2 3 Many Pirouettes Please | Ballet Webb

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Many Pirouettes Please

Many Pirouettes Please

Pirouettes, as many as possible, please.  This is the philosophy of most dancers, and it is true - for the most part.  But most teachers are well aware that many students work first for the number of turns, instead of focusing on the correct positioning and best preparation for the turns.  Doing multiple pirouettes in a poor or unattractive position means nothing and fosters habits that are difficult to change (Motivational Secret #2a: “Practice make permanent.”).

In classical ballet the retiré position has to be well understood first, then a correct preparation must be established (Secret #2b: “A plié is a movement, not a position.”).  For standard pirouettes a correct fourth position is critical.  For maximum benefit, the fourth position plié should provide two main things:  enough “push” or torque to facilitate the number of revolutions; and an effective preparation to allow an efficient transfer of weight from two feet to one.

The Big Blue Book of Secrets says:  “The wider the fourth, the greater the force” – and this is important.  The dancer must use the widest fourth position they can control, in order to use the laws of physics to their advantage, and to help overcome the friction created by ballet slippers against the floor (less friction is created by the smaller surface area of a pointe shoe).   There are many other secrets to multiple pirouettes, which I will discuss in future posts.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Secret #10a:

The wider the fourth, the greater the force. 

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