Ballet Exercises - Pirouettes and Flexibility

by Gabi
(Crystal Lake, IL, U.S.A)

Ballet Exercises - Pirouettes and Flexibility

Hello Odette. Thank you for helping me with my 2 problems. I am a 12 year old girl who has been doing ballet for 6 years. I can nor acheive a proper double pirouette because my landing is sloppy and I put to much power into it. Now we have to do double pirouettes and I cant give enough power to do it properly either. I am very dedicated to ballet and i will always love it. Do you have any tips? And also i can not do any of the 3 splits and i want to really bad quickly becuase I am trying out for something in a month and its important i get all 3 splits (Left,center, and right) . How can i achieve them in a month? Thank you so so much for helping me it means the world to me.


Reply by Odette

To:- Ballet Exercises - Pirouettes and Flexibility

Hello Gabi,

Thank you for contacting me, it is great to hear from you.

I find it helpful to think of a pirouette as a balance. Everyone has a different balance, therefore you have to find your own. At the barre, take your hand off the barre to test your balance and find out where your weight tends to fall.

Also balance in retire and visualise yourself turning in a pirouette so that you can feel the right muscles enagaging. Practice single pirouettes too, as it always helps to go back to basics.

Always keep the shape of turn - your arms should be in a secure first position, your supporting leg on the highest demi-pointe and the lifted leg glued to a retire.

One last tip is to always keep lifted whilst you are turning. Keep growing up and up and imagine yourself getting even taller.

The 3 splits is something that will take time to achieve, as it is about your flexibility which can never be forced but gradually improved. I suggest you practice when you muscles are warm, so every time after ballet class, and hold the stretch for at least 20 seconds.

Do not force the position, otherwise you will get sore muscles, so go to where your body lets you. Each time you should be able to go that little bit further, so keep practicing and you will see a difference.

It is super to hear your dedication to ballet, this is the key to progressing and reaching your maximum potential. Keep up the good work!

Best Wishes,


ps. To become the best dancer you can be, learn the Seven Secrets ..... go to my 'Seven Secrets of Ballet' page

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