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Ballet Talk for Dancers

rotation of the thigh


casserina

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In class this week my teacher has been focusing on rotating the thighs and I'm having major problems getting it! Even when she physically rotated it I didn't feel anything! I am very flexible would that have anything to do with not being able to hold the rotation? Any advice or stretches that would help? Most others in my class were understanding it and were able to apply it except me.

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Well, I'm sure you know that the rotation comes from the hips, but of course the thighs are involved, as they must rotate when the hips do! The only way to feel this working correctly is to be really well aligned and placed, and using your gluteus muscles so that you feel that rotation from the top of the back of the leg. I find dancers all the time who are not using those glute muscles, and then wondering why their turnout is not very good. :)

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  • 1 month later...

I have a lot of natural turn out from the hips. My problem is holding this turnout.

I realize that holding the glute muscles is very important and does help, but are there any strengthening exercises to help hip strength?

 

Thank you

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I think you're going to have to learn about resistance, since it would appear that you already understand rotation, but I'm going to run through the entire thing for my own sake to be sure I don't leave anything out:

 

Our hips are what is known as Ball and Socket joints. A ball and socket joint allows for radial movment in almost any direction. Some people have thicker bones, or tighter tendons and ligaments, which restrict the amount of movement in the joint. You have flexibility which means you probably don't have thick bones and likely have looser tendons and ligaments. Your tendons and ligaments attach your muscles to your bones, and the job of the muscles is to support and hold your bones in alignment.

 

Now, the next thing that is important to understand is how to engage the muscles so that they are doing the maximum possible to support the bones.

 

Let's try this: Make a fist but keep your arm and hand relaxed. If you were to punch something with that fist, your hand would get broken in the process. Now, think of tightening your fist and clenching it as much as you can; engage your biceps as well. If you were to punch something with that fist, I feel sorry for the 'something'!!

 

Ok, now we're sure we understand the difference between 'going through a motion', and actually engaging the muscles. Here, we have to be careful not to go too far and take it into tension!! Holding and engaging are different from clenching and tension- make sense?

 

Now on to your hips: Proper rotation cannot be engaged unless one is in total alignment. Make sure your skeleton is properly aligned. ALIGNMENT You'll notice that in order to do this, you have to lift your ribcage up off of your hip bones. That will enable your hip joints to achieve maximum rotation.

 

So, the lats in the back should be engaged and working; the abdominal muscles should be engaged and working; the inner thighs and calves should be brought foward as much as possible, and the knees should be facing out towards the side walls. If you can do all of that, now you just have to breathe and dance!!

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Thank you very much Clara 76! Your responce was very helpful for understanding the process of turning out. I knew some of that before but having it all explained was very helpful. I'll work more on engaging my muscles and see if that helps.

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