Towards a Perfect Turnout


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The way most people turn their feet to the side creates a 45-degree angle. In dance, mainly in ballet, we seek a 180-degree angle. Turnout is one component of whole body movement. Internalizing the whole body movement concept and at the same time keeping the 180 degree requirement in mind will help you see it as part of dynamic active complex movement sequences. It allows for constant working relationship between the spine, pelvis and legs.

For example, suppose you are standing on a turned out supporting leg and moving the other leg in all directions. In this situation you need control of the supporting leg turnout as well as the working leg turnout and thus, constantly working at the relationship between spine, pelvis and legs.

   Most of the work is done on the floor in order to:

  •  introduce the turnout which originates from the hip, eliminating and re-patterning the habit of turning out from the foot or knee. (Seaweed I; 2) {Referred to in the video as leg coming out of hip}
  •  learn how to stabilize the hip bones while on a flat surface as a way of achieving control. (Diagonals /knees-shoulder I; 5&6)
  •  change the relationship to gravity while learning new patterns. (Seaweed, lengthen legs from diagonals, I; 7)
  •  exercise the hip and knee joints in a specific ways for them to be compressed through the feet, which is their weight-bearing surface. (Diagonals /knees-shoulder, fifth position III;3).
  •  introduce the turn in as a way to facilitate turn out.
  • introduce the work of the Saratorius muscle when it is involved with the leg in over 90 degrees (sitting in fourth position, IV; 15 on the side IV; 6&7).
  •  introduce the gliding of the leg in the hip socket (leg in/out of socket (I; 3))
  •  facilitate pure abduction /adduction for lateral and medial glides (on the side III 6 & 7 & 19)
  •  introduce awareness to the posterior /anterior parts of the leg. (Up & over I; 4)
  •  introduce the use of P.N.F. principles to facilitate the use of the correct muscle groups. (Personal work)
  •  introduce movements that are similar, but not the identical, as in some dance requirements. (Most)
  •  deepen the relationship between hip and legs by moving the leg on the pelvis and the pelvis on the leg. (In section IV)
  • exercise longer and continuously in order to produce dynamic, active and complex sequences. (In section IV)

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