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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Pirouettes and me...


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Morgan and D.Laszlo, I apologize for having totally missed your questions on this thread back in Oct. The only reason I can think of is that it might have been during our site update, when everything was a bit jumbled up for a few days. I'm so sorry.


Morgan, in terms of arabesque pirouettes, the open position turns are more difficult, especially arabesque and à la seconde, because the leg is further away from your center and you have less force and speed. In addition to really getting up very high on your supporting leg, you must also remember to turn that leg, and to really bring the opposing side of your back around and keep it coming. It just takes a lot of practice, like everything else. :wink:


D.Laszlo, your problem with double pirouettes is the fact that you are afraid of them! Seriously, when you are even a bit hesitant about something, holding back is an automatic reaction. That in itself will prevent the turn from happening because you either won't get up high enough, or take enough force, or too much and throw off your center, or tighten up and your head doesn't turn, etc., etc. Like Mr. Johnson said, above, in terms of getting a triple when you have a double, just do your single and keep going! It sounds simple, and it's not, but theoretically, it really is. If you can get up on a single with a good strong center and relevé and retiré position, then just enjoy it up there and stay up as long as you can. See if you can go past a single a little bit. Then a little more. Then when you really go for a double, don't forget the second spot! You have to get your head around quickly two times, not just once. :)

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I have had trouble with pirouette's too. I can do a solid double on both legs but the problem is I can't always do them right away the first time. One class I'l be doing great doubles and the next I can only manage a single. Any tips?

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Keep going! Seriously, it sounds as if you have to "warm up" to pirouettes in your daily work. Just concentrate on the basics of doing a balance that turns and you'll be on your way to more consistent pirouettes.


Keep pulled up and on your center throughout the turn, then at the last, pull up again, in order to finish. Pull up to go down.

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  • 2 months later...

I'm having trouble getting started on my double pirouettes. I know I should be able to do them but I tend to freak out a bit and do a singe instead. How should a double pirouette properly be executed? Also does anyone have any suggestions on how to keep myself from chickening out when trying to do a double?


I do the same thing. I over-think my doubles and either get floppy halfway through my second rotation or I land oddly. My foot in retire (I hope that's the right term) usually ends up landing in back of me instead of in front. I am working on core strength a lot and it's seemed to helped my balance a lot which made my single pirouettes cleaner, but I'm still a floppy mess when I try doubles. I don't know if maybe my balance and core strength has to do with it or it's just psychological! Hopefully one of these days I'll have the confidence to not flop about :P

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Actually, in classical pirouettes en dehors, the foot in retiré is supposed to end up closing in back. Probably your problem with finishing a double is largely psychological. The second turn and spot scares you! You are not alone. Just click around in here and you'll find a lot of people with the same problem.

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