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Pirouettes en Pointe


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I am 5'8" and completely terrified of pretty much any type of turn en pointe. Especially pirouettes. In soft shoes, I absolutely LOVE turning! It's finally started to come more easily to me. But when I go onto pointe, I freak out. I feel like a stringbean up there, turning and turning and eventually falling and falling. Help?


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  • Victoria Leigh


  • DanaD


  • Mel Johnson


  • dancazrok


This is a technique question and not a question about pointe shoes, so I am moving it to the respective forum.

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No fear!


Remember, you're only a couple of inches, tops, taller on pointe rather than demi-pointe. There's something that's triggering an anxiety reaction, and I bet you're flinching, from what you write. Remember, push down to lift up! Is the smaller platform of rotation a source of your nervousness? Push down and don't stop until it's time for the turn to end. That will help stop the falling sensation.

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I'll try that.

Yes, I think that the itsy bitsy space to hold all of my weight scares me. Maybe focusing on my center more will help take my mind off the height?

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Focusing on your center is definitely a good idea, as without that, your pirouettes don't have a prayer!

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  • 3 months later...

my teacher taight me to do a push pull pirouette.


when you start the turn you push into the ground to get up onto pointe and then you pull up for the rest of the turns. it gets you doubles sooooo easily!

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I agree with dancazrok! I'm 5'9 1/2" (and finished growing- thank goodness! :) ) and get really nervous when turning in pointe shoes, too, especially since my feet are not exactly where I want them to be arch-wise. I have a clean quad on flat, but only a double in pointe shoes, and I'm scared to go for triples. It feels like when I use the same amount of force for triples on flat, its too much for pointe. Do you use less force for turns en pointe?

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Sorry, missed that one. Yes, a bit less force is needed for pirouettes on pointe, as you are turning on a much smaller surface, which means less friction from the floor. :pinch:

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The shoes are slippery? Usually it is the floor that is slippery, unless of course you are not up on the platform of the shoe all the way. Cut the satin off of the platform if it really is the shoes.

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unfortunately these are my Gaynor Mindens.

The floor is also slippery, being a wood waxed floor. (the modern/jazz/african/pre-ballet/hiphop teacher who owns the studio says no rosin) :hyper: The most I have done is an unclean triple.

But my summer intensive has a Marley floor, so hopefully I wont be as afraid. :mondieu:

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If you have trouble with this, take it from me. I am 6 FEET TALL, yes its true. I have learned if you hold yourself, (shoulders, ARMS, <key,) and straighten the back leg, you will be able to do a triple in no time at all! I was horrified and avoided turns in my first year on pointe completely. BUT, I've now been on pointe for 3 years and I am able to do doubles as easy as pie. :mondieu:

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The floor is also slippery, being a wood waxed floor.


You ought not to be doing pointework, or even classical ballet technique on a floor like that AT ALL! :mondieu:

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