Blog Archives

Top tips for turns

Getting your turns or spins or pirouettes right can take lots of practice – you need to work on these basic turns a lot which will DEFINITELY help you improve the more complicated turns.

Here are our top tips for terrific turns

  1. Posture – keep lifted up. Engage your core or ‘use your tummy muscles’ so you are feeling tall and upright and strong
  2. Every turn is a balance – practice the balance until you can hold it strong without wobbles – be it in 2nd, 1st, one foot or two
  3. SPOT – focus on where you are going and make your head the last part of your body to turn. DON’T look at the floor – if you do that’s where you’ll end up!
  4. Push into the floor enough to move the turn but not too much that you move more than you should – this takes practice to get the right push
  5. Strong feet means its easier to turn – work on your feet – toes, rises, ankles, alignment so that when you turn your body is fully in line and avoid any wobbles or injuries
  6. Decide to finish your turn – don’t fall out of it, decide to end the single or the double with a clean movment
  7. Visualise yourself – imagine yourself doing the turn perfectly over and over again, and keep this in mind every time you do one!

Let us know what you find hardest about practicing your turns

Types of Turns and a few tips

In Dance a turn is a rotation of the body – they can be quarter turns, half turns, full turns or even multiple – turning two or three times!

There are many types of turns and they will have different names depending on the style of dance as well as what is actually involved in the turn.

Some you turn on one leg – this is known as the supporting leg, the other is in this instance “airborne” or off the floor on most occasions and is generally known as the working leg. Others you turn on both feet, some you turn in the air. If it is a turn in the air the first leg to leave the floor is the leading leg.

We thought some links to youtube would be helpful so you can see different styles of turns that are most commonly done in our classes. Simply click on the blue link to be taken to the video

Pirouettes: how to do a pirouette for jazz or modern dance, though it mentions ballet and the ideas are the same the working leg would be turned out –

This post covers the basics for your ballet pirouette –

Chaîné Turns: these turns, shown in Jazz style but are popular in freestyle – and here is an example for ballet –

Pivot turns: popular in jazz and freestyle, as well as theatre –

It is important to spot when turning to avoid getting dizzy – this means you find a spot to look at and focus your attention here – as you turn – your eyes stay focus and your head moves around at the last moment to look back at the same spot.

This takes practice and helps if you hold your core or your tummy muscles strong to help balance



In some dance genres and in Labanotation, a turn in which the performer rotates on a pivot point without traveling is known as a pivot.[1]Pivots may be performed on one or on both feet; the latter is sometimes called a twist turn.