The Art of Properly Using your Turnout

The issue of improperly using your turnout and over-rotating in the feet is a worldwide issue

Written By Julie Friedrich, Associate Director for College and Career Programs, Francisco Gella Dance Works

As a teacher, I see this on a daily basis. As someone who has sustained a major knee injury and had major reconstructive surgery as a result, I am adamant that students use turnout from the proper placement and do not over rotate.  

I am grateful that I had a teacher who demanded using turnout from the proper place. This emphasis on proper alignment in the body is crucial to being an injury-free dancer. I remained injury-free until I was 17 years old – while dancing full time, all day long. In today’s environment, I am seeing too many young dancers with injuries that could easily be prevented by maintaining proper alignment and not over-stressing the body by forcing it into positions that are not suited to their anatomy.

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On Being An Outsider…

Embrace Your ‘Outsider’ Status

I’m an outsider. I have been my whole life. For a long time I struggled – trying to make it to the inside. I sometimes felt resentment for not being granted entry. I’ve been told no by the insider members of the club more times than I care to remember. After years and years, I’ve come to fully embrace my outsider status. I now see it as my ‘strategic advantage’. I now know that the impact you have on others by sharing your gift has nothing to do with your acceptance by the establishment. As you look toward your future, if you are willing to work harder than most, you’ll find that being an outsider ain’t so bad.