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Mods I am not a mom of an under 13 so take this out if you feel it is inappropriate. 

I have a DD who is now 15 and at a pre pro school.  My DD has "average" rotation in her hips.  This means that she is not naturally turned in nor is she naturally turned out. Our experience has been that she has had to gradually work for her rotation for years and I believe that she will always need to do that. She does a series of stretch and strengthening exercises and also warms up her hips and activates certain muscles before class.  

Rotation is an ACTIVE thing.  The dancer is working that through barre etc.  Imagine a barber pole with stripes on your DD's legs and her using her muscles to "turn" the barber pole stripes outward as she works. 

My DD will never have a full 180 like certain schools want but she has not been rejected from pre pro ballet.  She's probably at 170 degrees with a 2-5 degree inch "inward" on each leg.  This is perceptible when she is standing next to a dancer with perfect, Russian turnout but not so much in other circumstances. 

I guess I would also say really watch her pronation and knees very carefully.  Immature dancers try to "cheat" a 180 degrees by twisting their legs from knee to ankle too much and will roll their feet in or stick their butts our. Doing it right takes a longer time and will show improvements slowly. 

Do not give up hope. It's just what she will work on and continue to work on.  FYI,  pros still must focus on their rotation in certain steps.  It really is not natural for many people. 

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On 1/1/2018 at 11:22 AM, learningdance said:


Thank you so much for letting me know your own daughter's experiences with it! I definitely know it is something my DD is always going to have to work at and it's good to know that not everyone gets there quickly. She does say that nobody in her level has the 180 turnout yet and that most are about where she's at with it. She says that her teachers are really on top of not letting them go past their current capability. The ones that try to are constantly reminded to not do it because, when they do, their feet roll in or they have other signs of cheating. So I know that her teachers make sure nobody is cheating it which is good. Did your DD have any trouble with SI acceptances before having her turnout as good as it is now?

Edited by Mom2balletDD
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My Dd was given the message at 8 at CPYB that she needed better turnout and that she needed to get to a proper school.  Leslie Hench directly told me that.  So we went to Bolshoi trained dancers. 

She did ABT YD and was in the lowest level at 9 but happy and successful.  

Then she did Bolshoi (CT) for 2 years and then Ellison.  It did not prevent her from getting in at Ellison but in class (one of the 2 taught by Mr. Ellison) she was targeted and critiqued by him for her fifth not being tight enough.  She did SAB a few years and Boston last year and I don' t believe it was a problem.  She got support each year but she keeps her own corrections and I could not tell you.  

I do believe that if she were to go to a really focused Vaganova school it might be an issue but I don't know.  

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Thank you so much for your reply. It is incredibly reassuring to hear that your DD has been accepted into such great SIs, even when she was younger. I will let my DD know that as well since I know she's a bit concerned about her turnout too. I will also make sure to remind her that it is something that takes years to develop and that she'll always need to work on it. I think it's just nice to hear that there's hope for her to get there, even though she doesn't have great turnout right now. I think I'll discuss with her instructors if they have any home stretching or strengthening exercises they'd recommend she do. I'm thinking it may be a combination of tight/weak hip muscles but I'm not sure. Thanks again so much for your help!

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I am wondering if 180 turnout is really a realistic goal for most dancers?  It seems that hip injuries are not uncommon and some could be related to pushing for more turnout.


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Please forgive my intrusion as my under 13 is now over 13. It has been my observation that few dancers naturally have 180 degree turnout. They just know how to maximize the turnout they have so that it appears to be truly 180 degrees. That is through using their muscles correctly.

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I would agree but would also note that Russian schools tend to really expect 180 BUT they actually pre select kids who naturally have that potential. It's a feature they preselect. 

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