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gymnastics and ballet


tutucute22
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I think it's great as long as the ballet training is good, and that the student understands the differences between the two, particularly in terms of classical posture (elongated spine, 'closed' ribcage, neutral pelvis) and the sensitivity required in the arms and hands in classical ballet. 

 

Gymnastics training really helps with the strength in core and legs/hips, power in jumps and flexibility that most dancers don't have weekly training in. I'd recommend it.

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I think it depends on what level is being studied (of both) and how easily the student can adjust to the different posture needed for ballet. We have a student who has done both and she has always looked like a gymnast doing ballet steps - ribs out, very gymnastic style to her allegro. Plus she has a gymnastic body shape and quite pronounced quads. I don't think she has classical ballet aspirations though but if she did I think the teacher would have recommended cutting down on the gymnastics.

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I feel there is such a difference between ballet and gymnastics - on so many levels, i don't see how it is possible for someone to do both really well.  The requirements as well as the goals are quite wide apart.

 

 

And, i think it also depends upon the goal - is it for vocational purposes or much casual learning and fun?  If its for a more casual - non-vocational - goal - well, no harm done. 

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I find that kids that come to us from gymnastics find it very difficult to adjust to ballet training. They quite often remain with the extended ribcage and very stiff hands and arm movements, even after several years training. I would say that ballet is good for gymnasts, rather than the other way around.

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I find that kids that come to us from gymnastics find it very difficult to adjust to ballet training. They quite often remain with the extended ribcage and very stiff hands and arm movements, even after several years training. I would say that ballet is good for gymnasts, rather than the other way around.

 

I agree with this.  It is true not only vis a vis ballet and gymnastics but balllet and a whole host of other physical activities.

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I think up to a certain age gymnastics is beneficial, as long as the child can adapt to the different postures. My daughter did gymnastics from the age of 4-8 and it helped her become a lot more flexible as so much time is spent on improving flexibility (my daughter was in a selected group that attended 3 times a week so did do a lot of stretching!). I really think the flexibility helped her get into elmhurst JAs as that seems to be a really important factor at auditions. She stopped gym about a year ago and despite continuing with dance 3 days a week her flexibility has reduced a little. She's desperate to go back to gym, I'm considering it as she did really enjoy it and she'll never be a pro ballet dancer anyway I don't think.

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  • 9 months later...

I did gymnastics from age 5-10 and have had a lot of students come from a gym background incl an England rhythmic gymnast. There are the posture negatives but as I think i have mentioned on a previous post I find these students attitudes outstanding compared to their peers. Poss coincidence who knows. Several members of RB have a strong gymnastic training and one of the british WL and US trained girls in grad year has just got an RB apprenticeship and she was a rhythmic gymnast pre WL. I say go for it with a good ballet teacher at your side!

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I think that I've mentioned before, there are quite a few 'former' rhythmic gymnastic girls in DS's year at vocational school . They are lovely dancers with good technique and it seems the (gymnastic) training has benefited them. They are also allowed by the school to continue with their gymnastic training....something that was completely unheard of in 'my day'. Times change :) 

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How times change - when I studied ballet many moons ago, I so desperately wanted to go to gymnastics but my mum (dance trained) and dance teacher categorically banned gymnastics training.  It did not mix to be honest it was frowned up, it was almost a dirty word.
However we did have gymnasts from the local club join us for ballet!

So when my son (who loves ballet) was picked up at school by the PE teacher who said to me he needs to be in gym he is a natural (pe teacher has a son who is a top level gymnast and has worked with The Cirque)... I umm'd and ahh'd - I let him start rec classes on the condition it didn't affect his ballet (and with his teachers blessing) - he soon got picked up by Squad - again I talked to his dance teacher and the Club are supportive to..

currently its all working together well, he enjoys the big movement of gym after the more controlled ballet, but I have pointed out to him he will have to choose at some point (which I am pretty sure will be ballet as that is where he heart lies)


 

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generally for dancers (not vocational level  classical ballet dancers), I think gymnastics can help a lot. Flexibility but more importantly core strength.  My gymnast does ballet and jazz, and it's great help for jazz, makes her strong in legs and core, but she does still do ballet with gymnasts hands and struggles with ribs - getting better though and she's only been dancing a year. Depends on type of gym also I would say, rhythmic gymnasts have a leaner and less muscly physique than acrobats or artistic gymnasts (in this country anyway).   

 

In terms of general fitness she is much fitter than her sister who just dances, though the dancer has better ballet posture and arms :)

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At the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, gymnastic classes are part of the weekly timetable. The classes have helped with my daughter's flexibility and core strength and have made a big and valuable difference to her as a dancer!

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My DD was picked for her school squa but we were told in no uncertain terms that ballet and gym do not mix :(

 

I wont hijack the thread but i've also heard ballet and tap dont mix - any thoughts appreciated :)

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Fine to do tap and ballet I think, cant see any detrimental effects. Though have seen some v good ballet dancers not really adapt to tap that well, not always the case though. Tap does not look good with turned out feet, lol

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Our school does not like them doing tap and ballet. The teacher tells us it is to do with ankle strength. You need strong ankles for pointe work whereas for tap you need to keep your feet loose and relaxed, if that makes sense. No idea if this is true or not or if the relatively small school does not have room in the already packed timetable.

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For tap you have to keep your ankles relaxed, which maybe another reason some ballet dancers cant adapt well to tap, but your ankles also need to be strong for tap. Am no expert but a lot of very good schools do both with no detrimental effects.

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Actually thinking about it, it takes children sometimes a lot longer to master tap technique and this could be because they are so used to stretching feet and legs in ballet class that they cant manage the looser feel.  They usually get there in the end, and your ankles don't actually need to be that loose to be a proficient tapper - just relaxed

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DD never enjoyed tap - she seemed to find it difficult not to point her feet and turn out! I have also heard and understand the line of thinking that ankles relaxed enough for tap may have difficulty being strong enough for pointe work.

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So have I, JLAEI, but I do understand that it could be an issue for some dancers. Non-vocational school students who aspire to a career in ballet and want to maximize their time in dance classes are usually advised to drop tap rather than modern, contemporary or jazz classes and I see why.

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