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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Pirouettes on Pointe


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So, I've been having this frustrating problem with my turns. I train at a professional Russian Vaganova ballet school so my frustration isn't caused by the training or lack of it. I'm 14 years old just to let you know in advance. My problem, as with so many dancers, is that I have really improved on flat. On right I can get triple pirouettes and sometimes 4 (rarely but working on it) and on left I get doubles and also working on a triple. The problem is on pointe I have gotten my double many times but never consistently. Some days I can only do one and some I can get a double a couple times. This is very discouraging and worrisome because I'm 14 years old and should have a solid double pirouette on both sides. I have also done attitude turns and 1 fouette which again, is inconsistent. A piece of information I should mention is I started actual pre-professional ballet training only at 12, so I am fairly behind. I always took ballet but 1 hour a week recreationally which is nothing. I came and took privates and endless hours of classes and did the unlikely, which is catch up to the dancers who have been doing this for 10 years and I did it in 2. I know that there is a lot I need to improve and I'm too hard on myself. I guess I should give more credit to my body for learning everything properly since it is hard, nothing easy about ballet. At the same time, does anyone have any tips and anyone have any advice? I'm also not new on pointe. Some people just say I'm scared which I honestly don't know if I should agree because I'm confused myself! Thank you so much in advance!

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  • Administrators

Balletballet15, without seeing you there is no way to know what the problems are, however, I suspect that one of them is just impatience! :wink: Seriously, you have admitted to only being in quality training for 2 years, and even 14 year olds who have been there for years will still struggle for consistency in pirouettes! Don't put time limits and age limits on yourself, as they just add pressure that you don't need. Just focus on the work! If you have improved so much in only two years, from very little prior training, then I think you are expecting too much too soon. Give yourself a break, and to help yourself, just go back to the basics. Work on the correctness of the preparation, in terms of alignment and weight placement, the relevé to the retiré position, holding it, and lifting up to lower the leg back to the floor. Do that without turning, then with quarter turn, half turn, etc. until the basics are consistent, including the rotation and shape of the foot in the turning position. When you get to where a single turn is consistent, make sure that you are using your spot, and that your arms are well supported from your back and that the whole movement is smooth and coordinated.

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Thanks you so much for the quick response and the great advice! I guess I am so impatient and worried because I really want a professional career in ballet but its almost like 1 in a million and given my situation, there's a lot I need to improve! Thanks!

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  • 2 weeks later...

What I have found that helps me with pirouetttes on pointe is the "a little, a little more method". When your about to turn you're obviously in plie, and so right before you turn, squeeze a little more out of your plie, sorry if this is confusing, just saying what works for me..... :happy:

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Pirouettes en pointe are definitely not a strong point for me. I have a hard time staying on my box for the entire turn; I often fall out of it once I'm halfway around. I guess it just takes practice. :)

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  • Administrators

Well, yes, it takes practice, BUT, it also takes knowing WHAT is causing the turn not to work, and then HOW to fix it! If you don't know what is wrong, you just practice the mistakes. :dizzy:

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