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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Turnout during degages


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While at the barre, I can achieve a well-placed turnout of near 180 degrees during plies and tendus, but during degages I can't get as tight a fifth. Is this normal, or is it something I need to be working on? One of my teachers keeps on yelling "turnout!" to me as I do quick degages and I really try but it's not as tight as she wants.

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A review of your posting history reveals a great deal of questing for the right schools, but surprisingly little about you personally, except that you said once that you had a "muscular" body. Are your legs hyperextended? Which dégagés are being called on for turnout? Front? Side? Back?

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Yes my legs are hyperextended and I'm also a rare case in which my legs are pretty much straight- neither bowlegged or knock-kneed. I have the most trouble with degages to the side, although to the front to the left only also gives me trouble. :grinning:

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Ah, somehow, I thought so. Hyperextended knees give dancers the devil's own time with closing tight fifth positions. You may want to close your fifths, especially from à la seconde, into a VERY short fourth position, maybe only the width of a finger between the feet. The trouble from devant on the left side is, of course, that your left leg is not quite as well rotated in the hipjoint as is the right.

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Thanks for the help. :o Also, I find that when closing to the back from a la seconde, it is not possible to do so without slightly bending the supporting leg-otherwise my knees somehow get in the way of each other and I can only close into a fourth that is a couple inches wide. Is it okay to do this? It's only very slightly and in videos I see it sometimes.

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That little space can only be used if allowed by your teacher, Caroline. Some schools and teachers allow it, others don't. I find that a VERY small space can help with hyperextension, but one has to be diligent about keeping the space as small as possible.

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