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Considerations in Improving Your Ballet Turnout

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

Keep in mind that turnout is the result of many years of ballet education. If you are taught how to use the correct muscles, then you will improve yours in time. You will have to execute your techniques carefully and correctly and strengthen the required muscles. This is not an overnight thing and you have to work hard for it.

What is the primary step into improving your turnout? This concept never changes in ballet: Strengthen your legs. Once you have enough leg muscle strength and learn how to use them, things will be alright. You will need to engage your muscles to easily execute a turnout naturally. This will be a test of your flexibility, and your daily stretching regimen will lay a big part in developing the flexibility and strength of your legs. 

Do not forget your hips here. Your hip joints are where the rotation of your turnout should come from, and not from your ankles, knees or feet as they only support the rotation. You can feel some natural rotation safely in your ankles and knees but it is not very useful and you cannot hold this rotation. Your hip joints are instrumental in retaining your balance as you turn out, so it is important to maintain stability in the hips.

When you work on your turnout, bring your focus away from your feet and concentrate on your hips. Check that you are not turning out your feet too much by standing in first position and doing a demi plie. Bring your knees to go outwards over your toes and adjust your feet to match the maximum turnout of your legs.

Make sure your feet are standing on the floor. If you have rolled your feet forward, you are either turning out way too much or not engaging your turnout muscles to use the maximum turnout. If your turnout is proper, you will feel your weight evenly distributed on your feet.

Every ballet dancer has certain limitations in her hip socket or pelvis. Every dancer’s degree of rotation is different, so one shouldn’t pretend to be more turned out than they are. Turnout will depend on the dancer’s strength in the legs and stability in the hips.

Be careful and do not force yourself into turning out as this can lead to hip or leg problems. Forcing your feet outwards can cause you long-term knee, ankle, hip and spinal damage. Contorting your body to give out a false impression of turning out can cause you bunions and tendinitis.

Instead, strive for a healthy and safe way of turning out. One aspect of achieving turnout is building strength, and to build strength, you should push turnout to its natural limits. By turning out correctly, you avoid the risk of a serious injury.

Educate more of yourself on how you can improve your ballet skills by reading dance resources and manuals like the Perfect Pointe Book. You need a mine of information to keep on with your ballet skills.




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