2 3 Technical Tuesday Balls and Hinges | Ballet Webb

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Technical Tuesday Balls and Hinges

Technical Tuesday Balls and Hinges

Dancers learn (or should learn) that turn-out comes from the hip because the hip is a ball-and-socket joint (the shoulder is, too). This type of joint is also called a “spheroidal joint”, and it allows for rotational movement and provides greater freedom of movement than any other joint. This is in contrast to a hinge joint that allows only a back and forth movement (like a door hinge).

These two joints and their capabilities are important for dancers to understand. When turn-out is forced from the bottom up (from the feet) instead of from the top down (from the hips), the hinge joint of the knee is forced to rotate or twist. Forcing the knee joint to do this is a common cause of injury in ballet dancers.

Hinge joints include the ankle and elbow as well as the knee. One definition of a hinge joint is: “Hinge joints are formed between two or more bones where the bones can only move along one axis to flex or extend.http://www.innerbody.com/image_skel07/skel31.html

Study the pictures above and it will be clear why dancers must concentrate their turn-out efforts on the ball-and-socket joint of the hip – and not force the knee to do something it isn’t designed to do.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Anatomical Secret #24e:  
“Hinge joints move differently than ball-and-socket joints.”

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