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Jazz vs Ballet pirouette


new123
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My dd came home after a jazz class (she's 8) and said the teacher asked them to learn a pirouette for a presentation they are doing for parents end of term. Just like that... So bearing in mind I have no knowledge of how to dance we referred to YouTube where we learnt that a jazz pirouette is done in 2nd position whereas a ballet one in 1st. To my surprise she's actually getting the hang of it ok (after watching loads of tutorials) but my question is, will it give her bad habits for ballet? If so, is there anything we can do to help?

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Hi - that seems a bit odd to me. I would usually expect the teacher to want to teach a new skill to avoid bad habits. Could your daughter have got the wrong end of the stick?

Yes it's very possible, but no point telling her that ... Think I'll have a word with the teacher next week...

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My dd came home after a jazz class (she's 8) and said the teacher asked them to learn a pirouette for a presentation they are doing for parents end of term. Just like that... So bearing in mind I have no knowledge of how to dance we referred to YouTube where we learnt that a jazz pirouette is done in 2nd position whereas a ballet one in 1st. To my surprise she's actually getting the hang of it ok (after watching loads of tutorials) but my question is, will it give her bad habits for ballet? If so, is there anything we can do to help?

A jazz pirouette usually has a preparation from parallel 4th. A preparation from a true 2nd would be very difficult for an 8 year old to execute because it's harder to transfer the weight back to centre to turn securely. It will not create bad habits for a classical turn because the preparations are so different. If anything it should help because your DD will get used to the feeling of turning & the principles of spotting and weight distribution remain the same.

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I hate to point this out, but the RAD in their wisdom have introduced turned in jazz pirouettes at Grade 4 and 5 level. There's even a "multiplr" parallel turn in Grade 5!   I presume it's to get them turning more easily, but personally I find it harder to do a double pirouette in parallel than turned out and don't like teaching them..........

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I find that training pirouettes in parallel really helps - it's easier to train the balance, co-ordinated turning action, high releve, high knee-in-retire type placing, posture and stability in the arms/back needed without the added skill demand of turnout. It also translates directly to the turning skips which are first seen in grade 2.

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