 7:38 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2000 12:01 am
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Location: IL, USA
Sorry to disagree, but a person CAN be both bowlegged AND hyperextended (or knock-kneed AND hyperextended for that matter). The bow is often in the bones themselves (either the femur and/or the tibia & fibula)while the hyperextension is in the angle at which the bones meet at the joint. The hyper extension can occur in one of or all of the joints. The knock-kneed person generally has straight bones, but the angle in the hip and knee is compromised.<P>When a person is BOTH bow-legged AND hyperextended, a judgement cannot be made based on the meeting (or not) of the heels and/or the knees, as the degree of each condition must be taken into consideration.<BR>------------------<BR>It is not knowing the answer that matters, but what question to ask...<p>[This message has been edited by Cabriole (edited July 07, 2001).]

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 Post subject: Re: Body types and such.
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2001 9:35 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 98
Location: U.S.A.
Thanks you guys! And I made a VERY important decision last night. In about two years I'm going to join company! Image I think I could probably handle it now, but here's why I've decided to wait two or three years.<BR>1) I'll be old enough to have a job to help pay for it, and I can drive my self there.<BR>2)By then, if I work hard enough,. I think I'll be ready for pointe, and at the dance studio I go to, you can't do pointe unless you're in company.<BR>Yayay! I'm so excited! When I first told my mom I wanted to join company in two years, she was a little skeptical, but when I explained to her about be ing able to drive then, and halp paying for it, she said she supports me all the way!

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 Post subject: Re: Body types and such.
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2001 5:45 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 60
Location: Canada
Hi I was wondering if i had the ideal ballet body as well. Just as your opinions.<P>I am 14 i am 4"10 I havnt had a growth spurt yet so I am guessing I will be growing for a while longer. I have fairly long legs for my body. I have slightly hiper- extended knees and I am a bit bow-legged too. I am really flexible, ok feet, and i have alot of strength (I don't use it all the time...but it's there Image lol) I have good turnout too.<P>I am wondering if you could suggest a company that would accept someone like me perferabley in the States or Canada. Thank you soo much!<P>------------------<BR>*Lil Ballerina* <BR> ~Keep on Dancin!~

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 Post subject: Re: Body types and such.
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2001 6:27 pm 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Lil Ballerina - there is not ideal body type. Because - no one has one - everyone has a very individual body. And, I think that is what makes dance so interesting to watch. It would be boring if everyone had an ideal body. It's the differences that make life interesting and fun.<P>As for what company - I would suggest that at your age you concentrate on studying and working hard. I think when the time comes for you to decide - you will be older and have more of an idea what kind of company you would like to dance for. Because - companies are individual too!! And if you decided now - by the time you are ready to audition the companies may have changed.<P>So if I were you I wouldn't worry about it - just dance - learn and enjoy.


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 Post subject: Re: Body types and such.
PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2001 7:26 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2001 11:01 pm
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Location: Canada
Hi thank you for replying. I am not worrying at all. Its just that when I auditioned for other ballet shools like National and Winnipeg they said it gets harder and harder as you get older. I wanted to at least try to get into one before I turn 15 or 16. My teachers say I have got the potential to do it now, so why wait?

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 Post subject: Re: Body types and such.
PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2001 8:59 am 
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That you have the potential is wonderful!! <P>This is an issue to also discuss with your parents. And to consider your school studies which are also very important. <P>One thing to look for when you are considering auditioning for a company is what kind of dance they do - I don't mean ballet or modern - but what kind of ballet? classical? neo-classical? Do you like the things they do and the music they use?<P>A college program can also be considered. That is what is so great about your being young and with potential - there are many options. Talk to your teachers, your parents and your school counselors - get lots of different opinions.


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