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Phx115

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Reply with quote  #1 
Sorry if this was already posted.

Interesting, but not surprising, information/study on factors that lead to success at an elite ballet level. It's by Dr. Linda Hamilton, NYCB Wellness Program Coordinator.

http://dancemedia.com/v/14452

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ballerinamom13

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Reply with quote  #2 
I saw this yesterday. Interesting...
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camercad

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Reply with quote  #3 
It's nice to see some research study rigor on the ballet field. I agree that it is not surprising, but it is good to have the numbers backing it up. Sent it to my daughter and I hope it will spark some serious thinking. 
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Mitzy

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Reply with quote  #4 
I believe my daughter is a left turner; I didn't know that was such a negative! She has learned to turn both ways, as all dancers must.
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gymanddance

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Reply with quote  #5 
Interesting. 
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joriebelle

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Reply with quote  #6 
Very interesting; thanks for sharing.
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #7 
She lectures/teaches these sorts of things along with diet/nutrition/weight at the ballet school dd attended last. She did at least one talk for the parents, but then kicked the parents out of the room to talk to the dancers. I wasn't able to attend, but dd gave me the run down. 

DD has 2 strikes from that list. She had an average onset of menarche is a left turner naturally. She's also learned to turn to the right as well, but left still comes more easily for her. It's funny because teachers are usually impressed at how well she turns to the left.  I suppose if she ever competed, she would have had all her tricks to the left! 
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sk8jdgca

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Reply with quote  #8 
My son is in a world leading school. Of the 11 boys and 6 girls who were accepted in grade 6, 1 girl and 5 boys remain in grade 9.
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ggsmith

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Reply with quote  #9 
I suspected DD's straight legs would be a deficit.  

I think she's amazing.

I hope she thinks so as well.

I support her to wherever this road leads, onward or to the exit ramp.
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prancer

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Reply with quote  #10 
Genetics matter far more than most of us want to believe.  A book called The Sports Gene does a nice job laying out specific physical attributes required for many sports, and the study above identifies some of the important physical considerations for ballet.  I think about this nature (genetics) versus nurture (environment/practice) a lot when I see elite level young basketball players with short parents - they will eventually be passed by.  I see limiting factors in college students all the time - some students work very hard but will be limited from top graduate study admissions because they are not quite as intellectually gifted despite their work ethic and passion (and this shows on their standardized tests).  

So, as parents I believe we support our kids' interests, but we should also help them see more than one path to happiness in case they hit the genetic ceiling in their A plan.  I watch college students hit the ceiling all the time.  Those who are open to other paths adjust much better than those who had only seen (or whose parents had only seen) one path for them.  I know we like to believe we can be anything we set our minds to, but that is simply not true if we are talking about the top levels of a skill set. 

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camercad

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Reply with quote  #11 
DD has natural hyperextension - it is always the first thing commented to her by teachers and audition adjuticators. However, it is both a blessing and a curse. Natural hyperextension is usually coupled with joint weakness, making her more prone to injury unless she really keeps up with PT to strengthen those joints. She is currently recovering from a hamstring injury and her physical therapist is really hammering this point home to DD.
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ggsmith

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Reply with quote  #12 
I think the difference between the curse of hyperextension and the curse of the straight leg is that one can be overcome with the right (rigorous and difficult, to be sure) training and exercises, and the other is simply not desirable and not "correctable."  Prancer did a nice job of laying it out there.  Of course, there is much joy to be had in dance for the less genetically gifted with a flexible mind.  DD plans to study nursing and dance "as much as I can, as long as I can."  I hope she also opens herself up to forms of dance other than ballet, where the hyperextended knees are not required.
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