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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Free-er Spotting


Guest ballet princess

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Guest ballet princess

Hello everyone :D

I have been struggling with my multiple pirouettes recently which is strange because I used to be able to do rather consistent triples! The problem was that I was often pulling my weight backwards. I have managed to improve that but my teacher thinks the problem is in my spotting. She says my form for the pirouette is very clean and therefore I should be able to do as many turns as I would like, but my spotting is preventing that. She said that my neck/head is tense and I need to allow myself to have free-er spotting. I'm not sure how to do that though! Is there anything I can do to help me loosen up a bit?

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Guest dancinsweetie

There is a girl at my ballet studio who has this same problem. What my teacher tells her to do is picture someone gently relaxing the muscles in her neck as she turns. She also tells her to breath out when she turns. When she uses the advise she turns much better. Maybe this will work for you too.

I hope this helps!

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The exhale on the turn is a very good suggestion. I use this and it does help, although some students seem to be able to immediately inhale and hold their breath and tense up the neck again. If you take the breath in immediately before the pirouette, and exhale as you go into into, and just let the head go, let it turn, this will work. Try smiling too. It's very hard to grip and tense the muscles of the face and neck when you are busy exhaling and smiling :grinning:

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I've been having trouble with throwing my weight back a lot too, and, even though my spot could be better, one of the things that was really throwing me off was my arms. I move them too far behind me as I start my turn, and that pulls me back. We've been learning Kitri's Act 1 variation with 18 pirouettes from 5th. My teacher gave me a specific place (the pianist, in this one instance) to reach with my right hand, while doing the turns on the left, so it's opposite hand from lifted leg. As soon as I moved my reach a little farther in front of me, I was good!

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I have trouble with this too, and there is one thing that seems to help me but im not sure if its good. Im always tense, but when i drop my chin slightly in turns or anything else it seems to relax my neck and face muscles a lot. Is that something i should do?

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Not as a rule. Of course, if your head were so lifted that it were tipped backward and your chin above level, then fine, bring the head to straight, level and front.

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Guest ballet princess

Hello again!

I tried your advice in my last ballet class and it worked! I really focused on breathing out and before it was my turn to go across the floor I did some head isolations to loosen me up. I was able to do a fairly clean double, so yay! It looks like I'm on the way to triples. B)

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Sometimes I have trouble with my multiple pirouettes because i don't maintain a consistent spot. My teacher says to keep doing a sharp spot even after doing 2 or 3 revolutions... sometimes you can crank out one or two more turns by doing this!! B) Just don't give up on those multiples...determination is key! :thumbsup:

Edited by TeenyBallerinee
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Guest starrdancer

It helps for me to imagine the back of my neck lengthing up into my head in down my spine. It is hard to tense your neck when it is lengthened like that, But, some people tuck their chin when they do that. Well... it works for me! :wink:

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