Resource Papers and Fact Sheets
Turnout for Dancers: Supplemental Training
- The same action can be done with a slight variation. Start with both legs to one side. Move the top leg to the opposite side like a clam opening and, when it has gone to its full range, bring the other leg across to meet it, like the clam closing. Go side to side with this action of one leg initiating, the second leg following. Observe that the legs will be in the fully open diamond position when the pelvis is centered. Once again, using the image of a weighted sacrum, establish a neutral pelvis. Finish the process back in neutral parallel stance, knees flexed to the ceiling, feet on the floor. This position is called "hook lying.” See Figures 1-4.
- Now imagine a narrowing of the waist and a sinking or hollowing in the front of the pelvis. This is the action of the deepest abdominal muscle, the transverse abdominis (TA). There will be a subtle sensation of the waist and front of the body drawing or collecting inward. This muscle does not significantly flex or extend the spine so the drawing action should be accomplished without visible movement of the pelvis. There is some disagreement currently as to whether it is best to exhale or inhale on the hollowing and narrowing action. Probably the best advice is to make sure that you are continuing to breathe and not holding the breath, and that the breathing is natural and not forced. Eventually, while dancing, the TA must be recruited during the full cycle of inhaling and exhaling, and hence should be learned in whatever pattern is easiest for the dancer, and then attempted throughout the cycle.
This paper may be reproduced in its entirety for educational purposes, provided acknowledgement is given to the "International Association for Dance Medicine and Science."
Copyright © 2011 IADMS, Virginia Wilmerding, Ph.D., and Donna Krasnow, M.S.