How to Do a Jazz Pirouette

Pirouettes are a type of turn executed on one foot. Originally found in ballet, pirouettes make an interesting element in a jazz dance. Of course, pirouettes take hard and skillful work. This article will teach you how to do a jazz pirouette. Once you have a single turn down, you can try doubles, triples, and so on.


  1. Image titled Do a Jazz Pirouette Step 1
    Get some Jazz shoes, preferably split sole. Split sole (vs. full sole) allows more flexibility for your foot. It is easier to bend, whether pointing your toes or flexing for a spin.
  2. Image titled Do a Jazz Pirouette Step 2
    Warm up and stretch. Warming up for dance is extremely important. It loosens your body and muscles which can lessen the chance of muscle pulling and strain.
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    Get into the stance. Place your legs in fourth position, with your feet parallel. Raise your opposite arm to the foot that is in front and take your other arm and raise it to your side. Your arms should look like an 'L'.
    • Front heel should be down while the back heel is popped up ready to be used for lift.
  4. Image titled Do a Jazz Pirouette Step 4
    Start the Pirouette. Demi plie in your fourth position and snap your foot to posse. Push off your back foot and place leg into a parallel posse. Spin on your front toes and point your foot.
    • While you are placing your leg into a parallel fourth position , put your arms into the jack knife position. This is also where you get momentum for the turns and will help you with doubles, triples, and so on.
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    Spot during your spin. You can spot by looking at one thing in the middle of your pirouettes (usually yourself in the mirror, or pick out a person in the crowd on stage). During the spin, quickly whip your head around and find your point to look at in the middle of each turn.
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    Slow your speed gently and gracefully land in the starting position. Do not throw your beautiful turn away! Hold your arms, posse, and balance for a split second to the front before you land completely.
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    Practice. These turns will not be perfect overnight. Practice at your studio, at home, in the grocery store, anywhere you can! Pirouettes take time to perfect.


  • Tighten your abdomen as you turn.
  • When you prepare to turn, make sure the front heel is FLAT, and the back heel is popped up as high as you can get it. This is where you push off from the plie, and without a lifted back heel you will get nowhere. As with the front heel, if it is not FLAT on the floor, you won't have enough time to push off into your turn.
  • Turning on carpet is dangerous. It may seem like a good idea in case you fall, but turning on carpet causes too much friction and you foot will stick to the ground. Turn on flat, open surfaces.
  • If you want to do more turns bend your knees more, but not too much.
  • If you are having trouble with your balance, try holding the posse while on your toes simply standing. Hold for as long as you go, and try to beat your time everyday. Eventually, you can apply this strategy while turning. If you cannot balance while standing still, hold can you possibly do it while turning?
  • Practice! It's all right to mess up. Remember, practice makes perfect. So keep practicing your Pirouettes
  • To make this turn easier, you might want to hold your arms, so it looks like your holding a ball.
  • Pull up your upper body as if you were a flagpole. Another analogy is a screwdriver, push your turning leg down into the floor and pull your upper body up.
  • Instead of whipping yourself around, think up! Push your standing leg into the ground firmly and lift up high while turning as opposed to winding around.
  • If you fall forward, try pressing backwards at the end of the turn. If you fall to the side, push to the opposite side.
  • Initiating a spin can be easily accomplished by pushing in the direction of the foot, provided you are balanced. Practice balancing in a mirror until you feel confident you can balance during a turn.
  • Think of yourself as a flagpole. You want to be perfectly straight.
  • Spotting is extremely important; if you don't do it, you will most likely fall.


  • Without stretching, you might pull a muscle. Do pilates or yoga stretches before practicing.
  • Practice with socks or dance shoes on and turn on a flat surface. You will tear up the bottom of your foot from the friction of the pirouette.
  • If you are known for clumsiness, you might want to "hire" a spotter, or someone who will stand still for you to spot them.

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Categories: Dancing