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Different ways of measuring turnout?


tomuchtallent
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As in what your natural turnout is? The way I teach it is to stand with feet in parallel and then keeping your whole foot in contact with the ground the whole time, slide your feet out into first position. Any bending of the knees or wiggles or lifting your toes off the floor and you're cheating turnout. Your ankles shouldn't roll, little toes on the ground and knees over the toes when you plie. I've seen it taught similarly but in "tripod" so rocking back onto the heels and opening to first and lowering but I think it's easier to cheat that way.

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Dd's physio gets her to sit up straight at the end of the couch with her legs dangling over the edge. Then she sort of picks up dd's lower leg and moves it gently, lifting so that the heel comes up towards the couch, with the leg moving from the hip.

 

Sorry, that probably makes no sense; it's difficult to describe! :-)

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Hi - This is an interesting area; there isn't a 'gold standard' for this - as the dance medicine/science community are still trying to agree on what should be measured, and how!

 

There are two ways that a physio or similar health professional can measure external rotation at the hip joint, which involves having the dancer either lie face down or on their back, while the practitioner takes the lower leg and passively rotates it. There are several issues with this... Firstly, it measures the passive range at the hip, ie the dancer needs some strength to use this amount! Secondly,it only assesses hip ROM as if the dancer was standing ie the thigh bone is in line with the body. Thirdly, it only measures hip rotation - which accounts for around 75% of standing turnout - so it's not ideal.

 

If one wants to measure the dancers' standing turnout that they can get themselves - Functional Footprints (http://www.functionalfootprints.com/) are a brilliant tool - complete with protractor-type scale which is great for self-assessment of gains or losses in strength.

 

What are you looking to measure?

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If one wants to measure the dancers' standing turnout that they can get themselves - Functional Footprints (http://www.functionalfootprints.com/) are a brilliant tool - complete with protractor-type scale which is great for self-assessment of gains or losses in strength.

 

Thanks, had never heard of them! Similar idea to the twist disks by the looks of it ;)

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Well,I was more curious than anything.I always though my dd had very good turnout because she can sit in frog upright and lying down and on her front with no problems with her knees touching the floor and can do box splits with the knees facing upwards.does this count at all?if I ask her to stand in parallel and open out to first on her heels it is really difficult for her.As she is only 9 would this be because she is not strong enough to hold the turnout?or would it really be her natural turnout?

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The second position with knees upwards and lying down frog position are good indicators of a fairly loose hip joint with potential for good turnout - it sounds like it needs strengthening.

 

Passive turnout (as in, something else doing the work, either someone, or the floor in the case of frog position) is affected by inelastic structures like ligaments in the hip, and both depth and angle of the head of the femur as it sits into the hip socket. If a young or new dancer, like you ask, had tight ligaments and tendons at the hip then that IS the potential of turnout - as it is these exact factors that limit turnout (the ligaments can be worked on a little bit up to age 11/12).

 

Someone with good passive turnout but who doesn't appear to be using it will benefit from strengthening the deep turnout muscles (functional footprints/rotating discs are great for this). But if a dancer has tight hips and limited passive turnout then they are always going to be limited to this, regardless of how strong they get, or how much they try to stretch it.

 

Edited to add: NB Standing turnout can also be affected by posture - the angle that the head of the femur sits in the hip socket will adjust depending on the alignment of the pelvis, so if a young dancer is struggling to turn out their thighs, it might be related to their pelvic alignment also.

Edited by drdance
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Sorry, can't quote on my BlackBerry :) But Bankruptmum - it is quite difficult to turn out from just the knee rotating from parallel to first position as long as you keep the whole leg straight and so engage the hips and turnout muscles rather than straining the knees and ankles to produce what sort of looks like turnout but is actually a distortion of the lower leg. This is why I remind my students not to bend their knees while finding their turnout in first to keep it true. I would suggest a student does this with their teacher supervising so the teacher can see it is being done properly and not twisting the knee joint or lower leg.

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Turnout is comprised of two basic movements: the rotation of the head of the thigh bone (femur) within the hip socket (ball and socket) - and it is also how the leg rotates around the body as in rond de jambe en l'air. For the ballet dancer both are necessary.

 

Turnout is comprised of two basic measurements of use: how much is available (passively what is the body capable of) and how much is useable (actively - how much is the body able to support)?

 

The problem is to bring what is available and what is useable into balance.

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Well,I was more curious than anything.I always though my dd had very good turnout because she can sit in frog upright and lying down and on her front with no problems with her knees touching the floor and can do box splits with the knees facing upwards.does this count at all?if I ask her to stand in parallel and open out to first on her heels it is really difficult for her.As she is only 9 would this be because she is not strong enough to hold the turnout?or would it really be her natural turnout?

 

My dd can also do the frog position like your dd, and slept like it as a baby!

 

She has completely flat turnout, but is only now really gaining the physical strength and muscular control she needs to properly use it. She's 13.

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Doesn't opening out from first measure the rotation in the knee rather than the hip alone?

 

Measuring the turnout from first combines the rotation at the hip with the rotation at the knee, as well as a bit at the ankle. Maximising the rotation from the hip is best because the ankle and knee are not designed for twisting, and any twisting at the knee more than a few degrees or so is a sure-fire route to injury.

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