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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Balance from turn

Jaana Heino

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Today I noticed a funny thing in class, namely that my balance in retiré and in fifth (on demi-pointe) were better if I came to that position from a turn than it was if I just relevéd there. The turns in question where a pique half-turn into retiré and a 360 degrees soutenu, respectively.


I tried to observe, but I didn't figure out what could cause this. Any ideas? I don't have any particular direction into which I lose my balance when it goes, but it's left, right, front, back, varyingly. Usually it's just abs and supporting hip giving in (lack of strength). Occasionally, though, I have a tendency to lean back when tired.


I'm generally a very bad turner, and I can't yet do a constantly solid single pirouette on demi-pointe; I'm closing to it, but about third of them still go horribly wrong and only one or two in ten end up actually good. For some reason, I am better en dedans than en dehors, though most people say they're otherwise (possibly because we do en dehors more...)

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Here's where "the flow of movement" comes in. You are being helped on your balances by pulling straight up for the turn, and you keep being pulled up in the balance! After awhile, you'll find that this "flow" will help you all through the class, as one step assists you in getting to the next.

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