DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

“Hyperextension and ballet.” Wandering Apricot. N.p., 4 July 2008. Web. 15 Sept. 2009. <apricot.wordpress.com...‌2008/‌07/‌04/‌hyperextension-and-ballet/>.



This source is a dance forum in which dancers who struggle with hyperextension share their experiences with the issue. One dancer who commented on hyperextension claimed to know specialists in this area who said that most people who suffer from hyperextension are fine as long as they use their legs normally. However, the dancer also said that the specialists recommended that she quit dance because of the injuries that might be caused by hyperextension of her knees. Unfortunately, quite a few dance teachers encourage hyperextension due to the fact that the legs appear to be more straight and the lines that are created are gorgeous.  According to many dancers, especially those who commented on this forum, one of the largest problems with having hyper-extended knees is finding the right spot where you can stand with your knees straight but not locked. Also, two dancers advised those with hyperextension to strengthen the quadriceps because that will significantly help in the effort of supporting the knees. 

I found this source to be somewhat helpful. Quite a bit of the information within the forum was not new to me. However, I did not know that in order to support your knees most effectively, the quadriceps must be very strong. Therefore, this article did help me in broadening my knowledge of what dancers with hyperextension can do to help prevent injuries.

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Dancebug, et al. “Legs With Hyperextension.” Dance Forums. N.p., 12 Dec. 2004. Web.   

            15 Sept. 2009. <www.dance-forums.com...‌showthread.php?t=6150>.


This article was in response to a blog in which there were a lot of questions about hyperextension. Hyper-extended legs can distinguish ballet dancers from other dancers who do not have the same overly-straight look to their knee. Extreme flexibility in the joints of the body is what causes hyperextension. Hyperextension is not necessarily genetic; it can be acquired through dancing and stretching, primarily during childhood. A majority of the time, flexible dancers are not as strong as those who are less flexible, which makes hyperextension a disadvantage in some cases. Also, having flexible joints, in the knees especially, makes an individual more susceptible to injuries. There is information on how to make the hyper-extended knee appear to be straight while keeping it slightly bent as well. The article stresses the importance of never allowing turnout come from manipulation of the knee.

            I found this article to be very helpful. I had originally assumed that hyperextension could mostly be accredited to genetics. However, I learned that hyperextension can develop through stretching and dancing. Also, I knew that a dancer’s turnout should come from the hips but I did not know that it was especially dangerous for those with hyper-extended knees to work on turnout by manipulating the knees. I had never considered that flexible dancers may be weaker than nonflexible dancers either, which creates another disadvantage for hyper-extended dancers that I was unaware of.

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

       Spikes, Stephanie. Personal interview. 22 Sept. 2009.

This source was an interview with a fellow dancer from my dance studio. Stephanie Spikes has hyperextended knees, an issue she has dealt with her entire life. Stephanie claims to experience pain when dancing on her hyperextended knees on occasion, specifically when sitting in her straddle split, a position in which she finds it difficult to avoid locking her knees. She does not generally experience pain in her knees after landing out of jumps or pirouettes unless she lands awkwardly, something she has to be very cautious of. Stephanie also said that her knee does lock sometimes, which is a very painful experience. The most difficult part about dancing with hyperextended legs for Stephanie is feeling whether or not her legs are straight. She says her knees feel straight only when they are hyperextended but appear to be straight when they actually feel bent to her. When asked if she thought there were any advantages to having hyperextended legs, Stephanie said she thought that there definitely were. She thinks that the hyperextended legs look really straight in leaps and in developes. The interview concluded with Stephanie saying that she would not trade her knees if given the opportunity because though there are disadvantages, there are advantages as well.

            I found it really helpful to have the opportunity to be able to speak with someone who actually experiences this condition. Though a lot of what she told me about her problems with hyperextension is information I was already aware of, it was nice to be able to ask her about the specific occasions in which the hyperextended knee experienced the most pain. I am also fortunate enough to be able to take classes with Stephanie and I know the issues that her hyperextended knees can create for her.


         Laskowski, Edward R. “Hyperextended knee: How is it treated?” MayoClinic.com. N.p., 15 Mar. 2008. Web. 23 Sept. 2009. <www.mayoclinic.com...‌health/‌hyperextended-knee/‌AN00283>.

