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Turn out article from Dance Spirit Magazine

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Turnout—a combination of rotational flexibility and the strength to properly hold that rotation—is the foundation of ballet. But it’s also a source of frustration for many dancers. After all, not everyone (actually, hardly anyone) is born with 180-degree rotation. “When I first started dancing, my hip flexors were strong, but I was forcing my turnout without using the right muscles,” remembers Amanda Cobb, now a dancer with The Washington Ballet.

The good news is that it’s possible to both improve your turnout and to dance beautifully with less-than-perfect rotation. But there’s a lot of misinformation out there about how turnout works and why it’s important. To help separate fact from fiction, DS asked the experts to disprove six turnout myths.

“Turning out requires rotating your legs from the inside of the hip all the way through to your feet,” says Nancy Bielski, who teaches at Steps on Broadway in NYC. That requires flexibility, strength and placement.

To maximize flexibility in the hips, most dancers need to begin training early, while their bones are still growing. Teresa Volkerson, PT, MS, a physical therapist who works with dancers at Orlando Ballet, says the best age range for building turnout-related flexibility is between 8 and 12 years old. Proper stretching can also improve your rotation slightly after puberty.

But all the flexibility in the world will mean nothing if you don’t have the strength to control it. Turning out correctly uses the lower abdominal and lower back muscles, the glutes and the thighs. It requires proper placement, as well. “In order to get the most turnout, you have to pull up to create room between the bones,” says Damara Bennett, director of the School of Oregon Ballet Theatre. In other words, if you sink into your hips and legs, tuck under and grip your turnout, you won’t be able to maintain your rotation as you move from one position to the next.

For the entire article http://www.dancespirit.com/2010/10/the_truth_about_turnout/

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Written by newcitydancecenter

October 8, 2013 at 10:45 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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