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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Turnout


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Teacher in my DD's school expressed her concern about DD's turnout (school require 100% turnout). Are there any way to improve it? Or ones the child does not have it naturally there is no way to reach desired 100%?

Thank you in advance for your help!

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(school require 100% turnout

My first reaction is that this must be a school of 2... :) But seriously, I, as a teacher, retired pro, would be seriously concerned about a school that requires this. Was this 'required' upon entering the school, or is it expected that the dancer will learn to reach her maximum potential?

 

To address your question, no, not unless the dancer has the physical potential for this degree of turnout. The dancer can increase and become more skilled in maintaining 'it' in movement, however one has to be extremely careful not to strain the dancer's anatomy, placement/alignment.

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thank you for your reply!

Why would you be seriously concerned? Is it a bad thing? (May be my questions sound naive, but i have never involved in a ballet world until recently) :)

 

I do not now if it was required upon entering the school, i think in the audition they were looking for for the kids with natural turnout or phisical potential to develop such...

Are there special exersizes that dancer can do to improve turnout?

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goldfish17, let me take a step back here, before things get taken out of context and cause needless worry.

 

My first advice would be to go back to the teacher and get a more complete assessment. Call and arrange for a brief conference when the teacher has the time to educate you on school's policies and expectations. Perhaps that teacher is expressing frustration that your dancer has the potential, but is not using it.

 

Some teachers give students specifc exercises, some refer them to pilates or physical therapists. Does the dancer need work in increasing the range of movement or the strength to work with what she has? We can't see your dancer, so we can only go on the info you provide us with.

 

Turnout is important to ballet dancers, but forcing something that is not within their anatomy is not!

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  • 1 month later...

Thought I'd start this topic here instead of piggybacking on the Yoga Toes thread.

 

I'll try to describe it the best I can. My daughter was laying face down. She was told to bend her leg at the knee, foot in the air, then let her foot (and lower leg) fall naturally to the side keeping her hip and knee on the bed. A measurement was taken with something that looked like a protractor. Then this was repeated on the other leg. The measurements were 40% and 45%. I was trying to translate this into degree of turnout - 180 degree turnout being perfect. Should have asked the therapist shouldn't I?!! :)

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That would have been my first reaction, yes. You can call and ask for an interpretation of the data gained from the examination.

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Math is not my best subject, but isn't it 90 degrees on each side, with 180 degrees total? If that is the case, then perhaps the measurement means that she is about halfway between no turnout and 90 degrees, on each side. :shrug:

 

Thanks for the explanation. I can visualize what they asked her to do now! :)

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If I understand your explanation correctly, wouldn't that measure the degree of turn in? The same test was done on my DD by a PT a while back, although he didn't bother to measure, just eye balled it. He said that he wanted to see to what degree of looseness or flexibility my DD's hips joints still had. She still has a lot! She also showed the PT how much she can turn out. She layed in a butterfly and was able to go flat. This kind of flexibility comes with it's own problems which is strength issues. Just because DD has a good amount of turn out doesn't mean she can always control it. Like DD is always being told, it's all in how you use it. :)

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Just thought I'd add something else.

 

According to the book "Inside Ballet Technique" by Valerie Grieg there is a whole chapter devoted to all the components of turn out. In it I found this:

 

"the 180 degree turn out is ideally achieved by 60 to 70 degrees of rotation in each thigh, with the remaining rotation taking place in the lower leg, principally at the ankle."

 

The chapter also stresses that turnout is a movement, it is an action that the dancer takes, an action that must be learned and practiced.

 

After I read this book and found out that there were so many components and factors that go into turn out, I decided that it was too much to worry about. :D

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Here is the reply that I got from the therapist/sports medicine person:

 

 

 

for her age group (14) the degree we would love to see her achieve is 45 degrees. She is measured on her tummy or prone, she is measured with her knee bent and a goniometer is used to measure how far the femur rotates in the joint without disturbing pelvis or allowing the pelvis to move.

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I found the following article while doing a web search on turnout. I like it because it's informative and easy to understand. Hope some of you find it helpful. :yes:

 

By Laura Ramus / Special to Detroit News Online

 

Laura Ramus is Head Athletic Trainer for the Detroit Shock and Manager of Sports Medicine at St. John Hospital and Medical Center. Her Web site is girlscanjump.com

 

Dancers ideally achieve 180 degrees of turnout by rotating each hip out 70 degrees, rotating the knee out 5 degrees, and rotating the feet out 15 degrees, thereby adding up 180 degrees of 2 - legged turnout

 

Go hereto view article.

 

 

Edited by vagansmom to direct readers to actual article

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Thanks so much for posting this article. I'm going to read it, and have my dd read it, too. It's wonderful to have spelled out where turn out comes from - the degree from the hip, knees, etc.

 

mc

:flowers:

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Very nice info, fille'smom. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. :flowers:

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