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Boys and splits


Happymum
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My DS has always struggled with splits even now he can't do them brilliantly or easily. I think his lack of flexibility was one of the reasons he was assessed out of W/L. But despite this he has made it to 6.3 at Elmhurst.

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Neither girls nor boys have to be able to do the splits for year 7 entry, they just have to have the POTENTiAL to do the splits. They will be tested for flexibility potential in other ways during the physio assessment. Don't be put off from applying because your DS may not be able to get into splits yet.

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No i do not believe they have to. Flexibility is more of an issue when applying for 6th form My son wasn't as flexible as those who had been fulltime vocational since year 7. Infact one teacher at elmhurst was foul and deliberately set him up in an open morning to show this. Sorry still make me cross as other parents told me they were disgusted at the teachers attitude.But his flexibility improved over his 3 years there and now into his 4th year as a professional he's caught up. He'll never be as flexible as some but that of course is dictated by physique. So don't worry too much.

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Ive observed both boys and girls at WL not being able to do either front splits, box splits or both. What matters is whether they have the capacity to eventually achieve this.

 

I remember seeing very flexible boys at my ds first JA audition, boy did they flaunt it! I never saw them again. But years later my ds who had musicality, performanceship , good co-ordination and obvious capacity to work hard despite the restrictions in flexibilty coupled with lack of strength (grew tall very quickly), well he has a good contract for the foreseeable future.

 

Incidently he still can't achieve full box splits but simply does not need that ability in any of the choreography hes been asked to do.

 

Yes good flexibility is desirable but its not the whole story!

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I echo everything hfbrew said (yes, that often happens - our sons have a lot in common). We believe the main reason our son was assessed out of WL was due to his lack of flexibility, but it didn't stop him getting in in the first place and after he left he gradually got better. He's now working as a professional ballet dancer and is still not in flat splits - but is still working at it - but you'd barely notice any difference when he's dancing. His musicality and strength are his plus points - but we still might open a bottle of something to celebrate if he sends me a photo if himself in flat splits ;-)

 

When at auditions try not to worry about the flexible boys - there's a lot more to getting a place than how loose their joints are.

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So strange reading Julie's and Hbrew's comments. It could be my son. Many lads do take time to come to the flexibility esp if they grow alot. Some boys were amazingly flexible and its always intimidating in an audition to see these lads warming up but all 3 of our sons are working. Mine is a little older so has a couple more years under his belt. What they seem to have in common is tremendously hard working, tennacity, musicality and artistry. Certainly the extrememly flexible have had no more luck in securing work.

 

Personally I think ballet is focussing too much on flexibility, esp in women, to the detriment of artistry and musicality. But that is another discussion.lol

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Thank you for your reply. At the moment I'm working with a boy who is working very hard but his flexibility is improving very very slowly ( but it IS improving). So there is no chance for him to be able to do any splits for this year auditions but it's good to know that it doesn't mean that he won't be accepted. And yes, I agree that very flexible children need to work on their strength and it is harder and takes longer then improving flexibility.

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My son who has mild cerebral palsy was having physio yesterday. We had noticed his hamstrings had tightened a little. The therapist was pointing out to me the difference of boys flexibility compared to girls. There is a difference and it is quite significant. Obviously there are always those that dont fit the rule of thumb, but it was still interesting for me to hear this.

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Our son has just got splits - but couldn't all the way through year 7 and into year 8. And we too remember seeing very flexible boys at auditions as well, it was sometimes quite intimidating!

Edited by Stirrups36
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when my DS went to his first summer school at end of year 9 he couldnt get anywhere near splits (he was about a foot off the floor). He was nevertheless offered a scholarship for full time school and within 6 months had both box and front splits. So evidently they were looking at potential and not actual....

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