The five common mistakes of pirouette en dehor…

Pirouettes are fun and also a reward for all the hard work you are already putting in at the barre.  Students always want to do many turns yet forget about the basic skills that have to be mastered first.  You can’t write before you learn the alphabet and you can’t do a pirouette before you excel in having a proper alignment in your positions, your plie, your balance in passe, perfect releve (locked knees and strong, non wobbly ankles), and of course straight hips throughout.  The following are the the most common mistakes of pirouette en dehor: First, your preparation position is key as many students don’t have a correct 4th position.  The correct 4th position is when you have the toe of the working leg exactly behind the heal of your front leg.  The body weight must be mostly over the front leg (supporting leg).  Lastly, students usually have their shoulders and hips not alined, not squared so the body looks twisted.  Keep this in mind – always align shoulders with hips. The second mistake is not “enough” plie on the front leg – we do need to bend two legs right before the pirouette, but remember that the weight of the body should be mostly on the front leg.  Due to the lack of elasticity in the achilles tendon and strength in lats (major back muscles that go along the spine) many students sometimes try lowering themselves to the ground by any means, such as sticking their hip out or bending their back or sticking the butt out, but what plie really means is bending the knee...