Ballet Exercises - More Flexible Turnout

Ballet Exercises - More Flexible Turnout

Hello Odette :)
I have been reading through a few of these questions and your answers are probably the most assuring answers I have read.
I have been a bit worried about my turnout. I am 14 and I have been dancing for 7 years and take my ballet very seriously.
When laying in frog on my stomach if warmed up my legs are almost touching the floor and laying on my back they aren't quite as low and maybe a few centimetres higher. I was wondering, is it possible to improve your turnout, because whenever I read online people either say it's impossible or from their personal experience that you can. Can you give me any tips for strengthening and making my turnout my flexible. I would be so grateful!


Reply by Odette
To:- Ballet Exercises - More Flexible Turnout

Thank you for contacting me, it is great to hear from you and I am always here to help.

As you probably know, every dancer has a very individual range of turnout and this can mostly depend on your natural bone structure. I saw many dancers in my class who were also worried about their turnout, because it wasn't in their natural range to be flat turned out. Also in the positions you described in frogs, it was the same for these dancers too.

However, it did not hold them back at all and they went on to pursue professional careers which can be an inspiration for you!

I believe your turn out can improved to a certain extent with practice, time and hard work. To start with, you can keep practicing the turn out stretches such as frogs and side splits to maximize your range your turn out. I remember one ballerina whose turn out was slightly limited and she said to do these stretches after class when your muscles are most warm and pliable.

Also, because you are aware that your turnout might not be your strongest point you can focus to improve it and learn to work with the range you have. You should never force your turn out or stand beyond your natural facility, but you have to work the whole leg and muscles to achieve the ultimate turn out. It initiates from the top of the leg in the glutes and activates right through the inside thighs, hamstrings and calves.

Even dancers with a full range of turn out still struggle to maintain it when it comes to center work and moving faster. The thing about turn out is it can ALWAYS be worked, improved and rotated more and more in your legs... so never feel like you have reached the limit to your turn out, there is always MORE if you really use the muscles in your legs. Don't grip though, but keep long and lengthened like your muscles are an elastic bend and you elongated in every movement.

Nothing is impossible, so keep working hard and bit by bit you will gradually see an improvement.

Best wishes,

ps. To become the best dancer you can be, learn the Seven Secrets ..... go to my 'Seven Secrets of Ballet' page

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