Little Ballerina: Top 10 tips on Improving pirouettes
1) Confident is the key. Always think of a good turn, before you start your pirouette, you already win half the battle. Your brain should see its completion and know where your body will finish. I always tell my class, “You have nothing to lose by thinking positive, you can turn!”
Teachers should absolutely give 100% positive encouragement to their students. It boost dancers’ confidence and if they still cannot make the perfect pirouette, always encourage them by saying, “Good try, let’s try again!”
2) Spot is vital! Be free in the head and neck so you can spot.
3) Never rest your toes on your knee in passé. Keep moving your thigh open (maintain the turn out) though out the whole turn and back to ecarte position so it’s actively turning out. Use imaginative illustration, like “your working leg’s knee is like a machine gun firing bullet, make sure you fire 360 around the studio.”
4) Take time in preparation 4th position to engage your pelvis muscles, go thru deepest point of demi-plie, push working leg away from floor and place body weight over supporting leg into a pirouette.
5) Think of the double pirouette as one turn. “Sharp, sharp”. Never double bounce!! Imagine the first rotation as a releve to the front, which set you up on one leg.
6) During your turn, everything from your supporting toe to your hip point should go up, while everything from shoulder point to hip should go down. It is an up and down action that is articulate, clear, and smooth.
7) Use your back! The back has to be strong and expressive, when you turn.
8) Finally, regardless of whether you have done a good or bad turn, smile confidently, slow down the closing of the arms to create an effortless-looking pirouette. Finish gracefully.
9) Never give up! Teachers need to be patient in working with students that face difficult challenge of turning pirouette. It can be spirit crushing for students. Teachers give suggestion for improvements, guide and work with student, give positive affirmations.
10) Practice, practice, practice!