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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Pirouettes a' la Seconde


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No, not a bad thing at all; you're progressing rapidly, which is a good thing. When you get to the point where you can do a sustained series of these things, the most usual practice is just to pull the extended foot into retiré and do a standard pirouette (actually several of them) en dehors to finish.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest abcdance37

Your teacher is right by starting you off with teh hops, but once you get that down start doing like 3 hops and then a full rotaion turn on rele've. It is easyer to do these turn if you leg is at 90 and no lower or higher. This way you weight in right on center. For my arms i go from second and first, after you figure that out then try it with just the leg and you really beable to whip your turns around. :wub::):clapping::wink:


Make sure to spot and point your foot and also keep you working leg straight and supporting leg turned out

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  • 2 months later...
Guest Bryan Lawrence
You start easy ... proceeding from quarter-turns to half-turns, to an entire revolution, just as you may have first learned regular pirouettes en dehors.  The odd thing, once you've learned how to do them, is that as you increase their speed, a sort of gyroscope effect takes place, and the turn gets easier!


Last night, I had two chances to practice, once at the barre, then a bit later in the center. I got the qyroscope thing going, with turns from 1/2 to 3/4 of the way around. Since I was just going until it seemed like I needed another boost, the amount of turn varied. Is that a bad thing? It was quite strange finding my spot and then realizing what direction I was facing. :)


Next question: once you get going, what's the elegant way to stop? :blink:


(gee, isn't discussing technique more fun than talking about tights and shoes? :shrug: Thanks to Mel, Lampwick, and dancer Steven)


Before we get on to how to stop, could I just make a few suggestions? When doing turns in second, whether you are hopping or releveing be very conscious of where your weight is when you are in the fondu. Every time you come down from the releve, feel that your hips are directly over the centre of your foot. In fact feel that your weight is more towards your toes. Try doing one turn and finishing on balance. That is where your weight should be every time. At the same time, ensure that your shoulders are level. Think of controlling your original posture so that your upper body doesn't alter. Any change of position will alter where your weight is. The common fault is to fall backwards. To help correct this, keep your ribs in; don't let them pop forward, but keep your upper chest in a forward position and well lifted. In the effort to stretch upwards don't pull back. Keep in the forward feeling position. I hope this helps.

As for stopping, this turn is usually finished with a pull in pirouette but that's another story! It can be finished in a lunge with the raised leg dropping to the floor behind.

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  • 8 months later...

Knock, Knock...

ABT has a good video clip about grande pirouettes a la seconde at their ballet dictionary http://www.abt.org/education/dictionary/index.html . Even though I am a girl, I took a class over the summer where we had to do them and I learned that keeping a good releve/ plie and keeping your leg a la seconde all the time helps. We tried it from second and fourth and I found preparing in second to be easier. I hope some of this helped.

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Just wanted to add that what helped my male student to improve his pirouettes in second was working on promenades (pivots) in second as part of adage. It really strengthened his ability to hold the leg in position.

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Yes, that is true. However, now I must point out that this is the Men's Forum, so if the ladies will be so gracious as to excuse us....

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  • 12 years later...

I realize this is an old thread, but I am also working on these turns - mostly on my own, as I take regular adult classes but not men's classes. I can do the hopping turns, but would like to be able to do consistent turns, one revolution per releve. I have been working on promenades, but not sure if I should hold second position the whole time, or start with the working leg devant with the plie, open to second, and do quarter or half turns that way. I see that done at the barre in instructional videos, but not center. Or, is it better to start with hopping turns, and gradually reduce  the hops until I get to full turns? Another way could be start from second or fourth with a proper preparation, and try turns on full releve, and fail over and over until they eventually happen? Last question - would it help learning full turns with a lower working leg, and then gradually work up to 90 degrees, or better to hold 90 degrees all the time? I have tried a few men's classes in my area, but they have been for beginning teens and did not introduce these turns or tours.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Better to work on a nice plié holding the leg in seconde, and start off by doing "plié, turn, plié, turn". At first, try 1/4 then 1/2, etc.

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