Dear Katie: I'm Self Conscious About My Bow Legs in Dance Class!
Photo by Travis Kelley, courtesy Kathryn Morgan
In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured!
I'm bowlegged, which I didn't think was a big deal, but now that I'm a more advanced dancer,I'm self-conscious about it—especially in first position, where it's really obvious. Is there anything I can do to camouflage my bow legs? Will I end up injured?
Not to worry—lots of dancers are bowlegged! As long as you're working correctly, you shouldn't be at any additional risk of injury. Make sure you aren't locking your knees. To keep from shifting your weight backwards into your knees, think about staying on the balls of your feet and lifting up out of your waist. Strengthening your calves and hamstrings, which help support your knee joints, can also prevent injury.
Aesthetically speaking, I wouldn't try to camouflage your bowlegs. You could end up overcompensating and pulling a muscle—or worse. Instead, focus on the bright side: Bowlegs can actually enhance the line of your arabesque. Be proud of them!
For more of Katie's helpful tips and advice, click here.