Lower leg and foot contributions to turnout in female pre-professional dancers: A 3D kinematic analysis
Journal of Sports Sciences
Taylor & Francis Group
Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)
Turnout is a central element of classical ballet which involves sustained external rotation of the lower limbs during dance movements. Lower leg and foot compensation mechanisms which are often used to increase turnout have been attributed to the high incidence of lower limb injury in dancers. Evaluation of dancers’ leg posture is needed to provide insight into the lower limb kinematic strategies used to achieve turnout. The primary purpose of this study was to use 3D kinematic analyses to determine the lower leg and foot compensations that are incorporated by female university dancers to accentuate their turnout. Active and passive external tibiofemoral rotation (TFR) was also measured. A moderate-strong negative relationship was observed between hip external rotation (HER) and foot abduction in the three first position conditions. A moderate negative relationship was found between passive TFR and foot abduction in all first position conditions. Our findings suggest dancers are more likely to pronate, than rotate the knee to compensate for limited HER. Dancers with a limited capacity to pronate may force additional rotation via the knee. Ongoing research would benefit from more in-depth analyses of the foot/ankle complex using a multi-segment foot model.