Dear Katie: Help! I Can't Hold My Turnout on Pointe!
Photo by Erin Baiano
In our "Dear Katie" series, Miami City Ballet soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured! Dear Katie,
When on pointe, I find it very hard to maintain my turnout, especially in first and second position. If I try to force my heels forward, I can't get over the box. It's very frustrating. Is there anything I can do to fix this?
If you're having trouble maintaining your rotation on pointe, you probably need to rethink your whole approach to turnout. Slippery pointe shoes don't let you use the friction of the floor to help you get your heels forward. But you should be holding your turnout from the backs of your thighs, not forcing it from your knees or feet.
You need to retrain your muscles so you can support your turnout correctly. Start with pliés at the barre, feeling the rotation from your thighs every time you straighten your knees. Once you put your pointe shoes on, keep that same feeling every time you relevé. The less you cheat and the more you work the backs of your legs, the stronger your turnout will get!
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