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working on turnout


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#16 Kat1

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 01:35 AM

I should also mention, don't know if its related or not but my daughter still sickles her feet at times Don't know if this is related or not.

#17 BalletTeacherUK

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 04:32 AM

Kat1 I taught a girl whose femur was rotated inwards and she was pigeon toed. She did find turning out painful at times but the doctors had recommended ballet saying it was surgery (leaving her in a wheelchair for a while afterwards) or try ballet! After 3 years they confirmed that she had done enough to prevent her needing surgery though she has to continue with ballet until she is fully grown.

If your dd has a condition like that then she may experience pain but otherwise she shouldn't. Turnout should be worked on gently and not be painful.

#18 Kat1

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 02:56 PM

Can a dance teacher diagnose that? I really don't see her a pigeon toed. I'm a nurse and have been watching closer since this has been going on to make a decision. I talked to a ballet teacher who holds a degree in teaching ballet. He says she needs more consistent, strong ballet in order to see improvement. She is at a competition studio right now.

#19 BalletTeacherUK

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 04:18 PM

Oh goodness no, they might spot some symptoms and recommend that you seek medical advice but they shouldn't just assume that.

#20 dancypants1

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 06:25 PM

The only way to know for sure is X-rays. I only knew to pursue this because od the family history- I would have never dreamed of a physiological problem and DD would probably still be doing rhythmic risking grave Injury, or have quit altogether anything and be very frustrated by stretching and stretching and not getting more flexible to the back with square hips.

Some kids have low muscle tone and they pigeon toe due to that, so there are other causes. More ballet can only help, no matter what is causing it. In my opinion, it os worth it to find out definitively. We are so lucky we did before she got a back injury, when I think about the years between me thinking "hmmm...I wonder if she has a problem in her hips, lets ask the pediatrician (useless!) next time we see her" and getting a competent PT, I just shudder. I know girls who were injured in the lower back, and it's horrible and the consequences are lifelong. Ballet is not nearly as risky, of course, but more knowledge is always good.

#21 justify

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 12:26 PM

Hi Kat1.   I'm sorry I don't have any medical advice to share, but I do have some thoughts on dance training that I hope might be helfpul to you.

Just in terms of strength and technique, I agree with the degreed ballet teacher you spoke to that ballet training needs to be consistent in order for it to be very effective.   Three one and a half hour ballet classes (as offered at the second school you mentioned) sounds reasonable for a 10 year old.   (I'm assuming that you're considering options for next year.  This forum has a sticky on age appropriate training guidelines you can reference for more info.) 

I'd encourage you to look carefully into the qualifications of teachers and directors working in any dance school where you consider sending your daughter.  Ballet-focused schools are usually considered best for ballet training, but I think parents need to be especially careful when they're making arrangements for kids with very limited turnout.  There are lots of smart and wonderful ballet teachers without dance degrees (and there are some university dance departments whose graduates haven't necessarily recieved the most thorough training), but I do think that a dance degree is one good indication that a teacher will probably make safety a priority and work with realistic expectations when teaching ballet to a child.  Some professional certifications might also be considered helpful indications of a thoughtful teacher. 

Just as an aside, I have one daughter (almost 9) with very limited turnout.  I feel happy and relieved that she Loves creative dance.  I'll see if she'd like to add some good ballet training here in the next year or two, but I'm happy to have her focus on creative and modern since the capacity for external rotation is not as important a consideration in these disciplines as it is in ballet.