I had to take a week off class because my knees were acting up. I’ve got issues with my knees to begin with– I’ve dislocated the left one three times. Basically the issue is that my ligaments are too long (it’s called hypermobility syndrome) and it causes a whole host of problems. Anyway, I don’t mess around when it comes to my knees. Once those things are messed up you can kiss dancing (and walking, and kneeling, and anything) goodbye. They both hurt a bit, so I decided I must’ve pulled or twisted something slightly and gave them a break to recover. I have no problem pushing myself sometimes, but NEVER with my knees.
After my break, I went right back to class and was pleased to discover my one ballet teacher subbing for the other! It was fun seeing her out of context of her normal class– which is a beginning level. She was subbing for my intermediate instructor, so I was eager to see what her style of teaching would be like ramped up a bit. It was great, and definitely challenging. I also had forgotten my ballet slippers like a fool, and had to dance in socks for the first time ever. Wasn’t THAT a hoot?
What’s funny though is that BOTH teachers have noticed within a few weeks of each other that my front knee muscles (I believe they’re called VMOs) are weak. I get all of my leg strength out of locking/hyperextending my knees (which is bad) and my feet and ankles (which isn’t as bad– just means they’re strong enough to make up for my weak knees). After it was pointed out to me that I am hyperextending my standing leg, I realize that I lock my knees all the time even when standing or walking normally. My new mission is to beat those knees into submission– I need to stand strong WITHOUT hyperextending! It’s hard. I’m also doing some old physical therapy exercises to see if that helps build up my knee muscles some more.
In other news– choreographing my own ballet is really tough. I’ve got some passages all figured out… and then keep improvising in between them to chain them together. That’s probably a terrible idea and it needs to be fixed before my performance. Can you imagine me up on stage freezing up because I can’t figure out what to do in between two phrases? Not a pretty sight…