A hyperextended knee refers to an injury in which the knee is forced beyond its normal completely straight position. A hyperextended knee can often result from landing awkwardly from a jump. Therefore, it is common for this injury to occur in sports such as gymnastics, basketball, volleyball and dance, all sports in which jumping is a key component. Hyperextension of the knee can either cause pain and swelling or potentially result in a partial or complete ligament tear, especially in the ACL. The condition can be evaluated through examination of medical history, physical examination of the knee, X-rays of the knee and Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the knee, Treatment options for hyperextension depend on how severe the injury is. Treatment includes applying ice, resting, taking over-the-counter pain relievers, the wearing of a knee brace, wrapping a bandage around the knee, physical therapy, or, if severe enough, surgery. It is suggested that in order to treat or prevent hyperextension, avoiding sports that may injure the knee further is a good idea. If surgery is necessary, one could potentially be banned from strenuous physical activities for six to nine months.

            This article is a bit different from the previous sources I have used in that the others were specifically geared toward hyperextension in dance. However, this article is about hyperextension being considered an injury. It was interesting to compare how in dance hyperextension is often desired but is considered an injury in other sports. I also learned about all the treatments for hyperextension that are available if the hyperextension is not natural or genetic. It was helpful for me to read about hyperextension issues outside of the field of dance so that I may compare the data I collect.

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Kuhl, Brooke. “Intermediate/‌Advanced Dance Lesson Plan.” Memo. 28 Sept. 2009. TS.


     This source is a lesson plan prepared for Intermediate Dance. The objectives for this week are to be able to demonstrate the ability to understand music notes, write the music notes properly, choreograph movements to match the music notes and then perform their choreographed routines. The purpose of this assignment is to demonstrate creative expression, create a routine based solely on music notes, aesthetically judge the routines and be a well-behaved audience. At the beginning of the lesson, is it important that the students copy down the objectives for the day in order for them to be aware of what will take place. Working on technique and developing skills is the next task in Intermediate Dance. Students will then divide into groups and write out a musical phrase with eight measures that includes every tempo at least once. Groups will switch cards and choreograph a routine to the musical phrase after clapping out the rhythm. All students will be assessed by their peers who will determine how accurately the performing group has choreographed to the rhythmic pattern. Each group will then have the chance to perform their choreography to a randomly selected piece of music in order to evaluate their understanding of tempo.

            This is a lesson plan provided to me by Ms. Kuhl prepared specifically for Intermediate and Advanced Dance. Since I mentor Intermediate Dance, I found this source to be helpful in preparing myself for what we would be doing with our students this week, however, not so helpful in learning about how hyperextension affects dancers. There are some hyperextended dancers in the classes I mentor and it might be a good idea for me to assess how this lesson is carried out by those who are affected.


      Stephanie, Felten. “How to Prevent Knee Hyperextension .” eHow. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Sept. 2009. <www.ehow.com...‌how_4802464_prevent-knee-hyperextension.html>.

      This source is an article in which it suggests ways to prevent knee hyperextension. It is critical, according to this article, that a person pays close attention to knee posture. For example, when standing still, be aware of the placement of the knee. Keeping it aligned in a straight position will help prevent hyperextension. Also, when performing physical activities, it is important to correctly engage the quadriceps and hamstring muscles because this will prevent the knee ligaments from being used incorrectly. Paying attention to position of the leg muscles before further moving the knee will help in preventing injury as well. The article also suggests that if a person cannot figure out how to work on their problems with hyperextension or figure out how to prevent hyperextending the knee, seeing a physical therapist for help is highly recommended. Some tips and warnings that are included in the article are to do strengthening exercises for the quadriceps and hamstring muscles, and to discontinue any activities that cause pain. Keeping the quadriceps and hamstrings strong will ensure better stability in the knee.

            This article was not related specifically to dancers with hyperextension so it was not helpful in that respect. Also, I think the suggestions the article offers are common sense and the advice given is not particularly useful. Over all, this article only provided information I was already aware of and was pretty brief in explaining ways to prevent hyperextension.

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.