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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Turnout


Redstorm

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There seem to be differing opinions on the use of the "seat" muscles for holding turnout. I have heard some experts say that is how turnout is obtained. Others say that will cause injuries, etc. Does anyone know the correct answer?

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Well, there are rotator muscles deep inside the gluteus maximus, and if they are not worked, they will not work. Therefore, leaving the seat muscles loose makes no sense at all to me. Those muscles have to be used and worked if you are to maintain your best alignment and rotation.

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I agree with Ms. Leigh completely however I have heard many a professional (including myself) tell students to "let go". This is a very complex issue that I will try to explain as clearly as possible without getting too technical. Some students grab the whole thing, the giant group of muscles, which can make it quite difficult to dance. If a student does not use the abdominal muscles, ie: lift in the front of the body and upper back enough, then the gripping of the buttocks is definitely an obstacle when it comes to "good ballet". Students must be taught how to use the correct portion of the buttocks, not the whole thing like iron. Students tend to understand the usage of the muscles that are closest to the surface of the skin but at times can find it difficult to train the deep inside muscular structure.

 

Just think about how people stand up! Walk! Run! It is practically the same thing. In ballet we must train our bodies to work efficiently and logically!

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I have not danced since I was a kid. But it was not until a few years ago (and I am really no longer a kid) that I got the notion that tucking in the bottom comes from the abs. It is through mat Pilates that I finally figured this out. Training those ab muscles correctly goes such a long way toward helping everything be in the correct alignment. From what VRS is saying, it would follow that the correct alignment can then help isolate the muscles that are needed (or prevent other bigger muscles from taking over)?

 

Training the abs correctly is a big deal. Doing crunches 'til you drop is not the answer. In Pilates, one actually does not do many reps of any one ab exercise. It is a combination of a few reps of different exercises that isolate various parts of the abs. Taught well, one session makes one stand taller, better, smarter.

 

I digress, and I apologize.

mc

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