*Viewer Discretion Advised*
This week, Josephine watched a video of some pretty extreme training.
It's not super clear what they are training for ballet specifically - it could also be circus, acrobatics, rhythmic gymnastics, or gymnastics.
As a company, we took some time to decide if we should post this video. We certainly do not want to attract any hate towards the dancers or culture. We ultimately decided to post this video after discussing how the comments are turned off in the original video. We hope we can share a perspective and spark discussion.
To be clear, overstretching is NOT the best way to get flexible. It's tricky because in some ways - it does work. At such a young age, pushing the body to its limits like this does create the lines that many desire. HOWEVER, this can damage your body in the long run. We of course, are NOT, doctors. But we work with dance physical therapists, orthopedic surgeons, and other medical professionals in the dance world. There is so much research and evidence now to support that this type of stretching and training can have longterm effects on joints.
Instead, flexibility should be developed alongside strengthening. There is not pointe in being able to get your leg over your head or past 180 degrees in the split if the dancer cannot healthily hold and stabilize this position.
The methods in this video may seem archaic - but the original video was posted in October of 2021. This was also part of the reason why we decided to share this video.
If you have any questions or are looking for resources to increase flexibility in a healthy way, visit dansemedica.com. Be sure to work with professionals who specifically understand dancers!