Perfecting Your Pirouettes

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Perfecting your pirouette can take a lot of time, patience and knowledge. Dance experts, Adina Belanger and Ali Geraets, walk you through all you need to know and be aware of when working on pirouettes.

Starting with the top of your body, you want to think about pulling up from the back of your neck rather than from your head. Your head should remain level with the floor. Your shoulders should be pushed down and your rib cage closed. Your abdominals should be engaged, which can only happen if your ribs are closed. Your arms should be rounded and out from the ribs. Be sure you’re not leaning back, your shoulders should be on top of your hips.

Your hips should be aligned and level. If you’re falling to the left, this means you’re lifting your hip in passe. If you’re falling to the right, this means you’re weight is not centered over you’re supporting leg. Your pelvis should be tucked under so that you can engage your abdominals. Your supporting leg should be fully stretched. You want to think about lifting through your knee cap rather than locking out your knee.

Your prep for your pirouette should still practice the same alignment as discussed above. Your front foot should be flat and your back foot should be propped up. It’s very important to find your center in your prep before you take off for the pirouette.

One thing to remember when you’re working on your pirouettes is to not get discouraged. Your body will be used to a certain way of turning and it can be hard to retrain your muscle memory. You won’t see instant results, but as long as you can pinpoint the issue, you’re already doing better! Things will get worse before they get better, so if your pirouette feels off right away don’t worry!