There are many ways to describe foot positioning. Some methods involve describing the angle or position of a single foot, while others describe the positions or angles of the feet relative to each other. This will give you a basic understanding of the most common methods for describing the various positions of the feet.

The basic method is to refer to one of five basic foot positions:

1ST - Feet are together, directly under the body

2ND - Feet apart, side by side

3RD - Feet together, heel to instep

4TH - Feet apart one in front of the other

5TH - Feet together, one foot in front of the other, toe to heel

Turning Out is when the feet turn outward to an angle, so that the toes point away from each other. The angle that results between the feet is known as the degree of turnout. When the feet are held without any turnout, they are referred to as parallel.

Turnout in the Latin and Rhythm dances is recommended. The desirable amount of turnout is between a minimum of45 and and maximum of 90 degrees. Ballet dancers strive to achieve turnout through the rotation of the legs so that the knees always point to the same angle as the toes. Latin dancers, on the other hand, will allow the feet to turn out at the ankles; the knees, when bent, point straight forward (or even roll slightly inward) in spite of the turned-out angle of the feet.

The rolling of the foot toward the inside or outside edge is known as pronation and supination, respectively. It is very important to become aware of these positions, even if you don't remember their names.

The pronated position (weight on the inside edge) is used quite frequently in the Latin and Rhythm dancing. When the body weight is held over the outside edge, the foot has rolled out into a supinated position A supinated position is undesirable, and should be avoided at all times.

You'll also find that supination of the foot tends to promote a "turning in" of the feet, rather than the desired "turning out".


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