Femoral Anteversion and Turnout / Irish Dance

Femoral Anteversion and the effects it has on your turnouts for Irish dancing… is this you?

As promised in my previous blog http://irishdancingphysicalfitness.ie/glutes/ 😀

So… what is turnout? 

Turnout is a term used in Irish dancing to describe the position of the legs, in which the lateral rotation of both legs causes a dancer’s toes to point outward. This may seem like a simple task on paper but for a high percentage of Irish dancer’s this can be a challenge. You may recognize some dancers executing turnout from the knees and ankles, but know that this is not proper, safe or healthy technique. Correct turnout is created by outward rotation of the hip, the knee joint, tibia and the ankle. Keep reading to find out more.

A possible turnout limitation – is this you?

For some dancer’s, creating turnout may be more difficult than others. Why?

Flexibility…. possibly…

Poor strength levels… possibly…

BUT… what if you were born with femoral anteversion?



Now, you are probably thinking what is this? Let me explain.

Normal or ideal turnout is identified as 180 degrees outward rotation. Some children may not have normal hip rotation and may be born with femoral anteversion meaning that they may walk or stand with their knees turned inward and facing each other.

So when a person with femoral anteversion tries to correct their turnout by rotating the knees outward, they will only have a limited amount of hip rotation, allowing them to correct femoral anteversion to normal hip rotation meaning that they will be left with a limited amount of hip rotation to complete ideal turnout for Irish dancing.

If you think this is you, don’t panic! Just get in contact with me and I will be happy to help you! Does this mean you have to give up dancing.. not at all! Does this mean you will never be able to improve your turnout.. not at all! We just need to train each individual’s hips specifically.

If this is not you, don’t think you got an out of jail card. There are many individual differences in the human body, there are many different possibilities in optimizing turnout and there are many other areas which you as a dancer need to focus on to improve your turnout including pelvic alignment, muscle balance and core support.

If you need my help, do not hesitate to contact me! I am always happy to help.


Thank you for reading!

If you enjoyed reading this post, then please check out my next blog later this week!

By Peter O’ Grady

Author of ‘Upping Your Step’. A training book for Irish dance.

Irish Dancing Physical Fitness

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Upping Your Step Book




5 thoughts on “Femoral Anteversion and Turnout / Irish Dance”

  1. Hello, my son has femoral ante version and it is causing him much difficulty playing tag and sports with his friends. There does not seem to be much out there to help. Could you please give me some advice. Is Irish dancing something that could help with this? Is there a centre in Dublin for Irish dancing with lots of boys? Thank you, worried mum.

    1. Irish Dancing Physical Fitness

      Hi Olivia,

      Thank you for your message.

      Irish Dancing is great for all kids and has many benefits. There are many schools in Dublin, if you need help finding one let me know. Like all sports and activities, you need to make sure your body is conditioned for the specific sport which you take part in. Have you had your son as and diagnosed in the past? If yes, can you give me more information. You can private message me via our Facebook page or email. Regards Peter

  2. The #1 comment my daughter sees from adjudicators is turn out. Or heels in… Same thing I guess. She is working hard but as her feet naturally turn in the struggle is constant. She didn’t start Irish dance until she was 10, so I think this is a difficult correction for her to make. Any suggestions?

    1. Irish Dancing Physical Fitness

      Hi Roxanne, Thank you for your comments. Turnout starts from your hips. If you do not have strength from the hip, then this can instantly affect turnout causing restrictions and limitations. My advice for your daughter is to strengthen her hips and glutes. Obviously there are many different reasons for turnout restrictions but without assessing its hard to know what the real issue might be. But you cannot go wrong by strengthing your hips and glutes 😀

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