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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Wobbly double pirouettes


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I cannot get my double pirouettes to become clean. After 5 months of daily training, they are still every bit as wobbly as they were before I started training fulltime. I have no clue why I can't get them clean. Any tips on how to practice them?

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Two things that particularly help me are...

First, spotting with musicality.

Second, keeping my retiré glued (making sure my working leg doesn't drop/fall/come loose from my supporting leg) as I turn and then envisioning the working foot coming up and over the kneecap and only then passing to the back (for en dehors pirouettes) at the end of the turn -- this imagery helps me finish the turn "up".


Of course, any number of other things might be going wrong for you (and me... sigh!). But when I'm thinking about "cleaning", I like these strategies.

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Your use of the word "wobbly" makes me wonder if you are getting as high onto your releve as you possibly can, and then staying there for the duration of the turn, and pushing down to go up?

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In my case it took several years of practice until I got to the point where I could consistently do doubles en dehors from fourth. I never did get to the point where I could consistently do doubles in any other way. Oops, I lied. I did manage to do reasonably OK in the pique-pique-double pique (all en dedans)combination we used to do across the floor. I never did those out of class, however.


I should say that there was never a point where I just seemed to get it. It was very gradual. I can't say how long it took.


I practiced outside class a lot. I had only one rule. No more pirouettes of the sort I was practicing once I had done three bad ones. For me that was important because having any more bad ones would just make me get frustrated and when I am frustrated, I am dead. If I wanted to keep practicing turning, I'd do some other types of turns or perhaps just singles of the sort I was messing up.


Having a bad pirouette day for me was more psychological than anything else. I had to learn to relax when such a day came (really really difficult thing to do)so that when I finished practicing, I felt good about myself and what I was doing.


As far as actually practicing, I have always used imagery. My three best images have been simultaneously think of lifting the head and pushing into the ground while turning, thinking of the back as both creating the turn and maintaining alignment while turning, and finally the tick-tick rhythm of the head turning. I used other images over the years, but those were the most common for me.



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And...try to think "forward". When pirouettes seem to "wobble" it is often be ause the dancer is leaning back. This was always mr big problem.

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