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How much swimming?


Ellen
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Hi 

 

My DD is 9 and her ballet teacher has told her not to do too much swimming ( one session per week is ok ) as it will alter her shape and make it more difficult for her to become a ballerina? 

 

My DD swimming club want her to do more swimming especially at competitions as she is very good at this too ! 

 

I was surprised to learn today of another girl that does both ballet and swimming at a competitive level - her ballet school/teacher hasn't said shes needs to worry ! 

 

i'm confused now and obviously don't want to affect my daughters chances of being able to follow her dreams with ballet but wanted to know what you all know or think about this ?  

 

Thanks  :)

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To a certain extent it doesn't really matter, especially at such a young age. However it does matter if, as she enters teenage years, your DD wants to be a sprinter/short distance swimmer as it is more likely that she will build up muscle in her shoulders, upper arms and neck. Long distance swimmers are more likely to be leaner. 

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I have to say that I have a young student who swam seriously and even though she was then only 10 or 11 she was becoming "beefy" round her shoulders and chest.  Now that she dances more, I think that she has given up swimming and I have seen a change in her shape.  I didn't really think about it until reading your post, but it has to be because she has given up swimming, as she hasn't grown enough to fine out her body.

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My DD swam approximately 5 hours a week squad training at the age of 9 and swam competitively, she did this until she was 11 and had to give up because she went to a vocational school. She actually swam more than she danced, I don't think the swimming hindered her physique, just increased her stamina. At the age of 9 they should keep doing anything they enjoy!

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I would be careful about restricting a hobby a 9 year old enjoys because of a potential desire for a career in ballet.

 

The chances of a career in ballet are so tiny for the multitude of reasons that are discussed here on a daily basis. Apart from anything else the majority of girls with a 'suitable' physique at age 9 will probably not have it at 18. Only a tiny proportion will still be skinny enough.

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At 9, I shouldn't worry too much. However, my dd used to swim competitively from about 9-11 years of age alongside her ballet, but knocked it on the head as she wanted to focus on ballet and swimming was most definitely starting to bulk up her thighs, which is a complete no no for ballet. From memory, her JA teacher even commented on it. I also remember the club swim coach being quite miffed when she left and gave up swimming for ballet!

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Swimming can't do too much harm as otherwise it wouldn't be part of the curriculum at WL. However saying that a post I read on Lisa Howells blog suggested that swimming could be linked with tight hip flexors however their wasn't much evidence for this. Personally I wouldn't worry too much as at 9, kids should be free to do what they want and as long as your DD is happy then that is what matters.

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  • 1 month later...

There is a 10-yr-old in DD's class who swims VERY competitively, specialising in butterfly. Her shoulders have bulked up so much that her arms dangle in the air away from her hips when she stands normally. She is quite a petite child apart from her shoulders (and thighs). I do think you have to decide which takes priority before the teenage years. 

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