Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers
Guest Saji

Help with turn-out

Recommended Posts

Guest Saji

It's week 2 for my daughter's SI. She was anxious to return. Everything she says is going good, and through our discussions, and through her self admission, she's feeling more confidence. She said that she was told that her turnouts have "gotten much better". But, she says that when she does them, "for real", meaning correctly in class, it hurts her at the front inner aspect of her knees. She's not at the point where she'll ask questions to her teacher's, so she never mentioned that during the past week.

 

Not knowing what is expected or exactly what a turn-out is, I couldn't really give her any technical ballet advice. I thought a turn-out originated from the hips. In any case any suggestions on exercises and/or tips for improving a turn-out.

 

I have alot of questions , so if someone would please take the time to explaine exactly what, how and also if possible give a visual picture, of a turn out, I'd appreciate it

Share this post


Link to post
Victoria Leigh

Saji, turn out is a thing that the feet do, but the rotation that turns them out needs to come from the hips. When the feet turn out further than the hips can handle, the knees take the brunt of the problem. Growing children are particularly vulnerable. They must learn to rotate from the hips, but not to force it beyond what their bodies are capable of handling at the moment. If they try to "look" more turned out by forcing the feet open too far, they will just roll inward (pronate) and that will cause other problems, like upset knees. :shrug:

 

Excess classes, especailly too many technique classes which require repeated barre work, in a given day, can be very hard on the knees. Grand pliés are hard on the knees, as are several other exercises. When they get repeated over and over in one day, it can very easily cause overuse injury. Especially on very young, tiny bodies.

 

Jumping repeatedly and landing with rolling knees could also cause a problem.

 

Exercises for improving rotation involve some basic floor stretches which they should learn in class, as well as how to work their rotation really well in the barre exercises. Rond de jambe à terre is the most important rotation exercise.

Share this post


Link to post
Guest Saji

This might be a stupid question but here goes...So is it possible that she's trying to turn out too far? Correct me if I'm wrong, but when she showed me, it LOOKED like her feet/toes were not pointed towards the wall like her knees were. her toes were past her knees.

 

I asked her if the comment was made in terms of needing to improve or if it was given in terms of good job. She said she thinks it was that she needed to improve.

 

So, what is suggested that I, the non-ballet person, tell her what to do?

Share this post


Link to post
Victoria Leigh

No, not suggesting at all that you tell her what to do! Just trying to answer your question :shrug:

 

YES, it is indeed possible that she is turning out too much, but not ROTATING from the hips, which would allow the knees to track over the 2nd/3rd toes. When she is standing in any of the positions, and makes a demi plié, one can see her knee caps are tracking over those toes, or if they are going over the big toe or even further forward. This would NOT be a good thing. However, it is something her teachers should correct all the time. If they are asked to turn out more, and not shown HOW to do it without rolling the knees in, then there is a big problem. It involves alignment and weight placement and use of the all the rotator muscles, and understanding how to lift up to go down, not go down to go down.

 

Complicated? Not really, but it does take someone who understands the mechanics of it all to make it happen correctly.

Share this post


Link to post
Guest Saji

Thanks....it does look like she is over doing it. And if I noticed, someone will notice it tomorrow......Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Rhapsody

Saji

Read the thread on pronation. Also before you put a child under 11 on pointe, you should consider getting her feet xrayed and examined by a podiatrist who understands dancers' feet. There are plates that have to be closed or the child risks developing deformities.

Share this post


Link to post
AsleepATheWheel

One of the lovely things about ballet training in young ones is watching the improvement in their technique, extension and turn out over time. The gradual development of all of these things is healthier for the growing body than forced turn-out, ridiculously high extension via poor technique and a variety of other showstoppers that are encouraged. The key here is showSTOPPER. Knee pain at 8 can turn into uglier things at 12. As for counting on teachers to notice, you may want to call to make sure. Or, encourage your daughter to ask on her own.

Share this post


Link to post
Guest Saji

My delima last night was if it would be out of line to ask the teacher to observe her closely without implying that they weren't. But alas!!! I spoke to the teacher who complimented her on her turn-out before classes started today. The teacher who had her last summer, was telling her of her improvent comparativly speaking. I was assured, that she will be told not to change what she has been doing, and not to force it.

Share this post


Link to post
dancindaughters

Saji, I understand your dilema, as I always toy with the idea of asking dds teachers to keep an eye out for her rolling ankles. I don't want to seem like I'm asking for special treatment for dd or imply that I know more about training dancers than they do! I just know my dds strengths and weaknesses all too well. Dd herself is aware of the problem, but being 8 years old is prone to forget.

 

Saji, could I ask about the orthotics or arch supports that your dd wears in her ballet slippers? Were they custom made by a podiatrist specializing in dance? Are they smaller than what would be worn in street shoes? Do other children at your dd's school wear them, and do the teachers approve? I wonder if should look into orthotics for dd. My dd is one of those hyper flexible people; she has been given exercises to strengthen her ankles, but still tends to pronate. Thank-you!

Share this post


Link to post
Guest Saji

Dancingdaughters I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one with an 8 year old here! :P As for your concerns about your daughter's feet. It probably wouldn't hurt to have a pediatrist who is knowledgable of the rigors of ballet and the feet, as well as an orthopedic who specializes in sports medicine. They together, would be able to come up with some solutions for you.

 

My daughter doesn't have hyper-flexible feet. She has very high arches. Prior to transfering to her current studio, we/she didn't have much of a problem. She was only taking one 1 hour class a week.

 

Initially, VAMP ELASTIC was sewn into her slippers. We had to be creative with sewing them, because her AD, did not want them to show. I ended up sewing them in reverse of the given instructions. These tended to bother her, so she now has an insert, that is very light weight, except across the arch. These were made according to her foot casting. Our insurance plan covers it all, because we are also enrolled in their preventive health maintance plan. :shrug:

 

I'm not certain if any of the older girls at the studio use them, because I'm not in the MOM CIRCLE, for that age group. I don't believe any of the younger ones wear them either.

 

I do know of a 9 year old who has hyper-flexible feet. She was placed on pointe this year, and is now having problems with pain in her feet.

 

Again I'd say have her seen by people in the know, who can help you come up with a plan that suits everyone.

 

I don't know how to insert links, but here's one that describes the Vamp Elastic..

fitters@dancer.com

Share this post


Link to post
Treefrog

Hmmm.... not sure about that link. Dancers.com is NOT a site that has anything to do with ballet, as we define it. If you catch my drift.

Share this post


Link to post
dancindaughters

Lol, Treefrog! You went to dancers.com, not dancer.com (no "s"). I did "catch your drift," but had to check it out for myself. Ha ha! :P

dancer.com seems to be a gaynor minden site (?) I did see the vamp elastic, but I don't think that is what my dd needs; it seems like something to keep people from going over too far on pointe. Dd won't be on pointe for at least 2 years, and she doesn't have a hyper-flexible foot, it's more her ankles that roll. Thanks for your help though, Saji. I will probably take her to a podiatrist associated with our physiothearapist.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×