Recently a reader sent me an email with some questions about how to increase her turnout when she is en releve. This is especially important for pirouettes, because if you are turned in at the top of your thighs when you attempt to turn, your weight is thrown back into your hips and knees and you simply won't turn - or at least not properly.
So here is an exercise I use to help students with sautes. It works well for turnout too.
--Stand facing the barre (or a chair) in first position.
--Take your demi-plie, knees over the toes, then stretch back to standing position, thinking about the muscles in the back of the thighs helping you lift, and the muscles at the top of the inner thighs helping to close.
--Eleve (lift the heels to a rise), maintaining that exact position.
--Do this a few times and then practice going directly from demi-plie to the rise (releve).
The important thing to remember is to work your turnout from the top of the inner legs and imagine, if you can, that the smallest muscles under your derriere are the ones turning your legs out not your quads.
I'll be putting up some new videos soon - hopefully one before Thanksgiving, if I can get my editor in gear!