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Turnout vs. balance?

Guest meira67

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Guest meira67


this may be very stupid question, but I'm going to ask it anyway.


I'm quite bad when it comes to center exercises, and today again I was having some difficulties in my ballet class. What bothers me is that my turnout in the center is so bad. :) (I _do_ have one, however, it is not that I would forget it completely, but this thing occurs also when I stand in first position _before_ the actual exercise begins). If I try to improve my turnout, I'm starting to have problems with balance (I start to fall forward).


Does this mean that my placement is wrong somehow? And if this is normal, should I just push the turnout and just struggle harder to keep balance, or be satisfied with the amount of turnout I can comfortably manage now and slowly improve it gradually as my balance and strength improves?


Thank you for any suggestions you might have,



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Guest mic31

It sounds like something that I went through. I just had to learn that I had to pay attention to many things other that just turn out. Things like abdominals and making sure that I used all of the muscles that I was suppose to use.

If you forget some of those things you will find yourself off balance.

I used to have a habit of relaxing my knee on my standing leg, it made me look like a badly constructed plie of blocks.

Pull up, one person told me to think about being zipped up like being zipped up into a coat

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I used to worry about my turn out in centre as well. I'd try to fix it only to feel like I was going to make my leg pop by pushing beyond what my body is capable of doing. I finally relaxed when I started really looking at professional dancers during performances. Most of them have great turn out, but I noticed only really amazingly turned out dancers maintain their turnout at all times. Even the best of them cheat once in awhile. That made me feel much better and I stopped worrying about it.


However, one thing my teacher tells me to do which does help is at barre. When doing plies in fourth and fifth, I try to turn the back leg in a little as I straighten out of the plie. This turns the leg out just a little bit more which does make a difference. Your hip is already open when doing this which makes it easier. Then I try to hold it through the rest of that exercise.

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Guest grace

meira67 - i find it hard to be sure that i know exactly your meaning...


- are your feet flat on the floor (little toes as well?)?

- are you maintaining good ballet posture? or just turning out your feet?

- are you actually aware of 'how much' turnout you HAVE in the hip joints?

- how much is that?

- are you standing AT that amount of turnout? or more?

- where is your gaze (eye focus) in centre work? (on the floor, maybe?)


sorry to be so pedantic, but without more info, i can't say anything specifically helpful. :cool:

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest sissonne


You say you're falling forward in the center. Do you notice your balance is better if you reduce your turnout slightly in the center? Are your feet rolling in (i.e. toward your big toes?). Especially since you say this happens in first position before the exercise even begins, it sounds as if you may be forcing your turnout too much which can put you off balance by causing you to roll in. Perhaps you don't notice it as much when you have the barre to help maintain your balance. Try to focus on turning out at the hips and keeping your tailbone in line (of course, I'm sure you know this, but sometimes it's worth repeating to yourself in class;) ). Be sure all of your toes and your heel are connecting securely with the floor when turned out. Imagine the three points on your foot (both sides of the ball and at the heel) firmly and equally balanced on the floor. If you find that by lessening your turnout increases your balance, it may well be that you're overcompensating for a lesser turnout from the knees down which can result in injury. Focus on maintaining a strong center and using your inner thigh muscles to increase your turnout and work on strengthening here...your turnout will follow! Good luck!

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