Culture Magazine

The Secret to Turning

By Ballerinablogger
The Secret to Turning
As you watch the Black Swan Coda and the imposing Prince Siegfried enters the stage to begin his sequence of turns you realize in a matter of seconds the Black Swan will come to perform the legendary thirty-two continuing fouettes. Butterflies flutter in your own stomach at the thought and you can hardly fathom how the ballerina about to perform the amazing feat must feel. You lean forward in your seat as the audience applauds Prince Siegfried and the Black Swan takes the stage, opening her sequence with a double pirouette and whips out triples in between every few rotations.
How does she do it, you wonder? Well the secret is ultimately in a science as old as time, physics. 
In order to make a top spin continuously, its proportions must be constructed just so, so its features are capable of maintaining balance and momentum. The situation is no different with a pirouette. In order to maintain your balance your standing side must be perfectly aligned or, like an unbalanced top, you'll fall right over.
What I mean by keeping your "standing side aligned" is that your shoulder, ribs and hip must all come into the proper alignment to maintain a stable position. Here are a few examples of some successful turners:
The Secret to Turning
Although the identity of this phenomenal turner is unknown , this woman is the star in the YouTube video with over two-million views called Super Pirouette. Please watch it below as this is one of the most amazing turning sequences I've ever seen:

I the picture above you can see the vertical and horizontal lines I have drawn over her body. It illustrates how her shoulders are perfectly even with one another and her hip, ribs and shoulder have all come into alignment. Although very few of us can turn just like her, it's important to know where that "sweet spot" is. The photo of her above would be her "sweet spot" aka: the position where your body is well aligned and you can feel yourself in that balance.
The Secret to Turning For anyone out there that follows Anaheim Ballet's YouTube channel then you'll probably recognize this girl: Aria Alekzander. She makes performing an octuple pirouette seem as easy as breathing.
Aria also has found her sweet spot and took advantage of it. Her body is perfectly perpendicular and although you can see her slightly falling of her leg in the video, she knows how to pick herself back up in order to get back to her sweet spot. In this video you'll see the same example:
So the secret is all about finding your sweet spot and it's the same situation with guys. Stand at the barre and go into passe. Shift yourself around until you find that one spot where everything just seems to lock into place. Now the hard part is getting into that spot every time you turn.
Fouettes are one of the most difficult movements in ballet. Aside from finding that sweet spot, fouettes also require something else in order to improve them... Practice. You've just got to work at them again and again, receiving corrections from a teacher and memorizing the feeling of that sweet spot.
The Secret to Turning

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