Intermediate/Advanced Pique Turns

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A pique turn is a versatile dance move that can be used in just practice or in competition dance. To learn more about how to enhance a basic pique turn, watch this video of ballet expert Elizabeth Quinn Welch.

Pique translates to the word “pricking.” This describes how a dancer transfers his or her weight onto a leg on full releve. To begin a pique turn for across the floor combinations, start with your right foot in tondue. You will do a demi rond de jambe, which is basically a circular movement of the leg. Since this is a demi rond de jambe, you will only complete half of a circle. After the demi rond de jambe, you will pique onto your full and highest releve, close back in sus-sous and do another demi rond de jambe. You will do three single pique turns and one double. After that, you will do a box of pique turns (one to the back corner, one to the other back corner, one to the front corner and then back to the original location). You will then repeat this combination as many times as it takes to get all the way across the floor.

It’s important to keep your body aligned during this exercise. You also need to make sure your shoulders are pressing down into the floor and that your ribs are staying closed. Opening your arms too wide can cause your ribs to open. If your ribs open, this causes you to disengage your lower abdominals. It’s very important to be engaging your muscles, especially your abdominals and glutes. As you step into your pique turn, be sure to keep your leg very straight. You shouldn’t plie and then releve, it should be all one motion from the rond de jambe right into the pique turn.