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Turns from fifth


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Does anyone have any tips for executing turns from fifth, particularly at the barre? My pirouettes from fourth have gotten better and somewhat respectable, but turning from fifth feels really awkward. I suppose practice would help, but if anyone has any tips, visualizations, whatever, I'd love to hear them.

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My advice....don't do them! They're unnecessary if you ask me!! Although I know you won't have a choice in class!


I used to use the barre to help push me round when I turned and then when I stopped I would grab it and lift up (I had to stop on demi-pointe in a retire though). Hated hated hated them!

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All you're doing when you do a pirouette from fifth is a passé retiré that turns. Don't twist the upper body, and don't try to kill it, just turn! And you are 100% correct; practice will help!

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All you're doing when you do a pirouette from fifth is a passé retiré that turns. Don't twist the upper body, and don't try to kill it, just turn! And you are 100% correct; practice will help!


LOL pn the practice tip!


You almost have to pretend the barre isn't there. Open your arm in the direction you're going to turn -don't try to just close in the opposite arm.


My teacher this year did multitudinous pirouettes from fifth both at the barre and in the center. In the end, I just had to pretend there wasn't a barre there and get on with it.





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The most common fault in turns from 5th is not using the front foot to push into the demi plié before the turn. If your weight is in the back foot, there is nothing to push from to initiate the relevé and the turn.

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Turns from fifth are my least favorite as well. My teacher tells us several things:



~Don't think of it as a turn, think of it as a balance.


~Use your plie, begin with your weight centered over both feet and make sure to push off with both feet, INCLUDING the working foot!


~Use your turnout to open-open-open the working knee, providing turning impetus.


~Hold your shoulders and hips square and strong (so the turning force has something to work against)


~Keep the energy of your arms reaching out and rounded, with the working arm trying to "catch" the leading arm

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Let's take the barre out of it for a second. Can you do a nice plié rélevé retiré from 5th?? Can you hold your rotation and balance there? Pirouettes from 4th are easy to cheat on and therefore, are easier to do! Start by working on your plié rélevé retiré from 5th, and be sure you are lifted off, rotated, and in alignment (Gee...I seem to repeating myself on that one, eh?? :) ).


When you feel stronger doing that, then try just 1/4 turns from 5th in centre. When you feel strong doing that, try 1/2 turns. Then, try whole rotations or more!! Now, it should be better at the barre too.

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Thank you for all the replies. I've got some basis to work from now based on what you've all shared with me. I really haven't done many turns from fifth at all, and I feel like now I know what I need to work on to build up to them.


Clara 76 - here I was thinking I had made some progress on those pirouettes from fourth and now I hear that they're easier to cheat on. Bummer! :):dry: I'm just kidding - I know I havemade progress and still have a ways to go.

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Oh dear....I didn't mean to take anything away from you.... :)


By all means, congratulate yourself on any and all improvements!! Just recognize that you'll never ever, ever, hit perfection in ballet. Ballet is a journey- not a destination! :dry:

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And at the barre - don't forget to let go! We often hold on (for dear life)... much longer than we should!

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And to add to what ami1436 just mentioned, don't take hold of the barre too soon at the completion of your pirouette!

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  • 2 years later...

Can anyone add anything to this?? I am hating pirouettes from 5th at the barre (slightly less in the center). I just can't figure out where to gather the torque from. I can manage a single, although not a very clean one. Today the teacher wanted us to do doubles from 5th at the barre. I can't even fathom getting enough spin to accomplish this from 5th. From 4th I've got it figured out, but here I am at a loss. Can anyone clearly describe where the spin truly gets its power in this? :)

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