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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Bowlegged! Eep!


Guest Raedyn L.

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Guest Raedyn L.

See, I have this odd little... ISSUE with my legs.

 

I discovered this when I tried to place my feet in parallel position. The parallel part was quite easy... but when I try to touch my feet together my knees get in the way! And upon closer observation, I found my legs bend slightly outwards at the knees.

 

So now, I'm bowlegged. :wacko:

 

I've got an average amount of turnout for a beginner, and my knees get in the way when I try to make my heels touch in first position. (Ach!)

 

If I really, REALLY try, though, and get several degrees more turnout--don't worry, I've heard "don't force it from your knees" a gazillion times and I listen very well--the knee situation is bypassed completely and I have no problem in first position. But since it doesn't take long for my legs to tire, I'm usually unable to keep my extra turnout for more than a few seconds.

 

So until my turnout improves, should I worry about this or should I just tell my teacher?

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Waitaminnit!

 

If you can't touch your feet together in parallel because your knees touch, you are jarreté (knock-kneed). If your legs bow outward (arqué, these things sound so much better in French), you shouldn't be able to have your knees touch with the feet in parallel.

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I can touch my knees together in a parallel position if I try but if I am just relaxed they bow outward slightly. Am I still bowlegged? Does being bowlegged ever interfer with dancing or create a bad line?

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Are you fairly slim, narrow through the hips, kind of turned in? Do you roll inward (pronate) on your feet? If the femur is turned in, the knees can knock, but the shins still bow outward. That takes some correction and a gradual building of more rotation from the hip as well as making sure that you are standing squarely on your feet.

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Guest Raedyn L.
Waitaminnit!

 

If you can't touch your feet together in parallel because your knees touch, you are jarreté (knock-kneed). If your legs bow outward (arqué, these things sound so much better in French), you shouldn't be able to have your knees touch with the feet in parallel.

 

Oh, I'm sorry! I really did think that "bow-legged" and "knock-kneed" meant the same thing. But now I understand--thank you. I guess I am knock-kneed, now. (It doesn't really matter to me whether it's French, English, or Scandinavian--knock-knees and bowlegs are the exact same thing, like numbers.)

 

And no, I don't pronate--in fact, I make an effort to not do that and stand correctly on my feet. Also, I did say I don't have much turnout, so I do think I'm somewhat turned in. :wacko:

Edited by Raedyn L.
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OK, that's better now. Just keep working on the rotation from the hip. You need it for everything else, and it will make this skeletal arrangement look better! :wacko:

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Were you replying to my post Mr. Mel? I am thin, with narrow hips, and I do pronate a little. Its something I am working on right now. I don't think I am turned in at all.

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Oh no, dear, I was still working on Raedyn's situation. If you're not turned in at the femur, then that's not the same problem at all. But the same thing is part of the solution: Continue to work on improving rotation from the hip. Pronating a little is relatively simple to fix just by remembering to keep weight on the foot evenly distributed within a "control zone" which goes from the back of the ball of the foot to the front of the ball of the heel.

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Oh ok, sorry, it was just a little confusing. Thanks.

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