CriticalDance Forum

Innate versus acquired flexibility
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Author:  prettypointe [ Mon Feb 11, 2008 8:02 am ]
Post subject:  Innate versus acquired flexibility

I know that some people have natural flexibility whilst others have to work hard to achieve and maintain it and that the same goes for turnout.

What I wonder is if those blessed with a natural facility are more likely to achieve success as professional dancers or whether, if the end result is the same, it does not really matter how the flexibility is achieved.

To what extent is it possible to improve upon flexibility and turnout after early childhood? Is there an age by which the body is immune to all efforts to stretch it?

Many thanks for any thoughts on this topic!

Author:  LMCtech [ Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:12 pm ]
Post subject: 

It helps to have natural flexibity, but I've seen many "tight" kids end up just as loose as their professional dancer counter parts. They just have to work harder and more consistently to get and keep their flexibility.

In the end, it's how you use your flexibility that matters the most, not how you got it.

Author:  Gina Ness [ Sat Feb 23, 2008 10:02 pm ]
Post subject: 

It is definitely easier to dance ballet if one has some natural flexibility. Ballet is not as hard on the body if a dancer has some degree of turnout and flexibility. I believe flexibility is more achievable than having very limited natural turnout. There are stretches one can do. Also, the very nature of ballet study lends itself to gradually achieving more flexibility. Also, there are supplemental things one can do to promote flexibility such as Pilates, for example. I don't know of a specific "age" where there is a "cutoff" for working towards more flexibility, but I think that by the time we are in our twenties and beginning ballet it might be more of a challenge. Any ballet student who aspires to a professional career will have studied very seriously during their childhood and teenage years. So, these issues will have been addressed by their teachers during their training....

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