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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Forcing the turn out?


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Hello, I am really happy I found this forum. I have a boy who loves to dance and I have no clue. About ballet. I am learning as I go.


My question is, his regular teacher, a woman, tells him to not force his turnout. She emphasizes that it can cause injury and that most students will eventually get it. Once a week we attend a boys class at another school run by a Russian man. He makes the boys force the turn out. Who's right?

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Victoria Leigh

Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers, SDballetboy!


There are different methods of training, and they are all valid if the teachers are good. There are some who believe in not forcing rotation with young dancers, and others who believe that it can be safely accomplished. If the student has a great deal of natural facility, and is in a program with daily classes and excellent teaching, then working for more rotation earlier can be done. But, in this country most young students have only two classes a week, depending on age and level and the school's program. I believe that rotation must be strongly encouraged and worked for, but not forced. It takes time, growth, and core strength to maintain the proper alignment that will allow a young dancer to fully use all of their rotation. We don't just wait for it to come eventually, but at the same we don't force. The more mature the dancer becomes, and the stronger their center, and the increase in training hours, the more we can push for the rotation. But a great deal of that still depends on how much the body has naturally. It can be increased and improved and is something that all dancers work on constantly.

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