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turnout question


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Ignorant parent here :yes: with a question or two


How much turnout is truly needed to dance ballet well without injury? How much of the quest for turnout is aesthetic?

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Very good question, hst!!!!


Turnout is used in classical ballet for 3 reasons:

1. Balance- Because when your leg is rotated it gives you a wider base upon which to balance

2. Functionality- because when your leg is rotated you can lift your legs higher and the hip will then accomodate arabesque lines

3. Aesthetics- because legs and feet look prettier/better that way!


How much is necessary for a ballet career? Get Gretchen Ward Warren's book on classical ballet. There are pictures and explanations in there that are right on target. :yes: Your local library may even have a copy!


As far as how much turn-out any given company demands, that may be a bit fuzzier. Some may require 180 degrees and nothing less; some may be ok as long as it's within the range :wacko:

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I don't know if I can explain this properly as I also am an ignorant parent. However, I have been told by my dd's teacher that forcing turnout can put undue stress on their knees which can lead to injuries. Thus, her teacher has prescribed exercises for her to do to help her develop her turnout so she turns out from her hips and not her knees.

My dd has a tendency to force her turnout from her knees-a bad habit she needs to correct. Last fall while doing some turns, she slipped a little and dislocated her knee. Fortunately, she seems to have recovered (after a month off and weeks of physical therapy), but this is an example of what can go wrong from forcing turnout.

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Oh, yes! Forcing turnout can really mess up your feet, ankles, knees, hips, and it doesn't stop there! It can wreck you all the way to the top of your head, and sometimes beyond! Use 100% of the turnout you have, but it doesn't HAVE to be 180° RIGHT NOW!

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How much can a teen realistically improve turnout?


I have a daughter who is 14, took ballet for 5 years (4-9 yo), but then quit and did gymnastics for 4 years. She returned to ballet at age 13 and has been taking at least 3 classes a week for about a year now and recently started pointe.


But, I have heard that the turnout is skeletally set at around 12 years old. My DDs turnout is okay, but there is definitley room for improvement. Is significant improvement possible at her age?

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It is with some, and not with others. Really very hard to tell. All she can do is continue to work on it, and especially to learn how to use what she has really well. :)

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Most studies do indicate that the skeletal amount of turnout is set at 11 or 12. However, many dancers' turnout and rotation is limited by the soft tissue, muscles and tendons, rather than the bones. This soft tissue can be stretched at any age, so there may well be scope for improvement.

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