Yes, you CAN Turn! 5 Hacks to Master your Ballet Turns


Yes, you CAN Turn!

Pirouettes, for some, they are easy as pie. For others, they are the most difficult step of all. Some people are natural turners, they turn as easily as a pinwheel. Some people are natural jumpers, they could jump for hours on end. And, some delight in adagio combinations others may dread, their stability seems unshakeable.

But, today, we’re going to talk about Pirouettes. They are still (and probably always will be) one of the most asked about steps in all of ballet. And, the question we hear the most is, “Why can’t I seem to get this? Why can’t I turn?”

5 Hacks to Master your Ballet Turns (Pirouettes)

  1. Don’t Panic.

    Seriously, one of the first things we need to remember is it’s just a turn, don’t panic. If you know there is a turn coming up, and you’re already anxious about it, you’ll panic during your preparation, and your take off will send you shooting off to different direction. Stay calm, breathe, and tell yourself, “It’s just a turn, it’s not life or death.” Trust yourself. If you doubt yourself halfway through, you’ll fall. Take a breath, be brave, and trust yourself.

  2. Be Patient.

    If you struggle with turns, you must be patient with your progress- no matter how slow it seems. Progress is progress. Start slow, pace yourself. Break it down. Start with quarter turns, then half, then one single turn. Little by little, your body will start to remember the feeling, and the panic will slowly subside. Be patient, take your time. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, it’s just a turn- you will get it.

  3. Be Consistent.

    Consistency is key. Whether it’s working on getting your passé up quickly, practicing the action of the relevé, or working on spotting- do something every day. Be consistent. You’ll get the fundamental elements of a pirouette down faster if you are consistent in your efforts. Decide how many turns you are going to do, and work on starting and finishing cleanly. Focus on a clean start and clean finish. Practicing this way will build good habits.

    Quality over quantity. A clean single turn is far more beautiful than a sloppy double or triple.

  4. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help.

    If you’re having a difficult time mastering your pirouettes, there is nothing wrong with asking other instructors for some help. You may love your instructor to bits, but something about pirouettes just isn’t “clicking” for you. Don’t be shy about listening to other instructors’ advice. The same concepts can be explained in so many ways, maybe hearing it explained in different words is just what you need to hear.

  5. Practice Correctly.

    It doesn’t matter how advanced you are in other areas, if you’re having a hard time getting your pirouettes down, don’t throw yourself around with more force than you’re ready for. Don’t set yourself up for injury. Again, a clean start and finish is more important than how many turns you do. Decide how many turns you’re going to do, and finish clean. Trust yourself, and listen when others offer advice. Be patient, and try not to get frustrated. Eventually, you will get it.

    I’m always listening, so if you have any questions or suggestions of your own, leave them in the comments- I read all of them! Best of luck, and lots of love!

    If you find yourself feeling short of inspiration, remember you can download the Get Ballerina Fit workout. What helps you the most when fatigue sets in? Let me know in the comments below, so we can all learn from each other. Let’s keep dancing!


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