CriticalDance Forum

turnout in young children
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Author:  aude [ Sun Sep 04, 2005 3:26 am ]
Post subject:  turnout in young children

My daughter, who has just turned twelve was recently assessed by a dance physio who said her turnout measured 45%. She has been given some exercises to increase this. it doesn't seem like a lot to me as I always hear of 180 degree rotation in dancers. can someone explain this to me?

Author:  Joanne [ Sun Sep 04, 2005 4:11 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hi Aude,

Turnout is something that is different is everyone and anatomical structure of the hip joints will determine largely how much turn-out someone has. It is rare for someone to naturally have near 180 degree turnout and most dance students have to work to improve their turnout without it leading to rolling etc.

Most teachers would rather see a student with good placing working with their turnout that a student trying to turnout beyond their means with poor placing.

If your daughter follows the exercises she has been given with supervision then her turnout should improve but it will take time and it will be important that she maintains any turnout throughout the class and not just in specific turnout exercises so that her placing remains secure.

Author:  djb [ Sun Sep 04, 2005 10:08 pm ]
Post subject: 

Aude, you should know that 45 degrees refers to the angle of one leg turning out, and 180 degrees refers to the angle of two legs turning out. So the real difference is between 45 degrees and 90 degrees (one leg) or 90 degrees and 180 degrees (two legs).

Author:  aude [ Mon Sep 05, 2005 2:07 am ]
Post subject: 

Hi and thanks for your replies...I should have said that she will be auditioning for full time schools and I just wondered if 90 degrees is usual for a 12 year old to have and is that acceptable turnout as far as vocational schools go?

Author:  abdwybabe [ Mon Sep 05, 2005 2:21 pm ]
Post subject: 

Although it is possible, most people have an in-born, set-point amount that they will be able to turnout their legs. Anything that causes her pain or injury is unacceptable. As long as she is working carefully and correctly, she will achieve what she was born to have as a dancer.

It is not necessary for a student to have the full 90 degree (per leg) to be a ballet dancer. Many are not and are still dancing professionally.

Author:  Joanne [ Tue Sep 06, 2005 1:39 pm ]
Post subject: 

What abdywbabe has said is very good advice. Your daughter should look to improve on what she has but it is not just turnout that makes a good dancer.

Most schools will look at the all round dancer. Remember evry dancer will have their strengths and weaknesses so the best thing any dancer can do if work to improve to become the best dancer they can.

Author:  spangles [ Tue Sep 06, 2005 7:57 pm ]
Post subject: 

The basic technique of turnout occurs in the hips and is reflected in the legs and ultimately in the feet. Turnout is never, ever from the feet only. it must always be the entire leg turned out as a whole from the hip joint using the hip flexors. The knees must always be aligned over the toes. If the knees are more forward than the toes in any of the ballet positions, then the feet must not be turned out so much. If the knees cannot accomodate the turnout, injury will surely occur. (if not immediately, then ultimately). Guiding principals of good turnout: It must never, ever be forced; must come from the hips; knees must be aligned over the toes; everyone's turnout is different and NEVER, EVER compare to others. With very careful, gentle work and under the supervision of a good teacher/physio, even though one cannot alter the construction of the hip joint, one can improve the stretch to allow more turnout and the STENGTH to maintain it. Nothing should ever be forced or strained. The work must be done on a regular basis, perhaps as part of the warmup session before class.
Some beneficial exercises that I can expand on if you so wish would include:
1. Retires
2. Tendu
3. Rond de Jambe par terre
4. Various floorwork exercises

Hoping this is of some help! oh, and why do we turnout in ballet?
1. It shows the lines of the body to good advantage
2. Increases mobility
3. Increases height of extension
4. Gives on the ability to move in different directions more easily
5. Presents a wider stance for balance

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