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Know Your Limits - Do Not Copy Those Stretches

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Now, as a dancer myself, I know how frustrating it can be when your leg doesn't quite go high enough, or you don't have enough of a back bend. In fact, quite recently I decided that it was time for me to stretch those hip flexes, but I already know my limits. I have been dancing for a very long time already so I know that it takes time and patience to get to where you want. Some young girls however, not only still have a lot of learning to do, but they are still growing and their bodies are constantly changing.

It has been reported that young girls between 11 and 14 are injuring themselves after watching professionals do what's called 'The Scorpion' for example, which involves pulling your foot up behind you, held by your hands. This is a difficult one and if you are not made to do it, DON'T DO IT. Social media has influenced people for years but these young girls are not being cautious. According to dance physiotherapist Lisa Howell, the girls are tearing muscles and ligaments, and injuries like that will end their careers before they have even started.

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Professionals are posting images of legs stretches and positions on social media which are being viewed by thousands of people. I know how exciting the prospect of being able to copy them is but as I said before, remember your limits. Just because you've seen it being done online does not automatically make it applicable to you. By all means build up to it, teach yourself easier, less complex stretches but do not jump into the big flashy poses until you are ready.

I watch some of these dancers and just wonder how it can even be good for them. They are mainly from Australia and the US, and even Marko Panzic from Dream Dance Company does not find it comfortable to watch. As a professional himself, he feels that the trend has gone too far. Dancer Aaron Matheson talks about his experience of having pushed himself. He explains that watching some people makes him cringe because he just knows that the body is simply not made to do certain things.

Recently he was treated for stress fractures, having pushed himself so hard he damaged his back as well as other parts of his body. 'It can either make you or break you as a dancer' he says, warning young people that if you push yourself that hard when you are young that you will have a hard time when you get older.

Other dancers have spoken up about their experience copying YouTube videos, like Charlotte, only 17 and now coping with a broken coccyx. I may not have broken mine but I know the pain of landing on it wrong. Again, she stresses how important it is not to push yourself beyond the pain. There is so called 'good pain', which occurs even when you do your regular stretching and then there's bad pain. You'll know it when it happens, and when it does, stop.

It is not worth risking your potential career because you want to get your leg behind your ear. Some people and speaking from experience are not made for it. I find it frustrating myself, and I have been dancing my whole life, but I still work every day to get my leg that bit higher, I just know that it will take a little longer. You have to develop your other qualities in dance. To reiterate, it is not because you saw it done on the internet that you are able to do it, nor should you attempt to push yourself to the point where you hurt yourself. There are easier tutorials online, but always check with a professional first. Learn how to get there in your own time and you will find that you have achieved something by working for it, allowing you to fulfil a good dance career as opposed to potentially ending it before you get a chance to even really begin.

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One of the newest members of The SMF Group. Although she loves a good city life, she grew up in the beautiful French countryside. Who knew that talking to a bunch of cows and friendly chickens would get her here? Quite used to writing stories in her bedroom, she is now deciding if she's cut out for content writing. We'll see! Follow her @SophieAtSMF

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Know Your Limits - Do Not Copy Those Stretches Reviewed by Sophie Giscard on Tuesday, October 13, 2015 Rating: 5

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