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Pirouettes


swanprincess
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Sorry if this is a really stupid question, but I seem to be having trouble with pirouettes at the moment, and wondered if anyone has any tips.

At summer school in July I could manage doubles both ways and occasionally triples. Now, having returned to ballet after a month summer break, my pirouettes are abysmal! I've done a lot of core strength work which has really helped with adage, but strangely it hasn't seemed to help with pirouettes.... I find that, when I am turning on the left leg, I fall off-balance to the left and vice-versa. I can hold a balance in passé yet suddenly can't do double pirouettes?! It just concerns me that I have an Associates class on Sunday so I don't want to seem as if I've been slacking off all summer because I haven't....

 

Edited to add; am I supposed to releve, springing onto demipointe at the start of the turn, or rise to demipointe, reaching the high demipointe halfway through the first turn?

Edited by swanprincess
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Hmm so much I could say but in a rush at the mo. Will rewrite later if I get a chance though I'm sure there will be some excellent advice on here too, but for now just to say don't worry about yr associate class and maybe ask the teacher for advice. Say u have been finding them challenging and ask for some help. Also go back to basics, find the enjoyment of turning, find your rhythm, find your coordination getting into position quickly by the first quarter arms, hips, shoulders around together. I always advise a strong quick rise myself but it's different for everyone. We are not all the same type of cake, we all need different ingredients. You do need to analyse, but sometimes in turning, over analysing can back Fire as it takes away your freedom in the turn.another thing I try is concentrating on the finish. The turn is just the means to get there. It stops panic about the turn. If your prep position is good the turn position should be good so just think up round (round,round) finish ☺️ Lots more but that's a start ????

Edited by balletqs
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I find that, when I am turning on the left leg, I fall off-balance to the left and vice-versa. I can hold a balance in passé yet suddenly can't do double pirouettes?!

The above quote points to one area of possible correction.  Try to notice if you are throwing your lead arm away from your center as you begin your turn.

Edited by Stitch
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....and check your leading shoulder - are you throwing it open.  It also sounds like instead of going straight up you are sending your energy in the direction of the turn.  You need to go straight up and use the head foor the impetus/energy.

 

You may also want to check this which appeared on this board:

 

http://www.balletcoforum.com/index.php?/topic/5790-pirouettes-delving-into-the-mechanics-and-mystery/

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I agree sometimes I suddenly do a good pirouette when I'm a bit tired!!

I think this is because then I'm putting less energy into thinking about it.

 

Of course one does need to think about it all when learning to turn but eventually it should be "in the body" so to speak and sometimes just letting it happen works well.

 

When I'm uptight about it that's when I tend to put TOO much energy into it and then throw myself slightly off balance. I think leaving the head till the last possible moment works well for me when I'm not over stressing.

 

Watching some Royal Ballet male dancers in class about. Year ago I noticed they used quite a wide fourth position but no flinging of arms and just beautiful controlled triple / quadruple pirouettes with lovely controlled finishes!!

 

I wish :)

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A large part of pirouettes is mechanics. Imagine trying to spin something on a very small point, such as a pencil, or a spinning top. The more 'upright' it can stay, without any force pushing or pulling any part of it away from the midline (from top to bottom), the better it will spin.

 

Less is definitely more when it comes to turns. If you can balance and keep everything held while using a relaxed, loose and free head action you'll turn easily.

 

Practice staying still on releve in pirouette position and moving JUST your head gently one way and more forcefully the other way (to recreate the 'whip' action of spotting').

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Thankyou so much for the advice, it's really helped! I definitely agree about not over-analysing the turn; I just tried a pirouette without thinking at all about it- and landed a triple! Oh yeah!!! :P

It's hard to do pirouettes from 4th to 4th though; in my RAD classes the pirouettes are always from 4th to 5th, yet at associates they always seem to be from 4th to 4th, which I have had less practice at!

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Your pelvis is key for your turn. The placement of it is the same throughout preparation, turn and finish. Pull your pelvis up as you lower land to 4th or indeed in any position. Think of the finishing position as an 'up' position rather than coming down keeping your pelvis stable. And finish sharply to 4th don't drift to 4th. All the same applies to 5th. This will help you when finishing in open positions too.

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Thankyou so much for the advice, it's really helped! I definitely agree about not over-analysing the turn; I just tried a pirouette without thinking at all about it- and landed a triple! Oh yeah!!! :P

It's hard to do pirouettes from 4th to 4th though; in my RAD classes the pirouettes are always from 4th to 5th, yet at associates they always seem to be from 4th to 4th, which I have had less practice at!

  It only seems more difficult in 4th because you are not as used to it.

 

One needs to learn to start and finish pirouettes in from any position to any position.

 

One also needs to learn to finish them both sharply and slowly - more sustained.  

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