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Measuring & Improving Turnout


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I tried searching the threads and couldn't find exactly what I was looking for so please bear with me if I missed a thread that answered these questions.


We've been told that DD needs to work on her turnout. If I had to guess, I'd say her pinky toes are less than 1 inch away from a flat turnout, but I don't know if that is truly from the hip down. I think the knees and ankles are "improving" on what the hips are actually doing and I think that's why her teachers have mentioned the turnout because its not from the hip. She tried to force a better turnout which was a huge mistake and landed her in the ortho's office this Spring. Thankfully she stopped forcing the turnout and suffered no permanent damage. I've seen people mention having turnout evaluated and/or measured. How or where can this been done? Can turnout safely be improved and, if so, how?



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It can be measured, but there is really no need for it. Any professional teacher can work with the child for a few minutes and determine that.


As to improving it, yes, of course it can be improved. But, it takes a long time. A very long time. And a lot of patience and a lot of work, which is what ballet is all about. :P You work on it by doing ballet, correctly and focused. Every exercise at the barre is designed to improve rotation, none more so than rond de jambe à terre.


As you have learned, it cannot be forced, and the degree of improvement is totally individual and there is no way to predict that. The most important thing is learning how to USE what you have really well, while of course always working to improve. :)

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I think to have actual measurements taken you probably need to go to a physical therapist, but I am not so sure that is absolutely necessary. It seems like you could just as well talk to an experienced and knowledgeable ballet instructor and find out what your DD is doing correctly and incorrectly, and how she could remedy the situation.


There are probably hundreds of threads on turnout that would answer your questions more thoroughly, though I know searching can be time consuming and hard to get used to. There are a few ways of searching the posts more efficiently. If you click on search, then look at the bottom of the window where there is a button that says "more options", click on it, and it will explain how to narrow your search.

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