Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pirouette Tip

If you're like me, you don't consider yourself a good or natural turner. Very few people really are natural turners, and if you are, the other 95% of us envy you with a burning passion.

Enter Anaheim Ballet (and my first ballet lesson of the school year). Watch this video, called Anaheim Ballet: Turning Tips, and even just watch the first 10 seconds. But look for what these two girls do right before they start the turn. Do you see them both go down a little? Plie a little deeper? Dip down a bit? However you want to say it, they both go deeper down into the ground before pressing up into a stable (and long-lasting) turn.

So that's my short and sweet tip! If you don't want my story from class, you can stop reading now.

My professor gave us this tip today after watching most of the class struggle for perfect double pirouettes. He told us that natural turners do something completely different from other dancers. Other dancers (non-natural turners) do exactly what they're told - they prepare and press up into a turn, only to fall out after one, two, or three rotations. Natural turners, however, are more relaxed and dip down a little before swinging up into the turn, making that entire sequence one fluid movement. This tip completely blew my mind. There I was, struggling with my double like the rest of the class, and two minutes and one amazing tip later, I was landing stable, perfect triples. Okay, I'm not perfect yet, I have to work on doing it every time. I'm not landing those triples every time because I get excited and throw my hips off, or lean my shoulders back too far. But that first turn I did after he told us to put a dip in and go into the pirouette fluidly? Life-changing. That was the first turn I ever did that felt good. Stable. And not only did it feel good, but it also felt like it looked good. I've been looking for a pirouette (and a pirouette tip) like this all my life, and it's been a frustrating struggle/search. I believe that that search will be over when I perfect this method of turning.

So give it a try! I hope you understand what I mean when I say "dip." All I mean is that, in your fourth (or fifth, or second, or whatever you're doing) position preparation, find your balance on two stable feet on the ground, then dig a little deeper into your plie before you pop up into your pirouette. Don't think around, think down then up. And that's your perfect pirouette.


  1. I don't understand what you mean by "dip"

  2. Yes! Amazing, just that little extra power. Thanks so much!

  3. thanks this really helped