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 Post subject: Sorry double-jointed question!
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2001 8:58 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 54
Location: uk
HI there,<BR>I am a beginner at ballet at age 19, but i was wondering if anyone could give me some advice on the possibility of getting really good at it.<P>At the moment I do not have great strength and am very double-jointed. I dont know if this is a good thing (because I have a lot of flexibility and if I hold onto a barre I can copy pictures i have seen on here and in books such as the backward splits etc). Will this stand me in good stead for when I develop strength or make it harder for balance?<P>Also could anyone help me with possible strength exercises that would allow me to stabilise my body and help form? As it is I tend to wobble a little because of the looseness of my joints. Any particular knee strengthening exercises would also be a big help - thanks everyone!<BR>

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 Post subject: Re: Sorry double-jointed question!
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2001 12:18 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Hello Bagpussmiaow - it's great that you have joined us.<P>You bring up a very good point. While many people have problems with flexibility it is also true that those people who are very flexible also have problems. Prima Ballerina Natalia Makarova spoke of this in her auto-biography.<P>Here is a thread you might want to read:<P><BR><A HREF=../../../ubb/Forum7/HTML/000291.html><B>STRETCH AND STRENGTH</B></A><P>There are a number of things you can do - for isntance, when you do your grand battements - don't let the leg drop but control its descent all the way down. This will develop strength.<P>Visualize and use the muscles in your back and across your shoulders coming out from your spine - feel the stabilization for your balance there - going down the core of your body. Always keep your alignment forward with that core balance, like a rod going down the center of you.<P>Don't let anything "drop" to the floor - like in degagé, bring your foot back to fifth position (or whatever position you are working in) with strength. The degagé doesn't drop down - you bring it down with control.<P>You can go through the barre and thus analyze each exercise to see where you can use control instead of gravity. Gravity can be used by those people working for flexibility and control for those working for strength.<P>I hope this helps as a starter. Also talk to your teacher and ask her for ideas. Then tell us - it would be interesting to know.<P>


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 Post subject: Re: Sorry double-jointed question!
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2001 3:45 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 270
Location: Wisconsin
Stupid question: Is "double jointed" a real medical condition, or a layperson's term for extreme natural flexibility?


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 Post subject: Re: Sorry double-jointed question!
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2001 4:09 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 18, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 166
Location: new york, ny usa
well i am about as double jointed as you can get and what the doctors called it to me was 'excessive ligament laxity', that the joint was anatomically the same as any other but that the ligaments holding it together were extremely loose.


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 Post subject: Re: Sorry double-jointed question!
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2001 1:30 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 478
Location: ITALY
Just found this thread.<P>I have double-jointed elbows, but not legs or anywhere else.<BR>Effectively, when I stretch my arms to maximum, they both over-extend. If I hold my arms straight in front of my body, palms together, I can make the inner part of the elbows touch easily.<P>It caused problems when I was learning arabesques, as I had to consciously relax the arms a bit, or I got a very weird arm position. It took a while, and I got very wafty arms as a result, and then had to learn to control yet be strong in allegro, arms-wise.<P>Does anyone know why this could occur in just these two joints of a body? my father AND grandmother had it also, and my brother also has it to a lesser degree.<P>I once had a pupil, who'd come to us from another school when she was already well into her training. Her legs were so hyper-extended that if she stood in first with her legs as straight as she could get them, her heels would have been something like 8-10" apart, no exagerating. As I watched her I felt that she shouldn't have been dancing at all, as her legs, and weight placement, incidentally, looked very peculiar indeed.<P>However, it wasn't my school and she continued to come for a while, but in an extreme case like that (and I've seen nobody with legs like that before or since) what would others have done or suggested?<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Sorry double-jointed question!
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2001 1:41 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
It seems to me - seeing what Pmeja has posted about excessive ligament laxity - there is no reason why it could not occur in only a couple of joints. Nothing says it has to occur in every joint.<P>There was an ballerina at the Bolshoi, Nahdezda Pavlova who from what I have seen of her classroom pictures, has quite extremely hyperextended knees. In my opinion, it really spoiled her otherwise beautiful line. That's just my opinion, as obviously others thought otherwise or she would not have been at the rank she was.<P>If a student came to me with that kind of extreme hyperextension, I would too, like you Red Shoes, have grave doubts about the appropriateness of her continuing with her study of the ballet.


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 Post subject: Re: Sorry double-jointed question!
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2001 10:42 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 257
Location: St. Peters, MO USA
stupid question: what is huperextension of the legs? thanks <BR>kim <P>------------------<BR>Great Dancers are not great dancers because of their technique: they are great dancers because fo their passion -- Martha Graham<BR>

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Great Dancers are not great dancers because of their technique: they are great dancers because of their passion -- Martha Graham<P>


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 Post subject: Re: Sorry double-jointed question!
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2001 11:10 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
There are no stupid questions....only sometimes stupid answers.<P>You might want to read this thread:<P><A HREF=../../../ubb/Forum19/HTML/000045.html><B>hyperextension</B></A>


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