To compare the cross-sectional area (CSA) of hip external rotators, obturator externus (OE) and obturator internus (OI), in ballet dancers and nondancing athletes, and evaluate the relationship between obturator muscle size and hip pain.Case-control study.Elite ballet and sport.33 male and female professional ballet dancers and 33 age and sex-matched athletes.CSA's of OE and OI measured on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of one hip. Hip pain was scored with the Copenhagen Hip and Groin Outcome Score (HAGOS): HAGOS pain score of 100 was defined as no pain and a score less than 100 was defined as pain. Participants weight and height.Estimated marginal mean CSA of OE was 14% larger in dancers than athletes (p = 0.01, ηp2 = 0.1); the size of OI was similar (p > 0.05). Men and women in both groups had similar sized OI and OE. There was no interaction between the estimated marginal mean CSA of either obturator and hip pain.It appears that ballet selectively increases muscle size of OE, but not OI. Obturator size was not related to mild hip pain, as OE and OI size was similar in dancers and athletes with and without pain.