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Scoliosis


tabitha
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My older Ds has a scoliosis ! It was picked up at a summer school. We went to the GP who refered us to an Orthopaedic surgeon who xrayed him and refered him to a scoliosis specialist and for an MRI to rule out a sinister cause. He has no pain or limitations. We were told that it is not familial and as his growth spurt slows so will the degree of scoliosis. It is all down to the degrees ! His isn't so bad as to require surgery ! He is doing his intermediate exam soon and has no difficulties with any sport ! He has no aspirations of a career in ballet so I dont know how a scoliosis would affect that x

Edited by cotes du rhone !
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My DD also has mild scoliosis, picked up when doing her dance degree at London Contemporary Dance School. For her, being aware of it was what WS needed and the support of an outstanding Osteopath who, over the years, got to know her body very well and was able to easily realign her as she needed! I can highly recommend Nicky Ellis who has rooms in London but is attached to a number of dance schools and companies.

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My dd has mild scoliosis which became apparent at age 14 and was advised by ballet physio it shouldn't necessarily be an issue, though if identified, could be one of the very many factors taken into consideration when ballet schools select candidates at audition... So time will tell as she is about to go into upper school audition season!

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Dd has a double scoliosis so in the end her spine is almost straight the two curves almost cancel each other out (if you follow). The only time it gave her problems was during the growing years so we had a great osteo/kineasiologist that looked after her, she had been to a specialist as well who said keep dancing! The top curve is noticeable so sure she doesn't have a perfect looking back but no-one ie schools have ever commented that it will be a hindrance to her career. Like people have said look at the stars of e NYCB.

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Interestingly, we had a student some years ago, who was told to learn ballet in order to help her with the scoliosis. Her doctors were very pleased with the result and said that the ballet exercises had strengthened her back muscles to such an extent that it had definitely improved the condition. I don't know if that would always be the case, but it certainly helped this particular girl.

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Anyone with that diagnosis has my sympathy! My DD has scoliosis and we have been through the mill with it. One problem is that advice differs according to what area you are in and who you are talking to. She was diagnosed at 14 and her consultant wanted to put her in a brace (in their view she fell, just, on that side of the borderline in terms of curvature). We found out that other consultants in other areas (eg Edinburgh and Nottingham) would not have advised the brace, which is pretty barbaric and has to be worn 23 hours a day. The brace only prevents worsening, and does not straighten an existing curve.  Bearing in mind the psychological effect that this might have had on a teenage girl, we took advice from a number of others, from Alexander technique to sports physio and even the own hospital's physio, and decided not to go with the brace. The consultant was a bit reluctant but on a second viewing, said he thought it was not too aggressive a curve, particularly as her growth appeared to be slowing. She continued with her ballet and exercises and they agreed at a six month check that the curvature had stopped worsening. A year later and they think it has actually improved. I'm sure ballet has helped, along with specific exercises.

However - it was quite frightening and our experience showed that it is a common condition, esp among girls, with much probably going undiagnosed. It does seem to 'affect' ballet dancers as we came across a few others, some via this forum, with the same condition. Some people have even asked if ballet might have contributed to it. I suspect that it is more visible and more likely to get spotted in ballet-dancing girls, but I'd be interested in any views on this.

 

On reflection it should have been caught earlier - her y7 teacher at vocational school constantly complained she had one shoulder higher than another yet did not think of referring her for physio or considering it might have had a physical cause. 

 

And Daria Klimentova is another dancer with the condition - when she retired this year she said she would continue to do pilates and yoga due to her scoliosis.

 

Anyway, we are lucky it does not cause great pain, unlike some, (fingers crossed) and she can live with it - but will always have to manage it. 

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  • 2 years later...

Not the same thing but years after finishing dancing after a nasty fall onto my tail bone which required an x-Ray it was discovered I had spina bifida....a fusion of spinal bones. I was a late starter so never as supple as many of my peers which I see now may have partly been due to this....but confition was never picked up nor did it hinder me getting into a top upper school for ballet training. I think today even minor imperfections are picked up on & yes, can put one on the no pile at auditions but also can be treated or aided by knowledge of how best to work with our bodies. I still have no real understanding of what spina bifida means & still do regular ballet class in my very late 40's 

It is reassuring to hear of many with curvature etc still getting to live their dance dream & overcoming the obstacles to get there!

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Depending on the severity, it shouldn't be a problem. I have scoliosis, myself (mild, bordering on moderate) but dance has actually caused my spine to "straighten out" a bit.

It'll definitely be more difficult and frustrating (I struggled with posture and balance as a result of it) but it really just depends on how much you want it to change and how much you practise.

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  • 10 months later...
On 04/11/2014 at 15:05, Sue Brett said:

Anyone with that diagnosis has my sympathy! My DD has scoliosis and we have been through the mill with it. One problem is that advice differs according to what area you are in and who you are talking to. She was diagnosed at 14 and her consultant wanted to put her in a brace (in their view she fell, just, on that side of the borderline in terms of curvature). We found out that other consultants in other areas (eg Edinburgh and Nottingham) would not have advised the brace, which is pretty barbaric and has to be worn 23 hours a day. The brace only prevents worsening, and does not straighten an existing curve.  Bearing in mind the psychological effect that this might have had on a teenage girl, we took advice from a number of others, from Alexander technique to sports physio and even the own hospital's physio, and decided not to go with the brace. The consultant was a bit reluctant but on a second viewing, said he thought it was not too aggressive a curve, particularly as her growth appeared to be slowing. She continued with her ballet and exercises and they agreed at a six month check that the curvature had stopped worsening. A year later and they think it has actually improved. I'm sure ballet has helped, along with specific exercises.

However - it was quite frightening and our experience showed that it is a common condition, esp among girls, with much probably going undiagnosed. It does seem to 'affect' ballet dancers as we came across a few others, some via this forum, with the same condition. Some people have even asked if ballet might have contributed to it. I suspect that it is more visible and more likely to get spotted in ballet-dancing girls, but I'd be interested in any views on this.

 

On reflection it should have been caught earlier - her y7 teacher at vocational school constantly complained she had one shoulder higher than another yet did not think of referring her for physio or considering it might have had a physical cause. 

 

And Daria Klimentova is another dancer with the condition - when she retired this year she said she would continue to do pilates and yoga due to her scoliosis.

 

Anyway, we are lucky it does not cause great pain, unlike some, (fingers crossed) and she can live with it - but will always have to manage it. 

Hi Sue, just out of interest, what did the vocational school say. Were they supportive? Is she still at vocational school, has she gone  through lower and upper school? 

 

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