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Trouble With Pirouettes – Some Ballet Tips

Having trouble with pirouettes? Review your basic ballet moves.

Check your fourth position that you’re taking off from:

  • is your postural plumb line in place? Shoulders/hips/ in line?
  • is your ballet turnout held firmly
  • are your feet placed on the floor with no rolling in or heels not firmly holding your weight
  • are your shoulders and waist square

(Some teach that your hips must be square, but this would depend on the width of your fourth position and your turnout. Also, some teach to keep the weight divided evenly between both feet, and some ballet teachers tell you to have your weight on the front foot only. This would affect whether you can keep your hips perfectly square or not).

From your take-off position, can you releve into passe and balance a few seconds? If not here, is the place to check your ballet position. For instance have

  • your shoulders or hips tipped forward or back
  • have you lost your supporting leg turnout
  • are your shoulders lifted
  • is your neck strained?

If your releve and balance in your retire position is strong, then do a quarter turn, balancing for a second. You need very little force for this.  Looking at your spot, you can then bring your head to the front as you descend into fourth or fifth. Finish the complete turn doing quarters, then repeat the other side.Make sure that you do not tilt your head when you leave it behind to spot.

Continue on to single turns using as least force as possible. Come down from the turn with a slow controlled plie, feet well placed on the floor, holding your turnout.

As much as we are taught to pull up in ballet, when it comes to pirouettes it helps some dancers to think of pushing down into the floor. A good spin will feel grounded, with the contact between the floor or your demi or full pointe a stabilizing factor.

The reason why I recommend The Perfect Pointe Book is that besides all the fabulous pre-pointe exercises it shows, it also offers a review of all your basic ballet positions. With the strength tests and exercises, you can improve your turnout, and the postions you will have to balance in, wearing your ballet toe shoes.

These ballet tips will help your trouble with pirouettes!






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