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Ballet Talk for Dancers

very inconsistant turning


balletboyrhys

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Hey guys, I had a question for you. I've never been a great turner, 4 or 5 pirouettes at best. But it seems that my turns are very inconsistant. And it's not just that i'm having a good day or a bad day, its like one minute i can do 5 then the next i can barely do a double. i have pretty long hyperextended legs and tend to be best at adagio. it's really frustrating though. does this happen to anyone else? any advice?

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When you get done doing 4 or 5 pirouettes, stop and think to yourself: How did I just do that. Try to remeber the feeling, and why it feels different from other times. I had the same problem with the consisenty in my turns, I would do the same thing, one minute I would do 5, next 2. It just takes time to build up and you must work on it all the time. Its the same idea with double tours, when we first started learning tours it took some time to get the hang of them. Before you know it you can do them easy. Hope this helps.

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Another thing to ask yourself is: Is your hyperextension under control? In other words, when you relevé, is the knee straight or BEYOND straight, into a swayback position? Or can you not tell?

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Another thing to ask yourself is:  Is your hyperextension under control?  In other words, when you relevé, is the knee straight or BEYOND straight, into a swayback position?  Or can you not tell?

i usually cant tell. i know that it's really difficult for me to feel up on my leg. but when i am i can balance forever. everyone tells me my legs look so good and everything but i often just wish they were normal and somewhat functional. i guess im pretty severely hyperextended; i can stand with my feet about a foot and a half apart and lock my knees and have them touch. it's really annoying sometimes. which brings me to another question. when standing in first should i make my heels touch or allow room for my hyperextension?

Rhys

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It depends on your teacher. I generally allow a small gap, no greater than a hand's breadth, between feet in first, for hyperextended dancers. Some of my colleagues want the heels together, period! It's tough on the hyperextended dancer, because they have to know where straight is before the joint moves full travel, and then how to hold it there!

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yeah. alot of things have been alot harder on me. penche's especially, its really easy to fall back on your hyperextension and not be over your leg at all which throws all your weight backwards and makes the penche almost impossible to recover. i guess it's just another thing to learn to work with. it's funny because i see hyperextended legs on other dancers and think about how nice they look, but on me i hate them because they get in the way so much.

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Core strength is critical for turns. Pilates and crunches will help immensely. How long can you stay in passe' relever? I notice hyper-flexible people adjust more even en relever.

 

I'd give a vital organ to do 4-5 piroettes. Not hat I'm selling.

 

MJ

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How judgments are relative—4 or 5 pirouettes at best—sounds terrific to me, even if only done occasionally.

 

A much more modest turner, for years I had difficulty with consistence in turning. I would turn fine to the right and horribly to the left on some days, and then just the opposite the next day. The only predictable aspect of my turning was that it would be inconsistent. The only “rule” I seemed to have was that once I started having problems with a specific turn, it would never improve that day. Rather than frustrate myself, I just learned to stop trying for the day.

 

I tried working on all my technical deficiencies (I knew them well), but quite honestly that didn’t seem to help much. I think it just created tension, which just exacerbated my technical deficiencies.

 

Over the years my consistency improved quite a bit. Why, I am not sure, but I think there are two possibilities. One is just time. Time is magic. With consistent work you just get better over time. It is as simple as that. The other is that I stopped trying so much to improve. I’d watch professionals goof up their turns and some how that made me feel better (we all have our troubles). I assumed I’d forever be inconsistent, so stopped trying so hard. Trying is very much a mental activity, and if there is one thing I’ve learned in dance, it’s that often it is best to just turn off the mind and let your kinesthetic intelligence take over.

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