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 Post subject: On the topic of hips
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2001 4:12 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 442
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
I was reading that other post where someone asked about improving hip rotation, and one where someone was talking about a comfortable 5th. Well, the intensive that I just started teaches the russian technique, I've never taken that before. So in class, I always get thing like "turn out your 5th more and get the heels and toes together", and "that 1st can be wider". And I have been given a better concept of how to actually "work" my turnout now, but sometimes it feels like they are making my turnout TOO FAR. Like in 5th, I go to M turnout, but he says "turnout more", and pushes my feet closer, so I do. and like that person said in the other post, my placement changes, and it's harder to balance, so I try to sneak it back to where I had it. And all the other dancers and students my age at the studio turn WAY out, but it's only a few of their actual turnouts. I keep wondering how that can not hurt their knees and stuff. Mine twist like that, are they just too flexible or something? And what should I do about that to work my turnout where they want it? Their policy seems to be, the more you can force, the better. But, like I said, it's my knees and not hips that are going there in those positions. what should I do to help it?


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 Post subject: Re: On the topic of hips
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2001 4:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Bebounce -you have a decision to make here - as all of us who dance do.....you can work with your natural turnout - the one where you CAN balance, and your knees STAY over your toes, and your ankles DON'T roll over. Or you can force it.<P>Forcing it looks great - but you pay a price and that price is your knees and feet. The turnout has to come from the hips. You have to work with what you have, try to improve it, but beyond that - well - the choice is yours.<P>I know that teachers want it more, more, more - but at what cost? It's not so much where the teacher wants it that counts - its where it is for you. Yes, there is improvement that can be made - but only to a certain extent - and that improvement doesn't happen in a couple of days, or weeks, but over a great deal of time.<P>It would be interesting for you to have a talk with the teacher about this. The teacher probably has some insights to offer and then you can learn by talking to the teacher. <P>In the end, the bottom line is, the choice belongs to the dancer. The dancer will have to live with the results of what happens to her body.


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 Post subject: Re: On the topic of hips
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2001 5:12 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 242
Location: Washington St.
Since coming back to dancing after a few years off I've tried to force my turnout in the way stated above. I did this because a teacher said to me, "oh, you can turnout farther than that." First I hurt my hips and then I hurt my knees. Not severely, as I stopped once I realized what was happening, but it is a hindrance, and I can turn out even less than I could before this happened. Be careful! Don't push yourself so much that you hurt yourself in a way that causes ongoing problems!


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 Post subject: Re: On the topic of hips
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2001 11:26 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 72
Location: Virginia
Hmmm. I would not recommend twisting your knees around to produce turnout. Not only is it poor technique in my opinion, but it will destroy your knees. When I see girls in my classes doing it, rolling over on their insteps, I think it looks terrible. I tell them flat out that I would rather see a little less turn out and a little more correct technique.<P>Now I am the first to admit to being a ballet perfectionist, love a tight 5th, love a wide turned out 2nd, but not at a high cost. You can develop this desired turn out by stretching(frog stretch is good), and by holding your turn out with your inner thighs. A resistaband is a useful tool.<P>Take it slow. One of our former students in our company just returned from a 'reputable' performing arts school, and she cannot even dance now because they forced her body. Her knees are totally shot, among other things.<P>I don't know your teacher, I'm not saying that this is a 'bad' teacher. I have had teachers that I really liked that I didn't always agree with. Just remember. You can work at correctly turned out hips, but once you ruin your knees, they're ruined. Knees are good. Dancers need knees. It's kind of a nice thing, having knees, you know!?


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 Post subject: Re: On the topic of hips
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2001 1:33 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 179
Location: Paris, France(but i'm from Cyprus)
I remember having this class about a year ago with a former examiner. There was a girl who had a great turned out fifth-with her knees bent and her pelvis twisted-. And the examiner said that there are 3 places of turnout:the hip, the knee and the ankle and he corrected her. After this, all the girls used their natural turnout and you wouldn't believe the difference! All of us had better balance and generally everything improved.


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 Post subject: Re: On the topic of hips
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2001 2:21 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 1278
Location: Basking Ridge, New Jersey, USA
Important topic. It's raised a question for me. Many of our contributors are still in their teens. They hear what we are saying about the dangers of forcing turnout, and then they get to class where their teachers are saying, "More!"<P>Now I can see an adult politely explaining to such a teacher that she/he has personal limitations and is prone to injury from over turning out. And I can see a teacher respecting or at least accepting such an explanation. But I can see this being a more challenging situation for a younger student, where a teacher might see this as an act of defiance or something along that continuum.<P>So, I guess the question is: are there some constructive ways for young students to handle this situation in the classroom?


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 Post subject: Re: On the topic of hips
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2001 4:32 am 
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Joined: Sat May 26, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 69
Location: Singapore
Well, i don't exactly have that problem, because my class is of a lower grade and our teachers don't expect too much of us, but i go by one thing: if it [the step you're doing or your turnout or whatever] doesn't look right, it's probably wrong. but that doesn't necessarily mean that it's right if it looks right.


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 Post subject: Re: On the topic of hips
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2001 5:11 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
As we can all see - we all agree that forcing something like turnout is not a good thing. But Nancy raises a very important point - how does a young student bring this to the teacher's attention? - this difference of opinion? <P>It's much easier for an adult student - but even then, it is sometimes difficult. I have seen adults intimidated too. Some teachers are not open to this kind of difference of opinion.<P>To this problem, I really don't have an answer. The student, even though she is young, still needs to be able to make a decision like this for herself.....and a good responsible teacher should see it as a personal decision rather than defiance. It says something about a teacher who uses intimidation or forces a student's body. But, Nancy is so right.....it's really a hard thing for a student to do.<P>And, yet, it has to be done. In the end, it is the dancer who has to safeguard her body, it's her decision. The student can enlist the aid of her parents. Hopefully the parents will educate themselves and help out. <P>Anyone have any answers?<P><p>[This message has been edited by Basheva (edited June 14, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: On the topic of hips
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2001 6:06 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 270
Location: Wisconsin
I have always said "ouch" whenever any teacher has attempted to twist my feet into a further turn out than is possible. "Ouch" or "ow, that hurts" or even a wince of pain seemed to have a better affect on my teacher than any words spoken in private. I always had the experience of speaking to my old teacher privately about him asking me to twist into a wider turn out (I have a 180 first position but can't close my 5th because of my knees) and he invariably told me I was afraid to try new things.<P>However, I know no teacher who would force you to dance in pain (except when en pointe, LOL). This probably isn't the BEST suggestion, but it is what I used in the past!


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 Post subject: Re: On the topic of hips
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2001 8:41 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 3129
Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
That is a good suggestion Bree - it is quick and gets the message across without having to get into a great discussion, I would think any teacher would stop if they thought their student was experiencing pain.<P>As long as it is used sensitively, i.e. not every time we just want to get out of doing something LOL and with discretion - so that only the teacher hears .<p>[This message has been edited by Joanne (edited June 15, 2001).]


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