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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Pirouette trouble


Laschwen

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OK, I am finally getting up on my turning leg pretty well and keeping my retire leg up most of the time too, but I am only getting halfway around a single before slowing down and stopping by 3/4 of the way around.

This is not when I am having stick to the floor trouble either.

 

What part of me needs to push harder to go faster and get around?

 

laschwen

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Plié. :)

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I wanted also to say head/spotting! This is the last "kick" you need to get around fully.

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Thanks. I will try both in class next week; or maybe in the kitchen before then.....

 

Laschwen

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Hi. Talkative newbie here :lol:

 

I have the same problem too Laschwen. I've been practicing doing pirouttes with my hands on my shoulders (like the little kids do for shanay turns) so that more of my force comes from the plie, core , and pushing off the foot from the floor... otherwise I tend to "wind up" too much with my arms to get the turning force.

 

Trying to stretch and loosen my neck seems to help too.

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If it is my neck and spotting I may be in trouble. I was in a few car accidents way back in the 80's (driving in one) and probably still have some reduced range of motion there. I know it takes a lot to get it warmed up and always feels better after ballet than before, but as I have had the same Chiropractor for years now, I have not had range of motion measuring done.

Of course I only heard that my head was supposed to arrive in front before the rest of me in pirouette a couple of summers ago. I have un-learning going on there from previous incorrect learning. Actually I am really trying to learn like I never did it in my youth.

I have to be careful with the arms winding up and throwing me across the room too...long arms. I think that is all I used to get around as a kid...wrong.

 

Laschwen

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While the arms are an important part of turning, they do not motivate the movement. The torso/back muscles and the push from the plié motivate the movement. The arms are more for proper support in holding everything together than for any part of creating the turn.

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The secret to spotting is to just relax the neck muscles and don't wait too long to snap the head around. I don't know why everyone is taught spotting incorrectly--I have to correct every student I get no matter who taught them first. Grrr!

I was taught wrong too as a child.

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That is what was taught, Mazenderan, but it really doesn't work. The head needs to start spotting much quicker than that.

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I see. So maybe after the body has turned about an eighth? *scratches head* I never attended class as a child, so I can't really spot at all. I've been trying recently, but I don't want to do it the wrong way.

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Never measured it, sorry! :grinning: I don't really think about leaving it at all, actually. It starts as soon as the turn starts.

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There is a lovely tip I hadn't heard before either. No wonder I get dizzy despite past best efforts to spot.

Thank You so much.

 

Laschwen

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One my jazz teachers actually gave me the best description on spotting.

 

I always tried to leave my head to the last possible moment.. straining to look at a spot from the corner of one eye until I can't resist anymore. Which bothered me because I wear glasses mostly and was anxious that I was turning to soon because I miss out on some peripheral vision.

 

He said you have to spot with both eyes, you must be able to see both eyes on the mirror, then turn.

 

Anyways, I've been doing ballet for about 7 years, and each time I come back after not dancing for a while, my pirouttes were better! And I think it's because I stop thinking about the right way to do it when I first get back, so I don't tense so much. Lately, I think it's improving because my posture is improving, and I'm more aware of muscles in my chest and shoulders.

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