Contortionists Essay

1068 words - 4 pages

Are contortionists really different from ordinary people? The truth is there is not really anything different between the two; except for the fact a contortionist is extremely flexible. A lot of people think that contortionists are freaks because they can bend it unusual ways, but they are actually just regular people. The reason why everyone considers them to be freaks is because there are many myths created about them that are proven incorrect. Contortionism comes with many myths and unique styles, however, contortionists have special bones and ligaments, and their spines are a little different than a regular person.
People created myths about contortionists to figure out how their flexibility became so extreme. The first myth that was created was; there were snake oils and special elixirs that the contortionists drink to become flexible, but the truth is flexibility come from either genetics, intense physical training, or it can come from both. People think that because contortionists are double-jointed, hyper mobile, they have multiple joints, but they have the same number of joints as any other human being. Another myth is you are either born a contortionist or your not, but that is not the case flexibility can be genetic, but you still have to stretch the ligaments to gain the flexibility. Some people think that contortionists have either Ehlers-Danlos syndrome or Marfan syndrome; both the syndromes are genetic, make the people have loose muscles, hyper mobile, and the people can do amazing tricks, but people with these syndromes may not have the strength for balancing in these tricks. Another myth is; it’s easier for a strong person to gain flexibility rather than a flexible person to gain a lot of strength. Lastly, men can become contortionists too; there were many pictures throughout the 19th century where there was an equal amount of males and females. (Myths about contortionists) There is a lot of history on contortionism that includes the different styles of contortionism and the training of contortionists.
There are two different types of categories that contortionists can be put into either; front bender which is when a contortionist does their bendy tricks forward and there is the back bender which is when a contortionist does their bendy tricks backward. In order to keep the flexibility of the body, contortionists have to practice for several hours a day and every week. Girls have to be on a strict diet so they do not put on any weight, also. There is one main thing that contortionists have trouble with doing while being in their uncomfortable positions and that is smiling. (History about contortionists) There are two different styles of contortionism; one is from China, in which their purpose is to amaze the audience with their unusual positions of their body. Another style of contortionism comes from Mongolia, in which their purpose is more with the smoothness of the movements and is more balletic. (Styles of contortionism)...

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