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Ballet Talk for Dancers

turn out


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Are there any exercise that can be done at home to improve turnout. Standing in 5th and lifting the leg to the front and back is quite easy but have a problem doing it decent to the side.



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Passive exercises are best at home when you're at this stage of training, Fred. The chance of reinforcing wrong things, like rolling over on the insides of the feet, or trying to turn out only from the knees and giving torsion to the knees is just too great to do anything even as simple as standing in fifth. Turnout (where the feet end up on the floor) is based on rotation (the turning of the femur from the hip). Best just to sit on the floor with your feet together, and let the knees flop to the side, letting gravity do the work. You can put your back against the front of an easy chair and stay there for quite awhile! Remember, it's just like the fable of the tortoise and the hare: slow and steady wins the race.:)

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Fred, personally I think the best thing you can do at home to improve turnout is to do some of the class exercises where you really concentrate on rotating from the hips during the exercise. I think turnout comes very slowly, but it comes quickest when you just concentrate on it while in class and while practicing at home.


Teachers have a favorite saying that I also think is appropriate—it’s not how much turnout you have that is important, it is what you do with what you have that is important. I have found that saying exceedingly helpful.

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Gary, Fred has just had his first class. I wouldn't want him practicing anything without a teacher present in order to prevent mistakes from being rehearsed.

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Oops, didn't know that Fred had just taken his first class. I'm reasonably sure Fred's teacher will help him out in future classes and in the meantime simple stretching is prudent.

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