How to Develop Turnout? What Is the Purpose of Turnout in Ballet Technique?

Topics: Classical ballet, Pelvis, Foot Pages: 2 (552 words) Published: June 24, 2013
The meaning of turnout in ballet is a rotation of the leg which comes from the hips, causing the knee and foot to turn outward, away from the center of the body. This rotation allows for greater extension of the leg, especially when raising it to the side and rear (Wikipedia). Turnout is a fundamental classical ballet technique, but also one of the most important qualities in many types of physical activity with complex coordination. However, not everyone is born with 180-degree rotation, but with the correct stretching and strengthening exercises, anyone can increase their turnout. Turn-out is a combination of rotation in the hip, knee and ankle joints, so to develop turnout, a dancer should strengthen his or her muscles, especially in the legs and hips, to engage the muscles to turn out naturally. A tip to stretch for turnout is to bend your knees slightly, turn out as much as you can, and then gently lengthen the legs. However, people should be careful when stretching to improve turnout because each individual has certain limitations in their hip socket, so forcing turnout can lead to major hip or leg problems. Always go slow when stretching, and do not stretch too hard when you are cold. When the legs are opened without force and turnout is supported with the deep rotators, iliopsoas, and abdominals, one should be able to trace a line directly from the hip, through the center of the knee, and to a point between the second and third toe of the foot. A neutral or properly aligned pelvis is a good indicator as well because when the turnout is forced, generally the pelvis will tilt, creating a swayed back. Turnout is an element of technique of ballet, but it is a hard technique to achieve perfectly. Nevertheless, using turnout properly allows dancers to move gracefully and efficiently in all directions -- front, side and back. It provides stability for slow, controlled movements and helps establish momentum for impressive turns. Although it appears that the...
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