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Video:How to Pirouette

with Luis Dominguez

The pirouette is a move that will have you spinning like a proper ballerina, but learning how will take a lot of practice. Find out how to execute a pirouette properly from the start.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Pirouette

Hello everyone. My name is Luis Dominguez. I am the artistic director for Lexington Ballet here in Lexington Kentucky, for About.com. Today we are going to show you how to pirouette.

Turning in a Pirouette

There are many different ways in which a dancer can turn. What we are going to show you today is the basic turns in passe, and the turns are going to be performed en dehors, which means, outside. Rose is going to help us improve our turns. From fifth position she takes a tondeu to the side and she goes to fourth position, and she is going to do three turns.

Use a Spotting Action During a Pirouette

In order to perform a pirouette it is very important to use a spotting action. A spotting action is when your eyes lock into something and you turn around keeping your eyes on that place by turning your head around and snapping back to that place with your eyes. It's very important to perform this action as you do the turn.

The Classical Pirouette

When the foot of the working leg meets the knee of the standing leg, that position is called passe. This is the position that we turn in. Rose takes fifth position, tondeu to the side, and then into fourth position, this time both knees are bent, one leg is in front of the other, both arms are bent and she is going to turn three times. Very important that the shoulders gyrate and they are connected with the bottom part of the legs. It is very important to know the difference between a neo-classical turn and a classical turn. She has the back leg absolutely straight, note that the front arm is absolutely straight, and from here Rose is going to take three turns.

Improving a Pirouette

In order to improve your turns you may want to get a hold of one of these, a simple piece of wood, the bottom of a rocking chair. Put your foot onto it and in passe, and you are going to turn and try to stay in that position. The objective should be absolutely straight as you turn.

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