Side effects of learning Ballet

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Side effects of learning Ballet

Postby berriestan » Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:50 am

Hi,

Can anyone advise whether learning ballet has harmful effects on feet development? My 3.5YO girl is keen in ballet but I know the reason is more of her wanting to dress up in the outfit.

berriestan
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Postby schellen » Wed Feb 25, 2009 10:03 am

As far as I know, no side effects. My DD has been learning ballet for at least 4 years and she is still attending lessons. She walks/runs/skips/whatever kids do normally. Her feet also look normal.

Out of curiosity, what gave you the idea that ballet may hinder feet development? Personally, I've never heard of this before.

P.S. When my DD asked to learn ballet, I was skeptical too at first so I put the idea on hold while I checked up on schools in my area. 6 months later, she was still keen so I agreed.

schellen
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Postby csc » Wed Feb 25, 2009 10:46 am

My daughter has been learning Chinese Dance since young and I don't think it hampers the feet development. Now at pr six, her feet is bigger than mine. She wears my sandals, at times.

However, she has the habit of pointing the feeting outwards and this is pretty obvious when playing racket games, which put her at a disadvantage. That was the comment given by the badminton coach when I put her in a holiday badminton class to pick up the sport.

Other than that, there is no negative effect so far. In fact, it builds up her good posture.

csc
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Postby schellen » Wed Feb 25, 2009 11:23 am

The pointing feet outwards is the only "side effect" I see in people who learn dancing or are dancing professionally. It is a basic foot position in dancing so naturally it becomes "default". My DD hasn't taken up any sports (yet) so I'll just wait and see if it does hamper her. Otherwise, this does not affect daily life at all.

schellen
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Postby MMM » Wed Feb 25, 2009 11:26 am

Actually I also heard that comment before. Heard from my mum so I didn't get to hear the full picture as well. Some little girl learnt ballet and not sure is it due to misfit of shoes or what... it created a long term injury on her feet. She is not able to continue with ballet. I was initially concerned.

Another observation that hubby has is that girls who take ballet tend to have muscular calves.... he was contemplating if he wants my little girl to be like that. Nevertheless she is now learning ballet and she is 3+ too.

MMM
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Postby berriestan » Wed Feb 25, 2009 11:45 am

hi mummies,

thank you for your replies. i didnt think too much of it till hubby pointed out the potential issue on feet development when we were discussing whether to let her attend ballet classes. i just did a search on the internet... some of those who learnt ballet for years do find problems with their toes/ legs. but i guess it's more for those who has gone into it professionally. still contemplating...

berriestan
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Postby MMM » Wed Feb 25, 2009 12:01 pm

For us, we are just letting our 3+ yrs old go for it. She seems to enjoy it. But we do not have long term plans for her to pursue. I am hoping that this is something she will outgrow after sometime. Though she really enjoys it currently and listen intently when the teacher teaches them something new.

Maybe like any sports, when someone does it professionally and they tend to use that part of the body more, the wear and tear is higher?

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Ballet training - Walk like a duck

Postby Poonie » Wed Feb 25, 2009 12:11 pm

I've observed at my daughter's ballet school that majority of the older girls who have been under ballet training for 7-10 years do walk like ducks. They are not even professionals but just secondary school girls. This is inevitable as they have to turn the feet as well as the pelvic bone. Additionally, if they have been using the wrong muscles they will end up with thick thighs.

Poonie
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Postby sashimi » Wed Feb 25, 2009 12:45 pm

Personally I don't think too much about this, cos generally speaking 1) things can be corrected, 2) we all suffer from bad habits.

What I mean is, bad habits can be corrected - eg. eating noisily, scuffing slippers against the floor, bad posture. It can be corrected with diligence if you know you are wrong and put effort to correct it. Also, as some of you say, sometimes injuries or bad growth are caused because one regularly does an action (dance, etc) wrongly.

Looking on the bright side, they say (ballet) dancers walk gracefully, with poise - in fact, some veritably "float" when walking. Dancers are more aware of the lines of the body and carry themselves differently from "normal" people.

I want my DD to be aware of this, while practising a hobby that is not sedentary.

I'm more concerned about poor handwriting, over-sized thumbs (both thanks to mobiles), and poor health brought on by a sedentary life. But I also have my own biases/misgivings - I find that girls who engage in professional swimming, for example, are overly muscular. It puts me off. But this is another topic....

sashimi
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Postby csc » Wed Feb 25, 2009 1:42 pm

Exactly. Guess every sport has its side effects.

I've long ruled out competitive swimming for my children. My bro-in-law, a competitive swimmer can testify to its side effects - he started to bald in his early twenties and has bad hair quality and colour. Juz imagine the amt of chlorine one assimilated into the body over the years of training.

I'm old fashioned at heart. Girls must learn to be graceful and have poise - think dancing helps. Think of Wong Lilin & Jeanette Aw - trained dancers. Boys must be trained to be sporty and atheletic - so sports must develop both brain and brawn.

csc
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