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Monday, September 7, 2015

Pirouette Tip! Using the Spiral

We're always looking for new ways to approach our turns and believe me, I know there are a million tips I can offer my students. Each element of a turn (alignment, momentum, and spotting) has multiple ways to be broken down.

Today I offer The Spiral as a visual image for you.


What it is: a circular, centrifugal motion that pulls you around and up, rather than simply around.

How to find it:
A) When you are in your deep demi-plie (it works best from a fourth position plie but can also be effective from a long lunge ), widen the tops of your legs as much as possible and hold the plie with the muscles below your derriere and inner thighs.
B) In the mirror, watch the space between the tops of your legs in your plie and keep it as wide and open as you can for as long as you can when you start the turn. Don't squeeze the space as you releve!

How to use it: Imagine your body spinning upward from the center, beginning with your demi-plie, all the way up to the tops of your legs, through your spine, the back of your neck and out the top of your head.

If you do this properly, you will be accessing and engaging muscles you don't think to use, namely the small muscles under your derriere and top of the inner thighs. You want to initiate the turn with these muscles, rather than with the quads and hamstrings (which you will of course engage during the turn and to sustain your balance).

Happy dancing!

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