As summer starts winding down, dancers are getting ready to transition to the fall program season. Preparing for the season’s big shows means long hours spent at rehearsals on top of other responsibilities, such as academics, work and household duties.
Gymnasts require more flexibility than the general athlete to perform the necessary skills of their sport. Summertime is a great time to focus on increasing flexibility. Since stretching is an important component of training, it is a good idea to review some of the safest ways to stretch to prevent injury and progress flexibility.
Gymnastics offers a unique perspective, even allowing some athletes to see the world upside down!
Fall brings a season of routine. This is especially true of dancers who are back to academia on top of rehearsal. Professional dancers, for example, will begin preparing their upcoming repertoire for programs like Joffrey Ballet’s Giselle and Hubbard Street Dance Company’s Fall Series.
The Nutcracker is the most iconic holiday ballet performed by ballet schools and professional companies around the world.
For optimal performance, it is crucial that dancers are proactive in preventing injuries from occurring and correctly manage injuries when they do occur. Foot and ankle injuries represent 34-62 percent of all injuries reported by dancers.5 Female ballet dancers are especially vulnerable to these injuries because of the increased demand put on the foot and ankle when dancing en pointe.
For many dancers, summers are filled with morning to evening dance classes. Sometimes learning new styles, other times perfecting their technique in a familiar style. Often these summer dance intensives are away from home allowing the dancer to stay in a dormitory and meet new friends who have the same passion. Auditions for these programs are held months in advance and attention from renowned dance teachers may arise from this experience.
What is “turn out”?
“Turn out” is the amount of outward rotation that can be achieved from the legs.
For a ballet dancer, the ideal amount of turn out is 90° from each leg.1 If that motion is not possible from the hip joints, the motion must come from other parts of the body.2 While the ideal amount of hip external rotation of each leg is 90°, no need to toss your pointe shoes in the trash if you don’t have that much hip mobility. Even elite professional ballerinas rely on compensations to produce the desired level of turn out.3