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Resource Paper: Turnout for Dancers - Supplemental Training - Page 3

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Turnout for Dancers: Supplemental Training


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  1. The next stage is to learn to recruit this deep muscle during spine action. Begin by hollowing and narrowing and then immediately roll the pelvis into posterior tilt, or full lumbar flexion. Solomon (1988) calls this movement the "undercurve.” Be aware of maintaining contact with the floor and keeping the focus of muscle action on the abdominals, rather than squeezing or pushing with the gluteus maximus. It is useful to imagine the pubic bone being drawn toward the low back just below the navel by elastic bands, or the image of a huge ice cream scooper digging out the front of the pelvis. After the spine flexion action, return the pelvis to neutral each time.

  2. When this exercise has been achieved, add the remainder of range of motion in flexion/extension. From the undercurve, go beyond neutral pelvis to the "overcurve,” a full arching of the lumbar spine, but maintaining the hollowing throughout so that the front of the pelvis does not bulge outward but there is an image of the elastic bands being pulled taut across the arch. If the breathing becomes forced or is held, sounding and vocalizing can assist in keeping the breathing natural. It should be noted that it is essential for dancers to learn hollowing in the overcurve, as this underlies so many dance movements, such as arches, arabesque, and leaps. See Figures 5-7.

Figure 5

Figure 6

Figure 7

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Page 2Page 7Page 12
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Page 4Page 9Appendix and References
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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.

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