Squats to Make You Feel the Burn

Though you may not think about it much, building strength in the muscles around the hips is a must for ballet dancers. Pacific Northwest Ballet’s physical therapist Boyd Bender even likes to think of the gluteus maximus, medius and minimus and the deep external rotators of the hips as integral core muscles. “They’re as importantMore »

Make the Most of Your Turnout

Think fast: Would you like a few more degrees of turnout? If your answer is a resounding “yes” (perhaps even punctuated by a grand jeté), you’re not alone. Although natural turnout is largely dictated by the anatomy of your femur and hip socket, if your turnout muscles are weak, you could be missing out onMore »

The Ballerina’s Bad Habit

You work hard on turnout in class every day. But once you leave the studio, make sure you’re in parallel. Walking around turned out stresses your hips, knees, ankles and feet, causing micro-trauma that could lead to injuries like tendonitis or knee pain. It could also hurt your technique. “You’re overusing the muscles you needMore »

Your Ticket to Turnout

Want to improve your turnout? Of course you do. (What ballet dancer wouldn’t?) Check out this excellent clip of movement guru Irene Dowd explaining two exercises that can help you increase your outward rotation. Dowd, a longtime faculty member at Juilliard and author of the iconic kinesiology book, Taking Root to Fly, uses imagery and anatomical concepts to help dancers find more stability and ease of movement.

Ask Amy: June/July 2009

Have a question? Click here to send it to Amy and she might answer it in an upcoming issue! I’ve been dancing for eight years and still have poor turnout. I’ve tried many techniques and stretches, but nothing helps. Any advice? —Allison, Kansas It’s so frustrating when our bodies refuse to bend to ballet’s will!More »