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 Post subject: Oversplits?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2001 5:21 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2001 12:01 am
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Location: Wisconsin
I have heard many dancers talk about oversplits.<P>What are oversplits? Is it simply forcing the legs into a split to a degree past the typical 180? And if so, isn't it dangerous to do so?<P>Why the need for an oversplit? Isn't a 180 good enough?


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 Post subject: Re: Oversplits?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2001 5:44 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2001 11:01 pm
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Location: uk
Oversplits are where you make an angle greater than 180 degrees (basically beyond a split). This can be done by elevating the front leg or back leg in a split.<P>I would imagine that the need for oversplits is something to do with needing a flexibility 'reserve' so that a movement is more easy to perform. They are also useful, for example in gymnastics to perform split handstands because you need more than just splits flexibility to be able to do this, as you dont have the floor to hold you in the splits.<P>Im not sure about this one but I dont think that very many dancers can/or do oversplit unless they are really top ranking.

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 Post subject: Re: Oversplits?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2001 5:51 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
We had a thread on this before - Here is the link:<P><A HREF=../../../ubb/Forum19/HTML/000064.html><B>splits</B></A><P>In my opinion, there is no need for an oversplit. And, yes, that is a split that goes beyond 180 degrees. This does not occur in the ballet vocabulary at all.<P>


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 Post subject: Re: Oversplits?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2001 7:40 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2001 12:01 am
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Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
i've seen pictures where a lady is-for-instance-in a penche that goes past 180 degrees, and it looks scary. It's not nearly as pretty anymore as the straight 180 line.


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 Post subject: Re: Oversplits?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2001 4:04 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2001 12:01 am
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Location: Wisconsin
Two more questions:<P>Is it necessary to have an oversplit in order to have a "true" 180 degree split in leaps such as grand jete?<P>Is it necessary to perform oversplits in order to fully "open the hips" and stretch and warm that area up?<P>Both were suggestions made to me, and both sounded a little fishy!<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Oversplits?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2001 4:10 pm 
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My answer to both those questions is "no". In the link that I supplied up above as you can see by what was said, in my opinion - and Maggie's - there is nothing to be gained, and much to be lost. Here is what we said in that thread:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Basheva<BR>Moderator posted May 09, 2001 15:39 <BR>--------------------------------------------------------------------------------<BR>Born2Dance - there is really no merit, in my opinion, in an oversplit. It is not used in the ballet, and I believe it runs the danger of excessive wear and tear on the ligaments and joints involved. Even if it is comfortable for you - I don't recommend it. <BR>While you are in a split you can lean forward on your front leg, and GENTLY toward the back leg. <P>This is a case where more is not always better. Be happy with your splits, enjoy them, but still you have to be careful.<P> <BR>Maggie<BR>Moderator posted May 09, 2001 15:58 <BR>--------------------------------------------------------------------------------<BR>I agree completely. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>This is like saying that in order to do 32 changements - you have to do 64.<P>Or in order to do a shoulder high extension you have to be able to put your leg by your ear.<P>The grand jeté involves much more than just a split - it involves strength. The flexibility gives you the possibility - but the strength gives you the attainability. <BR><p>[This message has been edited by Basheva (edited July 18, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Oversplits?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2001 5:39 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 01, 2001 11:01 pm
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Location: St. Joesph, MN
Just out of curiosity, Would you say that a dancer who may currently may not beable to do a grand jete could slowly learn where she needs strength and over time attain a good grand jete? For the life of me I have problems doing them now, but I don't know what parts need work to perform a good grand jete.


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 Post subject: Re: Oversplits?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2001 6:04 pm 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Yes, SalimaC - I would certainly say that. My grand jeté needed a lot of time to improve. In my case I had the strength (for the most part) and needed the stretch. For others it is the strength that must be attained.<P>The best thing, in my opinion, is to work on both. The problem is, too many times students only think of the necessity for flexibility rather than considering also the need for strength. While of course, at the same time learning the technique.<P>And, I have to say this also....there is a limit for each of us. There is no promise - only the hope - that proper work on both flexibility and strength will achieve the goal we seek.


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 Post subject: Re: Oversplits?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2001 7:33 pm 
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Location: Oregon USA
I also think it is not necessary to be able to oversplit. However, I spent years about two inches away from the splits. I stretched every day and just couldn't get that last two inches. The way I finally got them was to put my front foot on a little ledge about three inches high. I got my splits in about 2 weeks doing this, but after I got my splits I stopped doing this.


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 Post subject: Re: Oversplits?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2001 11:06 pm 
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Location: St. Joesph, MN
dancer13, when you say that u put your front foot on a ledge, do you mean that by doing this you could slowly get those two inches and after you attained it you stopped???


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 Post subject: Re: Oversplits?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2001 5:02 am 
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Location: Iola, Texas
One thing you could do in order to improve your splits is to square your hips. Once you get down in the split, move the hip of your front leg back and the hip of your back leg up. Straighten your legs completely. Fully point your foot.<P>I also agree that achieving the 180 penchee or jete is a combination of stretch and strength. If you have the stretch, ya gotta work on the strength.


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 Post subject: Re: Oversplits?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2001 5:05 am 
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You are exactly right, AHallMark...it is much wiser to work on the technique of the split than to try to oversplit it.<P>In my opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: Oversplits?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2001 9:13 am 
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Location: Iola, Texas
thanks, unfortunately my talk is better than my dancing! I have NO flexibility, so while I can TALK about moving the hips up and so forth, I can't even get down on the ground!<P>My goal was to have the splits by the end of the spring semester, but I was stretching so much that my hips started to hurt, so I cut back. I figured that I had no real reason to force it, but by repetition and stretching more in classes I might eventually get there.<P>It is nice to know that I am learning how to dance properly from my teachers, supplemented by discussions from these boards. It's nice to have this forum. Who knows, maybe when I'm 40 I might be teaching part time! Only six more years!<p>[This message has been edited by ahallmark (edited July 19, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Oversplits?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2001 1:10 pm 
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Location: Washington St.
Random anecdote: <P>Apparently, my ballet teacher used to be in a circus in Europe, and would do the oversplits hanging between two elephants (one leg on each elephant). While this is all sounds very romantic, it caused damage that makes it more difficult to be flexible today. So be careful!


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 Post subject: Re: Oversplits?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2001 3:04 pm 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Katheryn - was the damage because of the elephants or the oversplits? <P>


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