Let’s face it, as dancers we all want one more pirouette. Even if we’ve mastered a triple, you are now reaching for the fourth. Are you getting frustrated with your progress, sick of falling out to the same side or collapsing on the supporting leg? 

Our latest Method X Easter Intensive gave these beautiful young dancers a specialised strength session for balance & pirouettes. This session has been designed to accelerate progress of a dancer’s technique and performance output. 

These sessions focus on a number of key elements, including: 

  • the desired retiré position, 
  • a stronger supporting leg = more turns, 
  • core strength to maintain stability and increase balance time, 
  • back & chest strength to correct the connection of arms and force required.

Over time we all develop patterns of movement that turn into a habit and it is very hard to correct. Your body relies on muscle memory and you continue to form ‘bad habits’. It is time to fix these habits and achieve 2 or 3 more pirouettes! 

Rebecca’s top 5 tips for improving pirouettes: 

  1. Develop strong stabilisers in your feet & ankles - proprioceptive exercises such as standing on one leg with your eyes closed is a good place to start. Try 30 seconds each side to start with and keep increasing the time. 
  2. Strong calves - to avoid collapsing on the supporting leg in balances and pirouettes we must develop control and strength. Acceleration & deceleration of the calf is a favourite exercise or simple calf rises completed in the centre: 20 on 2 legs, 20 on single leg for 3 rounds. 
  3. VMO, glute & belly button connection - These 3 points need to be able to work together to find balance immediately. My favourite exercise to do this, is, single leg RDL (parallel). 
  4. Back strength - without a strong, widespread back you cannot produce the force required or hold your arms in the optimal position. There are so many exercises to improve strength in your back, however, I find an incredible amount of value in having my dancers do a banded BB bench press to also strengthen their chest. 
  5. Breathe! - Yes, I said it and so do your teachers. It is very important to figure out how you like to breathe in your pirouette. It is different for each person, breathe in on preparation and exhale on pirouette or vice versa? If you have no idea give it a try right now! 

Are you determined to achieve more pirouettes and develop optimal performance output for your dancing? Then now is the time to enquire and start implementing strength training at Method X. Contact Rebecca today: rebecca@methodx.com.au

Until next time I will leave you with this quote, “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” - Henry David Thoreau

Yours in dance & fitness, 

Rebecca Hall