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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Pirouettes from fifth

Guest dance4life87

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Guest dance4life87

Heres the thing... my pirouettes from 4th are good, but then when I try and do them from 5th...tjhey aren't exactly the most beautiful turns if you know what I mean. Is there anything to help pirouettes from fifth position? I don't know why they're so bad, they just are...

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I think you may be having trouble doing pirouettes from fifth because it's tougher to come right to a well-rotated retiré from a fifth position. When I used to have trouble with them, when I first learned them, my teacher had no difficulty in diagnosing the problem. She just took a half-rotated retiré and slapped the inside of her thigh and rotated the retiré to the correct degree. I understood immediately.

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What will help is keeping the "working" leg well-rotated in the hipsocket. I hesitate to use the term "push the knee back" but maybe that's the image that will work for you. And in the meantime, don't lose the turnout on the supporting foot!

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i always find that my pirouettes from 5th (well, others too, but most noticeably from 5th) stay on balance and turned out if i just think of taking the heel of my working leg forward. it keeps me right over my axis and places my hips, spine, shoulders, and working leg with one simple thought!

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sorry to jump in, but i thought it would be easier to jump in than starting another thread on the YD16-22 with the same topic.


anyways, in rad advanced 1, there is an tendu and pirouette exercise, with double turns en dehors and en dedans from 5th. en dehors are not my most beautiful pirouettes, but are ok. but en dedans. it is horrible, i just can't push off. is there anything to help this to get better pirouettes en dedans from 5th?



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Pirouettes en dedans from fifth are distinctly un-dreamy. The big difficulty starts with the supporting leg, and maintaining the rotation and turnout thereof. You're turning into the direction of the turnout, so you can lose it very easily. Keeping the "working" leg rotated is also difficult. You don't want these to turn into character pirouettes! Not applying too much force, but allowing the turn to happen as naturally as possible should help you. There's more of a temptation here to allow the upper body to go slightly "spiral" and off-center than in the en dehors pirouettes, so enter the pirouette with everything as a unit, not one part at a time, or just loosely connected.

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I find that most of the students will not use the front foot pushing into the plié to make the en dehors turn from fifth. You need to push DOWN into that front leg so that you are using BOTH feet to push from. The tendency is to lift the heel of the front foot and take the pirouette almost totally from one foot, which of course is not nearly as strong as using two feet :) Also, the push down into that front leg will help get it to the point of rotation that Mr. Johnson was talking about.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest IrishLiLangel89

I started Pirouettes from fifth a while ago, and as you said I wasnt the best at it! My teacher did give my soem advice! But the best I think I got was practice! If you practice everyday or just alot, you will be good at it! As the saying says "Practice Makes Perfect!" I hope I helped a little! Talk to ya later!

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Guest Danceidiot12

My pirouettes from 5th, arent very good. I feel more comforted when I am in 4th. I think I am just use to it. I need lots of practice!! Well bye :)

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Guest Passion4Ballet

Same with mine, while my doubles are coming nicely in 4th and en dedans, from fifth i just can't seem to get a clean line. My working retire is always too far forward and I find it harder to push off from a smaller area. I'm just glad to know that I'm not the only one!

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Guest twinklehooves
Originally posted by IrishLiLangel89

As the saying says "Practice Makes Perfect!" I hope I helped a little! Talk to ya later!


That saying is true but this is even more true: "Practice Makes Permanent!" :(

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Guest Rachel

I'm posting this with great joy, Ms. Leigh, as I used your advice about pushing off with both feet in class today and was very successful. It's wonderful to have such clear images in one's head that work every time. Thanks!



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