Turns are the cornerstone of classical ballet. They are intricate and precise movements that require a dancer to move quickly on one or both feet in a full circle.
The turns create an illusion of effortless flight across the stage. Ballet turns are also used to show off the strength, grace, and agility of a dancer’s technique.
Turns can be divided into two main categories: pirouettes and fouettés. Pirouettes involve spinning on one foot in a full circle without traveling or changing direction, while fouettés involve spinning multiple times on one foot in a specific pattern.
Pirouettes can be single (one rotation) or double (two rotations). Single pirouettes typically start with a grand plié (a deep bend of the knees), followed by an explosive jump and rotation of the body.
Double pirouettes involve an additional rotation after the initial jump and turn. As they become more difficult, multiple turns can be added to create more complex patterns.
Fouettés are usually done in sets of 8 or 16 rotations, but they can also be done as singles and doubles. They start with a quick whipping action of the working leg that propels the body into multiple revolutions. This whipping action is what gives fouettés their name (“fouetter” is French for “to whip”).
Turns are among the most beautiful movements in ballet, requiring strength, grace, and skill to execute them properly. There are two main types of turns: pirouettes and fouettés. Pirouettes involve spinning on one foot in a full circle without travelling or changing direction, while fouettés involve spinning multiple times on one foot in a specific pattern.