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Ballet Talk for Dancers

More turnout issues...


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Turnout wise I have a lot of flexibility in my hip joint i.e. flat frog side splits e.t.c. and in grand plie my turnout is flat. However when I get to around demi plie upward it just starts getting terrible and when my legs are straight it is at best only about 120 degrees.

1. Many of my friends do not have as much flexibility as I do but have incredibly good turnout from the hips standing. Is my problem extremely abnormal?

2. My teachers know that my hips are flexible enough and when I do class they see the turnout from my hip in all my extensions, retires which is really good so they push me to get a tighter fifth. This wrecks havoc on my knees. How do I address this problem (I have already told them it hurts my knees sometimes)?

3. What do I do? I have already talked to my teachers who have insisted on strengthening my knees ( as did my physio) Which I have been doing every day. I've tried doing the clam a lot. I am working on standing on a straight leg (not pushing back into hyper extension). Trying to strengthen my VMO's. And rolling on a hard foam thing to release my IT band. Nothing seems to be helping. Any ideas?

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Do you roll in on your feet as well? Try thinking about standing with the entire ball of the foot and all of your toes on the floor at the bottom of the grand plie and as you come up pressing your heels into the floor to lift your body upward. As crazy as this may sounds, keep youir weight back from the middle back, through the shoulder blades, to the top of the head as you come up. Dropping your chest forward as you come up can encourage your knees to turn in as you come up.


As for the knee pain, as you know, this is not good. Remind your teachers that you have knee pain that does not get better. Teachers may forget about various aches and pains that students have unless reminded. You indicated that all other aspects of rotation are working quite well. Try not to focus so much on grand plie. I am not saying to forget about it, but if your usage of rotation is generally good in movement, remember ballet is collective, not focused on only this one important movement. Try enjoying your dancing for awhile and then come back to it with a fresh appoach...and smile too! :)

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