I grew up learning heels together, trying for hyperextension when legs were supposed to be straight, and all of those other fun things. I now teach dance and fitness to adults and encourage a turnout that is comfortable for their bodies. If you’re teaching adults then they should be doing what feels good to them, if you’re teaching children then it needs to be proper technique. Of course, we now know that ballet isn’t the most natural movement for the human body so I think it’s important to encourage your dancers to do strength training as well. I wish my teachers had encouraged me to do that when I was growing up. I am a much better dancer now that I am stronger!
On a slightly related note, I was told recently by a physical therapist to stop standing with locked knees so that my quadriceps are engaged. The constant hyperextension in my legs is taking a toll on my knees but keeping them slightly bent and foam rolling my quads, IT bands, and adductors has been helping. Hope this helps!
Hello Nicole Bonilla,
Everyone is different, as you can see. I go by the do what feels comfortable tactic and do not let the knees lock out, keep the knees soft. I agree with Desiree Nathanson that dancing does not lend itself to natural positions, so it is imperative that dancers work on strength.
Keep up the good work of striving for consistency.
Natalie aka NAPS 2 B Fit.