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peaches

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hello, everyone! My daughter is 6 and her teacher says that she over pronates her right foot in her leaps. Now mind you, she is a leftie and everything she does with her right leg is weaker, but the teacher said there is nothing to do to correct that foot and leg tunring in when she leaps or does any of her tricks. Has anyone else ever seen this and is it true? Is she doomed to never have proper alignment  with that leg? [confused]
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dancingpeanut

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Reply with quote  #2 
She is 6. Her muscles still have so much developing to do. DD didn't even begin dancing until she was almost 6, and wasn't doing anything even close to what she would now call a leap. High quality ballet classes don't even begin until around age 7-8 because little bodies just aren't developmentally ready for the fine tuning of those muscles that lead to proper alignment.

Take it from a mom of someone at the other end of this child raising journey, relax. What they can do at six is quite literally no indication at all of what they can do at 18.
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peaches

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Thank you! You made me feel much better. She's almost seven but that doesn't really make a huge difference. The competition judges came down pretty hard on this in their comments (she did a solo) which I thought was slightly harsh since she is so young but that's what they are there for. 
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prancer

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Reply with quote  #4 
She is very young and should have plenty of time to learn better technique with proper training. I am concerned the teacher believes there is nothing to do about this. It's the teacher's job to teach her how to work past or at least minimize her flaws.

If the teacher is good, I think she would start teaching her to bevel or wing her foot. This foot position works against overpronation. Strengthening excerises will help too. She has lots of time.
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peaches

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Reply with quote  #5 
Thank you! I'm going to start strengthening exercises but I will mention the bevel/ wing foot to DT.
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oatmella

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Reply with quote  #6 
I am not sure a 6 year old is going to have the control or awareness to bevel or wing her foot. And if she tries, she may not have correct alignment either. I would focus on strengthening.
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prancer

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Reply with quote  #7 
Oatmella, I totally agree the OPs daughter is very young. I wanted to emphasize that corrections are possible - at least in the future. It bothered me that the teacher said there was nothing to be done. And it worries me that without the teacher guidance on proper strengthening moves/foot shape she may strengthen into the wrong shape.
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1tinydancer

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Reply with quote  #8 
Is it pronated outside of dance? Or just when she 'leaps'?

I know there are shoes/inserts that can be used if she is. Also, maybe put in/alter her dance shoes to help with alignment. That might also help her learn, in general, the proper way her foot/leg is supposed to be and that will help her with dance.
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DanceMomLaura

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Reply with quote  #9 
I'll be honest here and say that I had to google images to figure out what overpronation looked like.  I wouldn't be concerned at all from a dance stand point.  She's 6.  However,  I would ask the pediatrician about it simply as a skeletel/muscular concern.  If the pediatrician says she is fine, then don't sweat it. 
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emmymom

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Reply with quote  #10 
How are your DD's feet when she stands?  Is she flat footed?  This is important to know as it helps answer whether her tendency to do this is related to a physical cause. A pediatric ortho can help you determine this if you can't readily tell yourself.

I think your DD's DT may be overly dramatic in her assessment of your DD's feet, ankles, and future in dance at 6 years old.  She is only 6 and has so much time to correct issues of alignment which I think this could be more of than actual overpronating.   

As she grows, exercises can be done to correct collapsed arches ,improve arch development, and correct foot and ankle alignment. At your DDs young age, I would think her "overpronating" is not a structural problem (although see a physician if you have concerns), but more of a technical one and due to her young age and lack of training.

She is a baby in the dance world and as she continues her training she will better understand correct alignment or her feet and ankles which should help with overpronation.

I think she's way too young to say that there is "nothing to do to correct that foot and leg".
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tappinmom

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Reply with quote  #11 
I have to agree with the other posters.  She is 6.  She is still a baby when it comes to dance.  People seem to think that all dancers should be phenoms at an early age and that is just not the case.  With proper ballet she has plenty of time to correct issues like this.  Pushing her now will just have a negative effect on her love for dance.
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NCKDAD

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Reply with quote  #12 
I was trying to imagine this but I couldn't quite. I have a newly 8 (7 in comp world) dancer who has to make sure to keep her feet and knees turned out in many moves, while stretching. Her 8 and 9 year old teammates are also still actively working on this.

In regards to a solo they absolutely will comment on that bc it's their job and it's probably one of the most important things she can work on now. 7 year olds (well most) aren't loaded with crazy moves and turns and the little things need to be solid and cleaned up before the next. When my DD was just under 6- her very first solo very first time in stage competing- she was supposed to do a sassy walk. She did a very adorable 5 year old version of it. Judge #3 commented "well that was awkward, let's fine tune that." We all had a chuckle. We knew it wasn't the best but it was totally adorable, totally her and she owned it. Her reply was "that judge is awkward." Lol - she's gotten a little
Better about hearing critiques. Maybe- haha

In any case - it's normal to have and normal to hear
From a judge. You take what you can from the critiques. I tell my girls "when you chose to compete, you chose to open yourself to a microscope of scrutiny."
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Phx115

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Reply with quote  #13 
Funny this should come up.

DD10's left foot overpronates, and since she complains about shin splints after long comp days and conventions, I took her to an orthopedic doc, specializing in feet. They did x-rays and you can clearly see the rolling in. He chalked it up to genetics and unused muscle laziness (she's right-handed) and recommended a good quality shoe that is designed for kids with overpronating feet. We just had a follow up and he said the shoes were helping, but they won't "cure" it. He said if she has pain in the next few months then he'll consider orthotics for her shoes.

He made it pretty clear that the overpronation won't go away, but it won't get worse if she continues to wear good-quality shoes, and it will help prevent foot, leg and back pain as she ages.

