Given the number of dance injuries out there and my interest recently in REDS the following may be an interesting read for you dancers in relation to turn out.
To dance well, nothing is so important than turning outward of the thigh, and nothing is so natural as the contrary position”… French choreographer Jean George Noverre pre 1760!
Noverre warned that turnout “cripples those who make use of it by forcing the waist to take on a much more disagreeable effect than the one it is desired to eliminate”.
Engravings from this period show social dancing as having the feet turned-out only to 45 degrees each… only 90 degrees total… Over the centuries, turnout has crept up to some 90 degrees for each foot a massive 180 degrees total… This has become the ideal preferred position over the original. Unfortunately, as Noverre warned, attempting to turnout excessively takes its toll on many a dancer!
Activation of the gluteus maximus in the turned-out position tensions up the iliotibial band (ITB). This occurs with tucking the pelvic and has been erroneously promoted by dance teachers, with technique ques as “squeeze buttocks like they are trying to hold a marble between their cheeks.”
The ITB functions as a tendon to both the gluteus maximus (anteriorly) and the tensor fascia lata TFL (posteriorly) as well as a ligament between the iliac crest and upper tibia. The ITB also has attachments to the femur (along the linea aspera, via the lateral intermuscular septum) and the lateral patella. Stretching and release of all of the ITB attachments is critical for rehabilitation of spinal, pelvic, and hip problems in dancers. #
Krasnow, Mainwaring, Kerr, (1999) documented 100% of gymnasts experienced at least one injury during their career. Dancers, 94% of those who studied ballet experienced at least one injury, and 79% of those who studied modern reported at least one injury.
If your unsure of how to, and what to stretch, strengthen or otherwise work on, contact me for a consultation appointment and consider attending Pilates classes with me regularly. When you dance don’t forget to Sing!
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