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Ballet Talk for Dancers

arms in pirouettes


Guest Medora

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Ugh! I must be the most pirouette challenged person in the entire world! Everything else is coming alongso wondefully for me right now, but my turns, forget it! So, trying to pick up some more tips to help me with these awful pirouettes, I read that if you plie with both legs then you should curve your sending arm, not hold it straight? I always straighten my sending arm. Also, how do you land these things? I am fine during the turn, but the landing always gets me. Please excuse my frustration. I had been doing better with pirouettes but my visiting teacher helped me with turns this week and then, at the next class, she was watching me really closely, and I guess the pressure just mounted up and I freaked out and couldn't turn for my life. How frustrating! I want to get it right before she leaves! :mad:

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What the heck is a sending arm?

 

It sounds like the arm in front for a standard en dehors pirouette, but the metaphor is lost on me. In most cases, I prefer the arm in front to be rounded throughout the whole pirouette. There are specific moments when I think the "Balanchine" way of doing it, with the front arm straight, looks better, but that's just a matter of taste, and by the time it goes toward seconde, it better be curved and rotated properly! No karate chop on pirouettes! Whether you bend both legs or only the front, the arms have to be properly rounded, rotated, and aligned.

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yes the "sending arm" is the one in front, or the one that moves first in an en dehor pirouette. You just gave me and idea. Maybe I am not curving it, maybe I might be "karate chopping" it, and that would definitely cause a problem.

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You'd be surprised at the number of people who do that these days, and people in high places, too - and it's just plain WRONG! Now, you'll tear everybody's port de bras apart in pirouettes, seeing as you know that!;)

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Yes my dance teacher suggested it to me because she has seen a number of professionals do that, and I think that most of the ones she was referring to danced with NYCB. She said it helped her to do it that way, but I think that for the time being I am going to go back to the curved arm and see what happens. And this may be leading me to another break through. hmm. My teacher said that one of my biggest problems is I don't bring or curve my arms far in enogh, but leave them way out, fighting too much air. And then my shoulders fall back and my back arches, which is a big problem for me because I am very loose in my back and control is hard for mebecause of all of that loosness.

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Learn to be versatile - to start with it either curved or straight, but by the time it starts to move, it has to move into a curved and rotated configuration. You should see it when some people do fouettés - they look like they're doing the butterfly stroke, and may take off at any moment!:)

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