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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Pirouettes [yes, another one]


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OK, to make things brief, when I do pirouettes I can never really complete the turns I do especially when I attempt to do doubles. There was one class I had a few weeks ago where I was having a bad pirouette day and this was particularly an issue.


The interesting thing is that when I stopped turning (with the inability to complete the turn) I was still in releve and I was turned out really well. So, I didn't stop because I fell out of releve. I tried playing around with my plie and the strength of my push and I did improve.


I talked to my teacher at the end of the class and we talked about my pirouettes. We ended up talking for a while and she mentioned something very interesting. She was saying that my hips are very turned out and loose and that this might be one of the contributing factors to my problem. She pointed this out because my friend Emma is a good turner but when she does triples and so on her leg begins to turn in as she pirouettes.


I just wanted another opinion on this theory. Does the looseness of ones hips have anything to do with pirouettes? Thoughts?


And just as a note, one of my pirouette problems is that my thigh tends to drop.



Thanks in advance!


Tillie :unsure:

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One of the requirements for good pirouettes is a turned out supporting leg, so if your friend does triple turns on a turned in supporting leg...well, it is not even one pirouette, just turning on one leg a few times! As for the working thigh lowering in the turn, try to think about lifting the thigh upward with a very strong pressure of the thigh pushing backward and not so much about where the toes are pointing on the supporting leg. Once you achieve the feeling of lightness/independence in the working leg it is then time to go back to rethink the importance of the toes in the passes.

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Which leg were you talking about with your friend Emma...her standing leg or her working leg? Either way though, one should remain turned out in their pirouettes even if it means less turns for now.

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Clara, I know that you want to be helpful, but please, let the moderators handle the technical advice in this forum. You aren't wrong, but it's still a matter of the etiquette of ballet class. The teachers give the advice.

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I think that I have a similar problem--whenever I try and go for triple prouettes, I can feel the working leg swinging in and out of turnout, and teachers have commented on this several times. What muscles can I use to help maintain the turnout?

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Use the hip rotator muscles, including the glutes, to gain turnout, and support it with the lower abdominals (the belt muscles and below). The latter should be well-pulled-up and in.

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(I think this is the right place to put this as it is related to pirouettes...)


Can people who wear glasses spot properly? as I don't think I can...


Spotting for me: When I get to the bit where I need to rotate my head I rotate as I get to a blurry part of my vision (which to me is the far side of my vision) when I get to the other side after rotating my head its quite a way out so I get dizzy. If I wait to the proper end of my vision before rotating my head (the blurry bit) I get really disorientated and get dizzy anyway...

Hope it makes sense.


Any suggestions? (other than getting contact lenses?) :thumbsup:


Anne :D

Edited by PinkSpaghettiShoes
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Wait... do you wear your glasses while dancing? I know from experience that wearing glasses can definitely interfere with EVERYTHING!!

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  • Administrators

Contact lenses are essential for dancers who have to wear glasses. You cannot dance on stage in glasses, so, you should not take class in them either. Therefore, as soon as you are old enough for contacts, you need to get them, and if you are on this board, then you are old enough! :shrug:

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Just in answer to questions, my friends working leg is the one that is slightly turned in.


And sorry if I wasn't clear, but it isn't that my friend isn't turned out. She's turned out quite well, I'm just a bit more so and her hips are a little bit tighter.


Does this have any effects or is she just simply better at pirouettes right now?

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I would just concern myself with my own work right now. You can't know how another student feels just by watching them.

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Oh ok. Sorry.

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  • 4 months later...

Yesterday in class my teacher gave me a correction about my pirouettes. He told me that my working leg was turning in as I went around the second time. I couldn't figure out how to fix this. Any advice? :unsure:

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Do not release the working leg from turning out from the hip until you have done turning. Feel as if there is something pushing back on your working knee that's in part keeping the turn going.

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