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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Double Pirouettes


jchengz

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Dear All,

 

I am trying a double pirouette but i am only able to do 1 1/4 and there seems to be no more momentum. My single pirouette is quite decent but sometimes when I land, I tend to hop into it.

 

Can someone help me please? :yucky:

 

Thanks!!!

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You can do a single? Fine. Then do the 1¼, then do 1½, then, if you have to, 1¾ (which is actually difficult), and then it's only one more quarter-turn and you've got a double! :yucky:

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The key to being ready for a double is being able to still be UP at the end of a single, and then control getting off of it. :yucky: Add a little bit more momentum on the impetus into the turn, spot twice, and there you are. The hard part is controlling the end of it!

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Before I did doubles I did singles and then 1 and 1/2 turn and when I did the singles I tried to stay after one turn standing there on one leg the other one in passé and then landing (this moment of a break between the finished turn and the landing was the clue about it) It helped me (although I could never really stand there, I am still practising) but I got the feeling for keeping the balance.

Also spotting helped me a lot. I always thought that spotting wouldn't help me that much until I did it properly. Somewhere I have heard that one should say a word to spot ( like An -na (Pavolova)) and this was also really helpful.

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Hi All,

 

Thank you so much!! My dancemate told me that I have a tendency to jump into my retire releves but I turn. Is it supposed to a no-no? I should be rising into the retire releve to initiate the turn instead of jumping into it to turn?

 

:yucky:

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No, you do not "jump" into a pirouette! A relevé can be a roll through or a slight spring up, but it is still not a jump.

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Doing the slight spring up is not wrong, as in a sous-sous. But as Ms. Leigh said, it is not a jump. Some teachers insist on a smooth releve with no spring. But I permit whichever one the student is more successful at.

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Hi...Regarding spotting your double, it helps to think of the second spot of the double as the stronger of the two. spot, SPOT! :blink:

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Very true, Gina! Too often people make the first spot and then just let the second one go. The same will happen when they are trying to do 3 pirouettes. They will spot twice and let the third go. It doesn't work.

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One of my RAD teachers told me that for multiple pirouettes, the first should be faster then the following ones. I should not attempt to have the same speed for the first turn and the second, rather I should have a lot more speed during the first term and slow down during the second. This would help not to hop into it.

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I have noticed this when I see pros doing multiple pirouttes like six or seven turns that they start fast and become slower to the end and before they go down in plié they stop a second standing there in passé. :D

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I often think there is more of a barrier in the mind than a lack of physical momentum that prevents doing a double turn. About a third or half the time I can do a good double pirouette, and it's always linked to being in a confident mood. (Usually at home in the kitchen rather than in class, unfortunately.....)

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Well, in general, once you start turning you are at the mercy of inertia and friction, so you are going to slow down with each degree of turning. But spotting does change one’s center of gravity slightly and momentum is conserved when the head is left behind and released as it goes ahead of the body, so spotting does slightly increase one’s speed of turning. It is probably just a little, but is still an increase.

 

All of which, in my opinion, emphasizes the importance of what Gina and Victoria said. In my own development, emphasizing that last spot, did seem to help me (at least I believe it did). Whether it did that much or not, it gave me the feeling of a strong second turn and a feeling that I was using my spot to literally make the turn, so I am a big believer in the concept.

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There's one teacher I know who has students focus only the trailing eye in pirouette. If you're turning right en dehors, you use the left eye in the spot more. She has students cover the right eye first and then practice without the eye closed, but keeping the same idea. It didn't really give me miraculous results, but it must work for some people...

 

At the very least, it gets you thinking about the importance of the eyes.

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Yes, lampwick...the importance of the eyes. The method you describe is new to me... interesting. One thing is for certain...don't look at the floor when you turn! Eyes should be focused on the horizon over the bridge of the nose. Perhaps other teachers might have a different way of describing eye level, but this one comes from one of my teachers, Maria Vegh. I think it is a good image...

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