Working with Hyperextension
Misty Copeland – Principal Dancer American Ballet Theatre

Working with Hyperextension

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Misty Copeland, Principal Dancer with American Ballet Theatre, gives advice on how to work with hyperextension and improve strength.

"When working with hyperextension, it's about creating a straight line with your supporting leg. "
Born in Kansas City, Missouri and raised in San Pedro, California, Misty Copeland began her ballet studies at the age of 13 at the San Pedro City Ballet.  At the age of fifteen she won first place in the Music Center Spotlight Awards.  She then began her studies at the Lauridsen Ballet Center.  Copeland has studied at the San Francisco Ballet School and American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive on full scholarship and was declared ABT’s National Coca-Cola Scholar in 2000. Copeland joined ABT’s Studio Company in September 2000, then joined American Ballet Theatre as a member of the corps de ballet in April 2001.  She was appointed a Soloist in August 2007 and a Principal Dancer in August 2015, making her the first African American woman to ever be promoted to the position in the company’s 75-year history. Copeland received the 2008 Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the Arts and was named National Youth of the Year Ambassador for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America in 2013.  In 2014, President Obama appointed Copeland to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition.  She is the winner of a 2014 Dance Magazine Award. Copeland is the author of the best-selling memoir, Life in Motion and the children’s book Firebird.  Copeland has been featured in numerous publications and television programs, including CBS Sunday Morning, 60 Minutes, The Today Show, This Week with George Stephanopoulos, MSNBC’s Melissa Harris Perry, Vogue, Essence, Ebony, and People Magazine.  Her endorsements include American Express, COACH, and Diet Dr. Pepper. In 2014, Under Armour launched Copeland as one of the faces of their “I Will What I Want” campaign.      
  • Rachel Tranter

    I have never really thought about using my feet as suctions before and I notice that it makes me feel more on my leg and pulled up around the knee. So great to hear from such a successful and strong dancer

  • Sarah Arnold

    I love this~ thank you for sharing! It is a difficult concept to explain and Misty is not an exception dancer but an articulate woman 🙂 I will be sure to share this on my blog! Best wishes~

  • Maina Gielgud

    How do I see the video?

    • Hi Maina, are you having troubles seeing videos on the site? Let us know and we can look into it. Best – Jay.

  • Maina Gielgud

    Basically head over metatarsal , which with hyper extension usually means further over supporting leg. Don’t ‘sit’ – easily fixed just think if lengthening entire supporting side with heel down but NO weight on heel.

    • balletinform

      Thank you Maina for the wonderful advice!

    • Karen Barnes

      Absolutely correct

    • Karen Barnes

      Absolutely correct

  • LiveActionFan

    If Misty has stress fractures, it could well be from low vitamin D. Ballet is an indoor activity, she lives in New York (not Florida), and her skin-tone wouldn’t allow her to absorb as much vitamin D from the sun as a freckled person.

  • LiveActionFan

    If Misty has stress fractures, it could well be from low vitamin D. Ballet is an indoor activity, she lives in New York (not Florida), and her skin-tone wouldn’t allow her to absorb as much vitamin D from the sun as a freckled person.

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