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EnPointe38

A Legendary Ideal: Finishing Pirouettes in Retiré

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EnPointe38

Let me start off by saying, I am not a born turner. I have a friend who can bang out 6 pirouettes and triple lame ducks; that's not me. I'm triples en de hors on a great day. :P But this year, I really want to focus on my pirouettes' form and execution, which leads me to a question:

How is it possible to achieve that stunning, perfectly balanced retiré at the end of a multiple-rotation turn?! Is it even possible, or is it something to strive for without ever being able to accomplish it? 

 A single pirouette with a nice retiré at the end isn't a problem, since taking it slowly naturally results in a balance at the conclusion. However, that only works in slow combinations, when I have the time for slow pirouettes. Multiple-rotation turns are another matter. Should you be going slow enough that you naturally run out of rotation force at the end of the turn? If so, how do you gauge that? How do you do that in fast combinations when there's not much time? 

Some teachers have told me that there is a way to stop yourself at the end of a turn without putting your heel down. They have said to rotate your legs more and you will stop. But I must not be doing it right, because I just keep going around and fall out! Is it because I'm going off my leg? If that's the case, is there a way to keep myself on it?

Thanks so much for your help!

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Victoria Leigh

It is possible, EnPointe, but not something that happens all the time for most dancers.  (Male dancers do it more often.)  One thing that will help is to decide how many turns you are going to do and as you come to the last one keep lifting upward out of your support leg as you push the rotation of the working leg open. For all pirouettes you need to feel that you are going UP at the end of it, not down!  :)

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EnPointe38

Thank you for the tips! 😊 That is helpful!

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