2 3 Technical Tuesday Turnout Factors | Ballet Webb

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Technical Tuesday Turnout Factors

Technical Tuesday Turnout Factors

According to the article: Turnout for Dancers: Hip Anatomy and Factors Affecting Turnout: (https://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.iadms.org/resource/resmgr/imported/info/turnout_for_dancers_anatomy.pdf ): “…contributions of the hip, knee, tibia, and foot create the dancer’s turnout. In most cases, dancers do not possess perfect turnout …”
Also from the same source:
“The small bones in the foot allow a gliding action to occur at the arch. It is not uncommon to see dancers force the lower limbs beyond the normal limits of the hip’s range of motion, creating a compensating action called pronation or “rolling in” of the feet to achieve the perception of greater or perfect turnout. This is also referred to as “forcing the feet”. Dancers are more prone to force the feet in 5th position than other leg positions. Naturally, abnormal alignment ensues, causing medial stress along the leg and knee, and is quite possibly linked to increased injury potential.”

This article goes into great detail about all the various anatomical factors that contribute to successful turnout. The condensed version is that  are five main things that influence turnout:

1.       The angle of the femur (thigh bone). An increase in this angle (anteversion) causes one to turn in – commonly called pigeon-toed. A decrease in this angle (retroversion) is what ballet dancers want to have since it increases turnout potential. Neither of these two factors can be changed by training.
2.       Orientation of the acetabulum (top of the femur). If the socket faces more sideways than front, there is more turnout potential.
3.       Shape of the femoral neck. The longer and more concave one has more turnout potential than a shorter and less concave one.
4.       Flexibility of the Y ligament.
5.       Flexibility of the muscle-tendon unit. Correctly stretching these muscles will  allow a dancer to reach their maximum turnout potential.

The article also has several good pictures illustrating these concepts. I recommend looking at them.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:
Ballet Secret #24m.:  
Turnout involves many different factors, some controllable, some not.”

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