If you only know one thing about Derek Dunn, it’s probably his phenomenal turning skills. The recently promoted Houston Ballet soloist—and cover star of our October/November 2016 issue—can be found all over social media demonstrating his flawless pirouettes. Needless to say, we’re amazed. That’s why we couldn’t resist asking him how he does it when he was in … More »
A beautiful pirouette is one of ballet’s most elusive elements. Sometimes you float through multiple rotations and sometimes you can hardly balance on one leg. Here are some of our best tips for nailing your turns, every time. Go back to basics. Make sure you’ve mastered the fundamentals of correct alignment before you go for … More »
Do you have tips for prepping a pirouette with a straight back leg? I’m dancing a Balanchine ballet and I’m having trouble changing my technique. —Liza I was in a similar situation when I joined the Balanchine-based Suzanne Farrell Ballet mid-career. I had trained preparing for pirouettes with both legs in plié, so it was … More »
Suddenly, all I could see in the mirror was a fuzzy, dancer-shaped outline. I had accidentally rubbed out my contacts right before pliés and, frustrated, resigned myself to an unproductive two hours. As class progressed, however, something strange happened: I felt far more relaxed and placed. My balances at barre were steadier, I didn’t have … More »
Few things in ballet are more satisfying than the feeling of soaring around effortlessly in a perfect pirouette. Los Angeles Ballet wants to teach you how to nail that smooth sailing sensation every time. This Sunday, February 24, LAB’s monthly community day will include a free workshop on turning, taught by master teacher Ikolo Griffin (a former dancer with San Francisco Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet and Dance Theatre of Harlem).
Have a question? Click here to send it to Amy and she might answer it in an upcoming issue! No matter what I try, I have trouble turning. What exercises can I do to improve my pirouettes? What should I think about when I’m turning? —Kiana, CA Turns are tricky—there’s a lot of room for … More »
When I was at an ABT summer intensive years ago, one of my teachers told our class that the most thrilling pirouettes aren’t the tazmanian devilishly fast spins, but they are the slow, smooth turns that look like they’re effortlessly in control. This made a huge impact on me because up until that moment, I had always been trying to speed up my pirouettes to make them look more impressive—and also because immediately after listening to this bit of wisdom I performed my first quadruple pirouette on pointe.