Because of his own hyperextended knees, Mark Morris Dance Group member Billy Smith pays particular attention to the condition in his students. Locked knees, he says, lead to locked hips, denying your full mobility. This combination requires a straight and stable supporting leg through both a rond de jambe en l'air and a promenade. Softening behind the knees to counteract hyperextension allows you to fully access your turnout and stand easier.


Billy Smith has been a member of the Mark Morris Dance Group since 2010. He graduated from George Mason University with a BFA in dance and danced with Parsons Dance, 2007–10. Also an actor, Smith has performed regionally in Gypsy, Cats and Oklahoma! He teaches the intermediate-advanced modern class weekly at the Mark Morris Dance Center and coaches, teaches and choreographs for the MMDG student company.

Mica Bernas is a dancer with MMDG.

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