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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Technique loss, and specific turnout issue...


Guest Danceratheart

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Guest Danceratheart

I am back at the studio for the summer, and a year off from dance definitely did it's toll on me, but fortunately I am not TOTALLY hopeless. Still, one thing I want to ask...exactly HOW much technique is normal for one to lose in a period of a year? Is it normal to lose technique at all? Or am I probably just not applying myself?

 

My second question is yet another turnout one...I'm sorry, I know this has come up a million times, but this IS very specific...still, feel free to move this or point me in a different direction!

 

My instructor tells me that I have flexible, but weak, turnout. She said that I should be flexing a muscle in my upper thigh, right below the buttocks, without actually clenching the buttocks muscles. I find it very difficult to find this muscle, and I don't want to develop the wrong one. Is there an easy way to locate this muscle? Will barre work strengthen it? Or are there specific exercises?

 

Once again, I thank everyone at Ballet Talk in advance for their help and support!

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Take time out from class and you'll lose both technique AND strength. The old saw which has been attributed to everybody from Marie Camargo to Suzanne Farrell is that if you take a week off, it takes a week to get back where you were, a month, and it takes a month, and so forth. That's not exactly true, but it's true enough to warrant attention.

 

Sounds like your teacher is trying to draw your attention to the iliopsoas muscle. One good way to build strength in this important muscle is to take some Pilates classes and ask the trainer specifically about it. They can show you directly on yourself where this big structure is, how it operates, and how to strengthen it in place. It's relatively a deep muscle, so hard to identify and isolate.

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