Date Posted
8th Jun 2017

Knee Drops & Gym 'Tricks'

"Can't wait to drop from great height to my knee with vertical spine alignment and fall directly down with my weight and gravity cementing the most profound impact directly onto my patella which may effect my growth plate" said how many teenagers and pre-teens ever?

Glad as adults we instruct and allow young humans to participate in such an unimpressive and basically destructive move that could be substituted with something impressive that doesn't involve knee caps.

Just saying, and PS..... there IS a safer way. Love to love you World.

Just gonna run face first into my glass sliding door, now that's impressive.

-PAUL MALEK (Artistic Director of Transit Dance Company, Australia)

Paul Malek recently made this comment on his facebook page 'Paul Malek Official'. He is a well known and respected member of the contemporary dance world and is trying to get the message across to everyone that dangerous 'tricks' are not necessary in our dancing. Dance teachers and parents should not be teaching or allowing their children to be dropping straight onto the patella - this can cause many long term injuries in our young dancers. Not to mention, is this dancing? Isn't dancing about the feeling and the movement, the fluid connection between the steps... This is what makes dancing beautiful, not a whole lot of tricks that don't even relate to the music.

So why are these kids performing all sorts of tricks such as knee drops, and acrobatic flips, walkovers, etc? Because them and/or their teachers have seen other children win dances at competitions with these moves in them. I am not saying all of these moves are unacceptable - there are safe ways to perform these, but have all our conmpetitive dancers had this training? You can tell by watching how they're performing the move whether it is safe or not - yes there is a safe way to do them, however are we teaching these kids the art of dance or...... gymnastics??

If we stopped rewarding the children with 1st places when they perform these moves will the 'tricks' slowly disappear from the competition scene? Most likely. But for this to work, adjudicators must all stand together and agree that this is the plan. Is it the child's fault they have these moves in their dances? Should they be 'punished' at competitions for having them in their dances? I guess this is something that needs to be decided...

At the end of the day, the most important thing is that our children's young, growing bodies are kept safe - THEY ONLY GET ONE! Gaining a life long injury because they wanted to win a dance comp at the age of 12 is not cool.