Help! I’m Not Flexible…


So you’re not flexible – So what!? Yes, I said it. Here’s why…

I get emails daily from dancers looking for help in all facets of dance. Dancers looking for a quick fix to something that takes time and in some cases is not genetically probable. Flexibility and “better extension” seems to be at the top of most dancers lists, I know it was always at the top of mine. So what do you do when you weren’t born blessed with circus freak flexibility?

Focus on what you were blessed with! It sounds too simple, I know. The truth is that you can only control YOU and this means showcasing and really shining at what YOU do best. It is 100% a mental battle.

Adagio is just 1 out of 20+ some exercises we do in ballet class every day. Don’t let it hang you up. This doesn’t mean that you should stop stretching and working on your flexibility by any means. What I am telling you is that you need to stop putting so much emphasis on what you don’t do quite so well. Look – the more attention you draw to your adequate flexibility, the worse you are going to feel and the more others are going to notice. Work on it silently.

Take control of your dancing. Showcase your best. There are rarely dancers who come along who are exceptionally good at everything (and I’m sure even Misty Copeland has something she feels needs work). Work on your technique – Strong technique is something that all Directors look for and something that cannot be denied.

Next time you get down on yourself after adagio or the girl standing next to you in an audition whacks her leg behind her head, REMEMBER what you are good at. I promise if you stop stressing out so much, your flexibility will get better in time.


Nikol Klein is a former professional ballet dancer turned Ballet Strength coach, author, mentor, and certified personal trainer.

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