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Arabesque Turns


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In my ballet class we have started doing arabesque turns. My teacher says not to spot, but to look past your fingers (with the arms in first arabesque). For some reason I can't get around without spotting. Are there any tricks?


Thanks! :D

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Keep the arabesque high and the arms well-positioned in first arabesque. You will be turning just fast enough to make it look like something, and yet not so fast as to require a spot.

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is it ok to spot as well though, in other methods? i sort of spot, not the same way as in regular pirouettes, but a little bit. hopefully that is acceptable too?

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One needs a focus in all turns. You have to know where the turn will end. The difference with open position turns is that you are not turning fast enough to actually spot, however, you can manage to keep your focus front enough to know where to end the turn. When you start into it, you have to know exactly where you are going, as with any turn.

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Guest waterwerty

What helps me most when i do turns is to press away my shoulder and arm that im turning in to. Also getting a good push off always helps.

Good luck! :D

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I am taught to always spot where you wish to finish, even in pirouettes in open positions. Is this correct also or should the slow speed of the turn prevent any spotting?

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There are different schools of thought on spotting in turns in big poses/grand pirouettes. A turn will have a different look and feel if it is not spotted. The turn will tend to be slower. In Vaganova training, the general rule is that if a student is executing a turn, single, double, triple, etc. from one plie/releve, then the head is left in the pose. This means that the design of the turn must be seen, including the focus, throughout the turn. When more than one plie/releve is used then the head does spot front.


There are different helping suggestions for each turn in various poses. All tours in big poses beginning in 4th position require a somewhat larger 4th than for pirouettes. Tour in 1st arabesque is a tour that goes en dedans therefore all of the rules of turning en dedans apply. For 1st arabesque in particular, the working shoulder must come forward immediately, to point 3 (when turning to the right) and the working leg must strongly battement to point 7 to 90 degrees. It is very important that the supporting shoulder goes back as the supporting arm extends forward with an energetic movement, providing the force (as if cutting the air as the whole tour follows it). The working arm balances the pose in arabesque with the supporting arm guiding the turn as the head/eyes looking out beyond the fingers of the supporting arm.


Also, as in all turning movements en dedans, the supporting heel must strongly spring upward and forward in coordination with the working heel that pushes the working leg to arabesque.

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Guest izzydance

when i do arabesque turns and attitude turns i just turn with enough force that i don't need to spot. it just seems that i don't even think about spotting or doing anything with my head. but i think i might spot a little but our teacher tells us when we do pramanades in attitude to always try to keep eye contact with the audiance.

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I don't really think it's possible in a promenade to keep "eye contact with the audience", nor do I think that that is something you really want to do. Turn your head in the direction of the promenade in attitude. In arabesque, you look staight ahead, out over your front arm.

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