Improve turnout for ballerinas, Irish step dancers and everyone alive

Most dancers crave a solid turnout.  That’s when your hips, knees and feet laterally rotate (or turn out) instead of being parallel with each other.  Every foot position in ballet is done in turnout.  What changes is how wide the stance is or where your feet are lined up in relation to each other, but the feet, knees and hips are always in turnout.  The motion should come from the lateral rotators of the hip, but not everyone is born with a natural turnout and some people really struggle to increase turnout.

To try and mask a poor turnout, people often torque their feet to make it look like they have a turnout.  This can create the appearance of turnout, but it’s fake.  And the problem is that a fake turnout weakens the ankle and foot, a problem if you are a ballerina or Irish step dancer because foot and ankle strength are vital for dancers.

So how do you actually develop a strong turnout from the hip using the proper muscles?

One simple exercise is known as the clam. 

It’s fairly easy, but be careful.  A common mistake it to move the entire pelvis, not just the leg.  Moving the leg might […]

Improve turnout for ballerinas, Irish step dancers and everyone alive2018-02-14T16:10:12-04:00

Client Corner: Pilates Powering Irish Step

Katie in her Feis dress. Katie in her Feis dress.

When Katie Dudley was five years old, her mother encouraged her to take Irish dance lessons, just as she and Katie’s grandmother had done. Initially, Katie was against the idea, until she began classes and fell in love.

When asked what finally drew her in, Katie mentioned, “There is so much I love about Irish step.  First of all, the counting can really help you with music and math.  It also improves your posture, stamina, and flexibility.  When you do Irish step dancing, your teacher can also introduce you to other styles of dance like tap, jazz, and ballet which also improve your technique.  You are also introduced to many new people and can make friendships that will last a lifetime.”

Katie’s passion for Irish Step also led her to Pilates. During a summer dance camp, which she’s attended for the past five years, Katie did Pilates for an hour each day. Recently, she began taking private lessons with Personal Euphoria in Wethersfield to continue to enhance her Irish Step.

Pilates focuses on lengthening the muscle while it is engaged and under load (eccentric contractions), which […]

Client Corner: Pilates Powering Irish Step2017-12-29T21:36:53-04:00

Does Movement Feel Good?

When was the last time you went to a fitness class and it felt good?  Hopefully, the answer is, “Yesterday, I love the way my (insert class name here) feels every week.”  I hope you thought that.  I’m with you.  I love to move.  Throw me in almost any type of class and I’m going to enjoy it.  I’m happy in motion, probably to a fault.  But even when it feels good to move, it’s not always fun.

There is a free, silliness to movement that we tend not to hold onto as we age.  It’s been drilled out of us.  I watch my friend’s kids giggling over summersaults.  They will spin in circles until they collapse in a heap.  I’m not advocating circle spinning.  The thought of doing that now makes me nauseous.  The last time a rolled down a hill (about a decade ago) I learned that it is more torture than fun in my body.  Things change.  But kids get so much joy out of motion, and half the moves are concocted, on a whim and beyond goofy looking.  They don’t care.

I saw the video of this little girl, who was clearly enjoying herself dancing to a different beat […]

Does Movement Feel Good?2017-10-25T15:49:42-04:00

Instructor’s Personal Journey: Jeannine

Like many little girls, dancing and all the pageantry associated with it fascinated me. Love of the arts and dance in particular always remained with me although I was sidetracked many times throughout life. Eventually, when I began modern dance training and continued with ballet, I realized a personal commitment to ceaseless practice created the illusion of effortless movement. Pilates was incorporated into that training. My goal was and still remains to attain freedom expressed through elegant motion achieved only through a self-imposed physical, mental and spiritual discipline acquired by practice.

Instructor’s Personal Journey: Jeannine2017-09-12T19:31:51-04:00


Everybody seems to be doing Zumba nowadays, and I wanted to see what all the hype was about, so Susan , Donna (two of Personal Euphoria’s instructors) and I went to check it out. I’d seen a video clip online that made me question the fashion sense of people who did Zumba, but I liked the music right away.

The class wasn’t quite what I expected—there was no one dressed in bright, outlandish colors; in addition to latin music, they play hip hop; and the instructor rarely talks. I was mildly disappointed about the normal wardrobe choices, but I got over that.

I was a little disappointed about the music. Latin music is a lot of fun to dance to, but hip hop just really isn’t up my alley—just personal preference. Plus in hip hop and Zumba there is this move where you stick out your chest and tail bone out and then quickly snap both in the other direction. With the force behind the move, I’m nervous I’m going injure my low back. It doesn’t feel good or right in my body. This clip somewhat show what I mean, but think of moving the […]