Turnout and 5th position

Today’s blog entry is in podcast form. Here’s the question and then you can click on the highlighted link to hear my verbal response.

Hi! I have always have struggled with my turnout due to my bone structure. I have a few questions regarding my turnout and would LOVE to hear your advice. First, I have pretty good turnout when my legs are in the air especially in passe where I can have an 180 degree passe and still maintain good turnout on my standing leg. I do not have this turnout when my legs are in contact with the floor, such as in fifth position. Why? Second, I have always had to really work on my fifth position. I feel that my bum is sticking out and that I have too big of a curve in my lower spine. I do not tuck my pelvis only lengthen it downwards and I also pull my front up in addition to strengthening my lower abs. Why is my alignment not straighter? Lastly, when I stand in fifth position my hips always seem to twist into the barre even though I am holding my turnout in both legs. I know I will never have perfect turnout but would like to use what I have the best that I can. Thank you so much for your time. I bought “Tune Up Your Turnout” and thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Thank you so much!!! Katherine

click below for my response. Be patient – it’s a 7 minute response and might take a moment or two to load.

Click here


2 replies
  1. Anne Campbell-Crawford
    Anne Campbell-Crawford says:

    Dear Deborah –

    I was reading your advise about using the “KETTLE BELL” exercise that you published from YouTube in response to the 15 year old girl who is recovering from an achilles tendon injury dated 5th March. I would like to suggest her using a PILATES DVD or going to PILATES classes, if there are some in her area as being more appropriate for her rehabilitation programme.

    The KETTLE BELL exercise looked, to me, quite dangerous ie snapping knees (it would be difficult not to do this as you suggest). Also without the proper engagement of the abdominal muscles she could strain ligaments in her lower back.

    Non weight baring exercise, such as PILATES, would surely give her upper body strength with the added bonus of tightened abs and use of the breath which she can then apply to her ballet technique. She will also not be agravating her tendon injury by stretching it by standing and bending her knees ?

    I trust my comments will be useful. I really like your words of wisdom and am happy to be on your mailing list.

    Best wishes,

    • deborah
      deborah says:

      Anne, I’m always happy to hear from everyone! Pilates would be a very good rehab – although it wouldn’t help her cardiovascularly much. I’ll have to do a kettle bell video myself someday as I really like it and do give it to my college dancers without any problems – although they do get coached personally by me until I see they have the movement correct:) Your advice to seek out a good Pilates program is a good one!


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *