Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers to close ×
Ballet Talk for Dancers

Consecutive pirouettes en dehors from fifth


Recommended Posts

I need some help with consecutive pirouettes en dehors* from fifth. I can usually do one turn without a problem, but two or more (in class we usually do 6) they just seem to get worse and worse.


I have problems in two places.


I can usually land the first turn in an okay fifth, but then I don't get enough plie to do a clean turn, so I can't land in a good fifth, and then the turns just get worse and worse because I am starting badly, then ending even more badly, and it just snowballs from there. Is there a way to “recover” the fifth position after missing it in a few turns? Or is it just gone once you have lost it?


Also my legs are very tight so I don't have a “juicy” plie and my turnout is uneven, which throws it off even more. Is it possible to do these turns successfully if you don't have a good plie to work with?


I can do clean singles from fourth and am approaching a clean double from fourth, but from fifth I just feel hopeless.


I'm not sure if these are even answerable questions, but I am definelty looking for advice and imagery on how to improve my consecutive pirouettes from fifth.



*I hope en dehor is the correct word, I still confuse en dehor and en dedans. I am talking about a piroutte that turns towards the working leg.

Link to comment
  • Administrators

Skittl, the key to the turns from 5th is the push from the FRONT foot, and then to hold the up part of the turn as long as possible and make the 5th quickly and pop right back up and around. If you stop the energy in the 5th, or drop into the plié, it's over. And of course the focus is absolutely essential. :shrug: It doesn't take a lot of force, but it does take a really good relevé, getting up all the way with a strong supporting leg, and a really good spot!

Link to comment

If you're still working on your doubles from 4th, and you can do a *few* consecutive turns from fifth, your progress sounds just about right. You're probably doing an okay job.


As with all pirouettes, I've found that alternative arm positions have helped. Arms en avant are probably the hardest to maintain correct alignment and feeling of openess in the shoulders. En haut is good.


A couple of tips I've heard from teachers: Think about opening that knee side when you turn. Lead with it. Also, try thinking of spotting with only one eye. Turns to the right, think your left eye.


Some teachers may not teach like this, but I like to favor my supporting side in the plie. So If I'm turning right, I start with my weight over to the left, so I'm releve-ing straight up every time and not starting directly in the middle. The working foot only needs to give a little sharp "push" into the retire.

Link to comment

To add to what Ms. Leigh has said, I quite often approach these pirouettes as a simple releve passe, trying to hold it as long as possible. It's just a single, so very little force is needed for the turn. I also 'underspot' a bit... that is I spot a bit less than a full turn, and that way I stop, and balance, focusing straight forward. Constant use of rotational turn-out is a great way to think of it!

Link to comment

Yup, but Skittl said she's turning towards the *working* leg. (I did the same double-take and had to reread the post a few times!!! )

Link to comment

I don't like referring to one leg as the "working leg," although everybody does it. Both of my legs are working, just one's in the air and one's holding me up. Or one's moving and one's holding me up.

Link to comment

:wink: Confusion! I *think* Skittl1321 did mean en dehors... She'll have to confirm.


Consecutive en dedans are much harder (IMO as well!). I like alternating en dehors/en dedans coming forward though.


Ironically worked on both today - consecutive from fifth and alternating en dedans/en dehors from fourth. And am supposedly doing the ones from fifth in the 'show', but only on demi. Am supposed to add 'tricks' into those but not really sure what that means!!! More confrusion! :thumbsup:

Link to comment

I meant en dehors. I am still only doing en dedans from fourth, they are much harder! I'm not sure when it came up that I might mean en dedans.

Link to comment

So this is an unrelated question to the original one. How does an en dedans piroutte from fifth work? We are taught in fourth that it comes from a plie supporting leg, with the "working" leg straightened. That you come to the retire position with your supporting leg still in plie and straighten as you begin your turn, (turning towards the supporting leg). What do you do from fifth, obviously one leg can't be straight.


(we haven't done en dedans from fifth at all yet)

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...