The problem comes in when the foot gives the appearance of being flat when in first through fifth positions. Both of her feet aren't banana feet, but arch pretty well when pointed, IMO. However, in DD's case, the overpronating foot has a better arch than the other. She does foot stretches every day with Thera-bands to work on the strength and arch.

My advice, for the time-being, would be to make sure she has good shoes designed to provide extra support for overpronating, but if she starts to have pain, then it's worth getting her checked out by a medical professional.
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oatmella

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Reply with quote  #14 
I am curious how much feet can really be changed? Like what exercises can "improve arch development"? As far as I know, a foot with a high arch is structurally different than a flat foot. A foot becoming more flexible and strong doesn't mean its arch has changed.
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prancer

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Reply with quote  #15 
I hope other will chime in because I'm not an expert here - but I think the goal of exercises for the feet are like exercises for anything else. Your body is built a certain way and then you train to maximize your strengths and minimize your flaws. E.g my dd has hyperextended elbows (nice to be flexible), but she needs to train consciously to keep them rounded (minimize the flaw). Her feet are made with fine arches (strength) but inflexible ankles (weakness). So she strengthens her feet to point strongly in the arch and stretches her ankles to get what flexibility she can out of them, and bevels her feet to work against the natural sickle that comes from how her feet are made.

My dd doesn't have the genetic gift of gorgeous feet, but thanks to quality instruction and hard work, she no longer gets judges' criticisms about sickling. Even to an untrained eye, her feet used to ruin the line of her very pretty long legs. I am so happy to say this doesn't happen any more. Experts can certainly criticize her feet, but if you are in the audience watching her dance, the overall line is attractive now. I am thankful her instructors are able to help her maximize what she has and minimize what she doesn't.
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
 the teacher said there is nothing to do to correct that foot and leg tunring in when she leaps or does any of her tricks


Kind of boggles my mind that her teacher says there is nothing to do about this. 

I agree with everyone else that she is just 6, almost 7. It just doesn't ring any alarms for me at all. At this age, she has not had much ballet at all, if at all. If this is really only happening with certain moves, it's a strength and muscle memory issue. The prescription as she gets older would be quality ballet classes with hands on instruction. If she were older, I'd wonder if it is really an overpronated foot or a turned in leg. 
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my2miracles

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Reply with quote  #17 
My advice is to find a different teacher.  While a bit different, my daughter's arms naturally hyper extend.  She has to be very aware of her arms when she dances because of it.  At 14, her most often received complement is how beautiful her arms are.

I have 1 foot that pronates.  I was born with it.  While I don't dance, when I pay attention to how I'm standing, I can adjust my foot so it isn't doing it. 


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peaches

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Reply with quote  #18 
Since her last class, I have been watching her closely,and I see her right foot turns in ever so slightly during her natural walk. Perhaps, the DT is saying she can't help her if she is "built" that way. However, I taught her how to use the bands and I'm also having her walk around in first position. I hope this helps. She really is a great little dancer, and I would hate for that to be an impediment. Thanks, everyone, for your suggestions and thoughts. I guess we will see how it pans out at the next competition (which is soon)![eek]
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oatmella

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Reply with quote  #19 

I have heard it's not a good to be normally walking (not dancing) turned out.  She's really too young to have full control over her body/feet/legs so if you are really concerned about her pronation issues, I would see a podiatrist.  Trying to overcorrect the pronation may make it worse.

I would try not to overly focus on this issue.

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ggsmith

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Reply with quote  #20 
Peaches, if you truly believe your daughter has a structural problem with her legs and feet, please take her to her pediatrician for an evaluation and possible referral to a podiatrist or orthopedic doctor.  If physical therapy is indicated, take her to a licensed PT for training in what exercises are appropriate and how to perform them safely and effectively.  Coming up with exercises at home is like prescribing medication without training.  The chances of hitting upon the correct exercises and implementing them correctly are much lower than the chances of coming up with ineffective, or even worse, harmful practices.

You seem very concerned about this teacher's comments.  Perhaps you can meet with her for clarification.  

Keep in mind that anyone can call themselves a dance teacher and open a studio.  

I've seen kids start dancing at 12 years old and catch up to dancers who've been "training" since they were toddlers.  At 6 or 7, there is a lot of time to figure these things out.
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my2miracles

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Reply with quote  #21 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ggsmith
Peaches, if you truly believe your daughter has a structural problem with her legs and feet, please take her to her pediatrician for an evaluation and possible referral to a podiatrist or orthopedic doctor.  If physical therapy is indicated, take her to a licensed PT for training in what exercises are appropriate and how to perform them safely and effectively.  Coming up with exercises at home is like prescribing medication without training.  The chances of hitting upon the correct exercises and implementing them correctly are much lower than the chances of coming up with ineffective, or even worse, harmful practices.

You seem very concerned about this teacher's comments.  Perhaps you can meet with her for clarification.  

Keep in mind that anyone can call themselves a dance teacher and open a studio.  

I've seen kids start dancing at 12 years old and catch up to dancers who've been "training" since they were toddlers.  At 6 or 7, there is a lot of time to figure these things out.


Yes to this!  DD14 danced with a girl who didn't start dancing until she was 9 or 10 and she's now at Joffrey Chicago.  She's an incredible ballerina.
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ballerinamom13

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Reply with quote  #22 
IF she is "walking turned out" by forcing her knees to turn out, you are in for a world of trouble.  Correct turnout can take years to learn. Forcing it will cause knee and foot problems. You turn out from your butt, quads, hamstrings and hips- NEVER your knees. I would be very careful about "instructing" her to walk in first position unless you are a ballet teacher.  She is SIX.  Try to relax and have her take as much ballet as possible. Once she learns correct technique, it will improve her strength and she will learn to control it the correct way.  
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