Perfect turnout may be the Holy Grail of ballet technique: It's that forever elusive treasure we all seek but never seem to find.
No matter how much rotation you currently have, you could likely find more—if you use the right strategies. We dug into the Dance Magazine archives to round up our best tips from master teachers and dance medicine experts to help you reach your maximum turnout potential.
It's not about what you have, but how you use. Photo by Brooke Cagle/Unsplash
From the angles of your feet to the size of your head, it can sometimes seem like there is no part of a dancer's body that is not under scrutiny. It's easy to get obsessed when you are constantly in front of a mirror, trying to fit a mold.
Yet the traditional ideals seem to be exploding every day. "The days of carbon-copy dancers are over," says BalletX dancer Caili Quan. "Only when you're confident in your own body can you start truly working with what you have."
While the striving may never end, there can be unexpected benefits to what you may think of as your "imperfections."
Turnout is such an integral part of ballet. You'd assume the best dancers would have the best rotation, right? Not according to a new study published by the Performing Arts Medicine Association.
Australian Ballet's Amber Scott and ABT's David Hallberg may be beautiful dancers, but it doesn't mean they're turnout's any better.Photo by Kate Longley via Instagram
After measuring the external rotation of 45 dancers in all ranks at The Australian Ballet, researchers found no difference between degrees of passive or active turnout in corps members, soloists and principals.
Of course, all the dancers studied had enough rotation to make it to a professional level. But when you're struggling with yours, it's nice to remember that turnout isn't what makes a great dancer.