On Technique: How Not To Turn From Fourth

Okay, so my turns are often, erm, not horrible these days (probably because my AD is relentless in his quest to make us do six billion turns per class) … And yet I’m still entirely capable of making a complete hash of them from time to time.

In the interest of full disclosure, clarity, and the greater good, then, here’s a spectacular example caught on video in the wild today and translated into handy screenshots. (I am NOT posting the video. I don’t want to scar you guys for life.)

I just can’t even with this. No part of my core is even a little engaged. I’m jello

Erm … That’s not where that goes. How embarassing.

Look at that standing leg. I dare you. That’s right: I’m serving up fresh horror just in time for Hallowe’en, Betches.

I didn’t fall out of this turn in the sense that I didn’t literally go splat. In every other way, though…

We’re not even going to talk about my arms. They’d just doing it for the attention, and we cannot reward their egregious behavior by acknowledging it. I haven’t been this disappointed since … Well, tbh, 2016, but … you know.

Okay, I will say one thing about my arms. See that first photo? Balanchine prep up top; Cecchetti downstairs. No wonder this turn failed. It was the balletic equivalent of a mullet … replete with hamberder hands. 

I’m going to cry.

This turn was not assisted by the fact that there’s a divot in the subfloor under my standing foot, but honestly that excuses nothing. Without said divot, it still would’ve been a fugly turn. You could take it to a salon and give it hours and hours of mud wraps and so forth, and it wouldn’t do any good. Lipstick on a pig*.

*I mean … some members of the porcine family are quite handsome. But lipstick? They don’t really, like, have lips.

Here’s a less bad example, just so I can feel better about life

The non-standard port de bras is intentional.


The gesture leg is attached. The supporting leg is … well, sort-of turned out. My core, like, exists. The balance is fairly straight up and down. And in the video it’s evident that I spotted this turn like a boss.

That last one was of the “effortless double” species. The MOST important factor, for me, is simply keeping my coreengaged. This prevents Slinky Back (would that it could prevent Nickleback), which in turn basically prevents EVERYTHING ELSE THAT IS WRONG WITH THE FIRST TURN.

So engage those core muscles, kids!

…And remember: only YOU can prevent Nickelback  slinkyback!

About asher

Me in a nutshell: Standard uptight ballet boy. Trapeze junkie. Half-baked choreographer. Budding researcher. Transit cyclist. Terrible homemaker. Getting along pretty well with bipolar disorder. Fabulous. Married to a very patient man. Bachelor of Science in Psychology (2015). Proto-foodie, but lazy about it. Cat owner ... or, should I say, cat own-ee? ... dog lover. Equestrian.

Posted on 2019/10/11, in #dancerlife, ballet lessons, learning my craft, technical notes, uggghhh...technique and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I want to try the non standard port version…

    • It’s easy! You just do modern V arms (palms up or down, depending on what you’re looking for). Also works with Tour Jeté, but only if you keep everything tightly engaged, lest you create the impression that you’re flapping in hope of taking flight.

      Bonus points if you can transition straight from “turn with V port” into ” chaînés with V port”!

  2. Eulenspiegel

    Hi,

    Nice to see other like this technic, too. Especially not engaging core is THE CORE technic ;).

    This week I’ve done everything from splatting a single, one even to the floor to an almost clean double. Especially splatting the single when in the other class the beginners doing a single for the dance school show…

    A. said my feet do what they want, I’m all arms and upper body … okay… especially … pointing the foot in balley, every heard about such a thing?

    • I’m the opposite—my legs and feet typically have their act together, but my arms and upper body are all over the place (it’s much better than it used to be though)!

      If you combine the two of us, you’d probably get one great dancer! (And also one terrible dancer, but who’s counting? 😅)

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