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non-sprung floor


Millie3
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Does anyone's dd/s dance at a class with un-sprung floors?  DD has just come home after 3 lessons of ballet (she has a couple of exams coming up) complaining of pain in her knees.  When she mentioned it to her teacher she told her just to mark it out (might be the incorrect terminology!).  However the principle of the school was there and asked her how on earth she was going to manage when she goes away full time next year - which has really upset dd.  She's never had this knee problem elsewhere, it only occurs after dancing at this school. 

 

 

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Do you think this floor is wood on top of concrete? Concrete can be a bit of a killer for jumping on!

I am an adult who does ballet and a couple of places I dance in have purpose made beautifully sprung floors and really there's no comparison. Occasionally I forget and wonder why jumping feels particularly difficult that day and then I remember!!

 

However having said that it may be worth checking she isn't developing any probs with knees....unrelated to the floor issue. Actually if you or daughter has mentioned this to the teacher then I would have thought she should be watching her particularly in class to check out her technique in case she is doing something incorrectly which might be affecting her knees.

Doesn't seem to have been a particularly helpful comment anyway.

You don't say how old DD is......has she grown recently? When you say this doesn't occur anywhere else.....I assume you mean in a non ballet context .....rather than she dances somewhere else? So its pssible it could be specifically related to ballet rather than the floor itself or maybe both.

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It is essential for a dance class to take place on a resilient floor.  It is not enough for it to be wood - it has to be elevated/sprung/floating/raised - whatever terminology you prefer.

 

Working on an unresilient floor will lead to problems - if not immediately - then eventually.  Such problems as knees, spine, hips, feet, neck, shoulders.

 

This is why many dance classes are located on the second floor of buildings.  However, in some newer constructions more and more steel is being used - and less and less wood.  This gives an unresilient construction even on the second floor.  Thus, a space that is specifically designed for dance (or other activity which includes jumping) will be sure to have a sprung floor.

 

Even a hard floor with a cushioned top will not do.  The point is not that the landing will be soft - but that it will absorb the energy as the body of the dancer lands.  Otherwise the energy will be reflected back up into the body of the dancer.

 

This is also true for birds.  Anyone who has had a bird (canary, parrot, parakeet, etc) knows that they need to land on a piece of wood that has movement and so cages are mounted with a spring.

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Dds school has 3 studios, 2 have sprung floors and the other is cushioned. There are only a couple of ballet classes on the cushioned one and they're for young children, it's mostly used for tap and modern. On the odd occasion they've had to swap rooms allegro is either avoided completely or kept to a minimum.

 

If your dd is going to train at vocational school she'll certainly be on sprung floors so hopefully her knees will be ok.

 

If she's got knee pain after class it's probably a good idea to ice and elevate to help reduce any swelling.

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Unfortunately there are schools that just lay the Harlequin (or other brand) of dance flooring on what is already there, be it concrete or solid wood such as parquet.  This can give rise to all sorts of problems & injuries.  It can even overdevelop the muscles and lead to the bunching referred to in another thread.  As a parent you would be advised to ask detailed questions about the construction of the floor.

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Interestingly, a dance scientist colleague told me that problems from floors occur as a result of CHANGING from sprung to unsprung floors rather than dancing on an unsprung floor constantly (think about South Asian dancers who do a lot of flat footed, heavy impact type movements usually on concrete floors and suffer few "shin splints" type issues).

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