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Ballet Talk for Dancers

turnout and puberty


crockett

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Hi,

 

My daughter is 12 1/2 and has grown about 3 inches in the past 6 months. About a month ago she started getting achilles tendonitis. (We are taking care of that) Also, she has noticed that she can no longer turnout from her ankles like she used to. It hurts her to stand in first at 180 degrees (the hips are no problem). She has also noticed less flexibility in her splits. Could this be a puberty thing? Will she get it back? What should she do to get back her turnout if possible?

 

Thank you very much.

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Crockett, with that much growth it can affect anything and everything! It is totally normal for the body to have some changes during growth and puberty. Forcing rotation, or anything else, is the last thing she should do. Working the rotation from her hips is how one "turns out". One does not turn out the ankles. [Leg connected to the hip, foot connected to leg, etc. :)] If her rotation is not quite 180º, so be it. This is not critical, and all will change again when the growth spurt is over. And then there could be another one at some point. :)

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Thank you Ms. Leigh. When it does change again, if she's exercising and stretching, does turnout usually change for the better? Her school really stresses turnout.

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Yes, it should improve as she maturs and grows, as long as she is working is correctly. But I will stress again that the feet must NOT be forced out beyond what the hips can control. This will cause rolling inward and damage to ankles and knees.

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I will wait for the medical team to respond-but I have some great suggestions!

 

This is not a medical forum, so the med mods do not have to respond first. However, if you are going to offer medical advice, please vette it first via the "contact us" feature. Thanks.

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Turnout only improves if it is being worked correctly. If they are trying to force her feet out this will only cause problems. As to whether further growth will make a difference, most likely yes, because as they grow up and become more mature and gain more knowledge of how to work, everything should improve.

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Thank you very much, Ms. Leigh. And North, I welcome any suggestions you have, also. Everyone has been very helpful. My daughter did talk to her teacher who said just what you said, Ms. Leigh. Not to force it and to work slowly.

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Crockett, one of my daughter's grew very quickly at your child's age. Her teacher immediately slowed down her training and actually held her back. She was all legs and arms and looked like a gazelle. She looked so beautiful with all that length of limb. Some teachers could have exploited that beauty but her teacher did not and today I am so grateful. The slowing down and pulling back was the best thing that could have happened for her. Alignment, placement, absolutely everything had gone out of the window. There was just so much and too much for her to control. She is today a tall dancer and she is a beautiful dancer, thank goodness for a smart and educated teacher. I hope that is what you have.

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