Sunday, October 13, 2019

Blog 30

Last Sunday, I became sick. Turned out that I got a cold, a severe cold. My throat started to become sore, runny nose, and a headache. I felt awful.
The only right place to be was in my bed. No ballet class this week. 
This is the first time in the 2 years that I couldn’t go to ballet class because of illness.

One of the side effects of being sick is that I have a lot of dreams, and often I have memory flashbacks of things I really have forgotten. One of the flashbacks is of a remark my osteopath once made.

A few years ago, my osteopath told me that ballet isn’t healthy because of the unnatural body movements/postures, like pointé and turn out. 

So after that flashback, I involuntarily thought about the turn out this week. 
Turn out is a typical aspect of ballet training. It’s adopted from fencing positions. The outward positioning of the feet, accompanied by the femoral rotation, provides more stability and allows more mobility when the legs are raised. 
You don’t use the buttocks muscles to rotate the legs outward, but the hip rotator muscles. You have to master the ability to use these specific muscles independently. And yet in the turn out position, you use your buttocks, to stabilize the body for the sake of the turn out itself. You should feel the tightening of your buttocks at the top of the back of your legs, just underneath the buttocks. 
The force for turn out of the legs must come from the hip down.

My natural turn out, especially when I started, is limited. In one of my earlier blogs, I mentioned that the force for the turn out should not come from the floor up. I remember learning that lesson well in the first year. 
So, in the beginning, I forced an extra turn out from my feet upwards to my knees.
And knew almost instantaneously this was a bad practice. You’ll get injured in your knee. The knee is a hinge, not a rotary joint. And when you try a plié in that awkward position, you know exactly what I mean.

So all the week, I visualized doing the turn out. And as I do that virtual turn out, I feel that pulling out sensation in my hip joint. My knees feel safe. Ok, and then I doze off again.
And yet I don't know whether my osteopath is right or wrong. But that doesn't matter too much to me this week.

Well, I don’t want to complain, but I’m still coughing and sneezing. And I hope that I’ll recover soon. But I don’t know yet if I am already up to the Monday lesson.

1 comment:

  1. Dr. Boni Rietveld, orthopedic surgeon specialized in dancers, expressed it well, "I prefer to see a well trained foot in a pointe shoe above an untrained foot in high heels."

    So many people without proper knowledge about pointe shoes talk bad about them, but they don't mind to put their daughters feet in shoes with heels, without considering if she has the strength for them in her feet, ankles and back.
    Training is the key to all extraordinary movements.

    Same for turnout. For all people it is normal to have a turnout of 45-60 degrees from each hip. And that is enough to be able to dance ballet well: with your own turnout.
    90 Degrees per hip might look amazing, but it is not necessary to do ballet.

    With training all turnouts can be improved and creating that extra range in movement gives every dancer a feeling of more freedom to move. And that is why dancers keep training and dancing: to experience freedom.