It's very common for young dancers to over-rotate their feet in first position. The first suggestion I have is to simply not turn out so far. The dancer should be able to stand in first position with equal weight between the pads of the big toe, little toe and heel. Otherwise she will create a twisting motion at the knees and ankles, which will leave her vulnerable to injuries.
The iliopsoas (psoas for short) is the primary muscle that lifts the legs above 90 degrees to the front and side. The iliopsoas is a hip flexor that works with the quads to begin lifting the leg before taking over above the 90-degree point.
Great question! The common alignment pattern for young children is to stand with their bellies poofed out in a swayback posture. In that position, the hip flexors are in the shortened position, and the hip extensors are in an elongated position.
I would like information on how to manage tibial torsion for a dancer who has been "duck-footed" since birth. For years teachers told me I needed to strengthen my lower-leg muscles to make them align, but this just forced my feet to roll to the outside or put pressure on my knees. What should I do?
I put dancing aside for two years, but now I'm back and ready to work hard. The only problem is that I get really nauseated in class when turning. This was never an issue before I stopped. Do you know what the problem could be?
During seated stretches, I encourage my students to sit straight on their sits bones and then fold forward at the hips—even if they don't go forward very far. One student tells me that if she sits as I instruct, she can't reach forward at all. Why?