Miss Kate’s Top Tips for Turns!

Miss Kate’s Top Tips for Turns!

– Get on top of your barre work; work the feet, the transfer of weight, the movement from flat foot, plie, through to lengthening of the leg, the rise, all of the movements, you are training your body in every single movement of your barre exercises for this! The tendu to and from each position I find is what is most commonly missed within the barre training; this is key to increasing the strength of the metatarsals and is integral to increasing turns.
– Releve all day; the snatch from an evenly balanced demi plie into your pirouette position will propel your turn, work on getting the releve balanced right over the top of the ball of your feet, the higher your demi pointe the better! I like to compare this to a spinning top; if we can get the demi pointe to its full extent and balance the weight further than 180 degrees of this we’ll be directly centred, which moves us onto the strength of the spinning body.
– Find a strong pirouette position, try lying down on your back and finding a position where your tail bone is lengthened. Pointing out here that I’ve used the word lengthened when referring to the tail bone as I discourage ‘tucking’ this usually causes clenched glutes and we want to be lengthened at all times rather than tensed over. The supporting leg should be lengthening from the front of the leg up through the torso, the core should be engaged, but again not overly clenched, we want you to be breathe when you turn, 100% of the time when I train a child to move from a double turn into their triples, fours, fives and onward the number one thing they need to do is to breathe and allow their muscles to move more freely, again this comes back to the way you take you ballet barre work. The arms from preparation (jazz third) to a pirouette (tight) need to work from no wider than a natural second position; ‘winding up’ and opening the second arm past the shoulder blade is actually working against your turn. As is turning in the lower foot into the prep; you’re essentially turning yourself backwards before you attempt the turn! Don’t do it!
– Miss Kate’s super top tip for turns! Once you have mastered all of this and you have some nice neat double turns with a clean and soft landing (seriously don’t start applying this tip and skipping steps if your still ‘jumping’ out of turns or hopping in turns or swinging arms) then I challenge you to take a quiet and concentrated moment within your turn training to try this… try a double turn; think completely to concentrate on your releve and how quickly it happens, how quickly you hit that retire position and draw your arms into position whilst snatching onto that high demi pointe. Now, spot your first turn BEFORE you have releve’d! If you increase the speed of your spot you will increase your total amount of turns I promise if you apply this properly it works!