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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Posture and (Hypoextended)? Legs


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I had a pointe class the other day and the majority of it was focusing on our posture so that we have it correct for harder pointe work. This was just standing facing the barre in first. My teacher said a lot about “wrapping” the legs around so that the thighs and knees are touching and so that our bums aren’t poking out. However, my legs are quite straight and not at all hyperextended, so it’s difficult for me to get my knees let alone thighs touching while trying to wrap my legs around and under. If I wrap them around and under as much as I can, it’s impossible for any part of the inside of my legs to touch. I can only get my knees to touch if my pelvis is tilted back slightly and even this is quite hard as requires a lot of effort and I’m always really sore afterwards. When my knees are together my right foot always rolls forward. I’m wondering whether this is all due to a lack of strength in the right places, and what I could do to fix it. My turnout also isn’t the best so that also might be a problem.

Any advice is appreciated, thanks!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Fiona L,

Im sorry your post got missed until now!

It sounds a bit like you might be trying a bit too hard to follow your teachers instructions.  Sometimes teachers will try and give you an image or a thought to help achieve something, but each persons body will have a different outcome in reality.

It sounds like your teacher is trying to get you to engage your rotator/turnout muscles which is very important on pointe.  But this should never be at the expense of your pelvis or foot alignment.  Your pelvis needs to be held upright not tucked under or titled forward and always feel like you have 5 toes on the floor with your arches supported.  It’s not good to sacrifice one bit of technique just to achieve another if that makes sense?

Once your pelvis is held correctly, try and feel your legs rotating like spirals outwards from your hips down to your feet.  I would worry less about what bits of your legs are touching what - start by trying to just get an overall feeling of rotating.

Everyone’s legs are different shapes and that’s ok. It’s best to work with your teacher on these things and know they may take time.  If it’s appropriate, ask them for help or clarification before or after class.  Best of luck!

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