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Double Pirouettes


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So this week in two separate classes, two different teachers told me I can do a double pirouette and to try one. I tried, but I don't even know where to start. I mean physically I know you just stay up and find the spot again. I think I'm scared of the second pirouette or maybe I'm syking myself out. Should I start off trying one and a quarter and then one and a half until I can build up to the double?

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Go for the double. Breaking the movement apart at this point will not teach you how to do a double. You need to learn how much force is the right recipe. Deepen your demi plie, stretching your arms, lowering your shoulder blades downward, knees open over your toes and GO...in one coordinated movement upward, push the working knee back, resist the turn of the supporting heel and gather your arms together as you use the force of the upper back to guide you around! Go for it! :thumbsup: Spot, spot, finish. You need to establish a rhythum.

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What helped me with turning doubles is saying words when spotting (just in my mind) like An-na or so eacht time your fling your head around. This helps to keep rythme. Or you can think of someone who has to take a photo of your face!

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What helped me with turning doubles is saying words when spotting (just in my mind) like An-na or so eacht time your fling your head around. This helps to keep rythme. Or you can think of someone who has to take a photo of your face!


Thanks for this tip! I've been having trouble myself and was going nuts trying to figure out how to remember to whip my head more quickly!! Saying words - what a great idea!!

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Yes, VRS has given expert advice!


The other thing that I find is that it helps to just enjoy the sense of turning. Might you have opportunities to just let yourself go into the movement, without worrying too much about precision, but just to get the feel of going around twice so it's not scary or alien? That's what I try to remember, and then I know I'm ready to focus on correcting technical details.


I find I need to keep remembering the idea of turning when I'm doing fouetté turns, because I get so hung up on the preparation. So I try to do one or two in the corner as practice where I focus just on the whipping & turning. Then I get analytical and technical.


This suggestion may horrify teacher experts, as I seem to be recommending throwing out technique! I don't think I am, just suggesting that for adult dancers maybe a certain sort of fear or timidity, and certainly over-analysis can sometimes inhibit us. We want to perfect straight away because we understand intellectually what we need to do.


So sometimes we need to "play" a little bit with movement, more like the 12 year old child who mucks around playing at pirouettes in between her/his formal classes. I try to remember and experience the fun and exhilaration of the turning movement. And you'll find, if you go for it, you really don't need much extra force to go round twice.

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  • 1 month later...

So 2 weeks ago I was in class going across the floor. The teacher zeroed in on me and when it was time to turn, she actually said "and turn ....turn". I actually did a double. I was so confused and exicted that I completely forgot the rest of the combination. I did another one in class that day. Sadly, I haven't been able to do another one since then, but I know that it can be done. I just need to focus, find my spot, and go for it. I also have to remember that they won't come consistently to me in the beginning. It took a while for me to get a really good consistent single and it will take a while to get a really good consistent double.


At least now I'm trying. Before the teacher focused on me, I was content to do my singles.

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  • 2 weeks later...
... and it will take a while to get a really good consistent double. ...

I got my first clean double about 18 months ago. I'm still waiting for the second one!


They will come eventually, I think. I'm no longer afraid to try anyhow. Pique turns took a long time; the mantra that worked for me was "look...turn...look...turn..." Now the correction I get is just to get higher on the supporting foot, and stay there longer.

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Yes, I did one once, too. I just kept on turning without trying or without realising it, and did a clean double. Never again, though! Interesting, isn't it, what's going on?



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YAY! I did one today - actually two!! And almost a triple (but got scared partway through and fell out of that one). The obs by my regular teacher that I was jutting my chin forward was right on the money - I made sure to try to keep my head back. What a difference!

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Pirouettes are my biggest hurdle, God knows why.

I haven't danced in years, but at the time my teacher told me to pull up with my upper body, and push down to the floor through my legs (my pb was that I would lose balance.) That helped.

Also, to stop yourself, keeping your hips open is supposed to help.

To get momentum, deepening your plie helps, as well as whipping your head.

Finally - & this opinion is split but it worked for me - I was told to cheat a little & only bring up my leg after I'm about 1/2 way around the first time. I had a teacher say not to do this, & one say to do it, because he said that when you watch professional dancers in slow motion most do that. Given that fact & the fact that he is a GREAT dancer, I felt ok doing it & it helped me :unsure:

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ACK! NO!!!! The action of bringing the foot to retiré helps with the momentum to turn!!! It is also cleaner than the foot sneaking up the leg. :o


Think simply of leaving your leg in retiré until after you have completed your turns. Then it comes gently down to whatever position you are going into.

The upper body torqueing will throw you off of a turn, as will leaving your opposite shoulder behind. Practice the coordination of the arms, then add legs, then add 1/4 turns etc. until you have figured this all out. Be sure to use your head too.

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Some dancers bring the toe to the absolute side of the knee (tire-bouchon position) when at the very end of the last of multiple pirouettes. It helps a bit in stopping, and is part of the "pull up" at the end. Do it at the beginning of the turn, and you're working against physics.

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How can one stop overcrossing? I have somehow come into this habit recently and it's driving my teachers (and me) a bit loony. I know my initial training was an old Russian version where one crossed the ankle over, but had been trained out of that some time ago. Since breaking the ankle a couple of years ago, crossing in retire has started again for some odd reason. Help?

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