Dear Katie: Help! I Can't Fix My Bad Pirouette Habit!

January 21, 2020

In our “Dear Katie” series, Miami City Ballet soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email
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Dear Katie,

I’m a pretty good turner, except for one thing: Whenever I pirouette en dehors, I turn in my front foot just before the pirouette begins. It’s such a bad habit, and I can’t break it! Do you have any advice?


Dear George,

You aren’t alone! So many dancers struggle with this habit.

Frequently, it’s a sign of incorrect placement. If you’re sitting into your back leg, it’s much easier for your front foot to shift just before the turn begins. My suggestion is to counteract that tendency by focusing on the heel of the problematic front foot. Just before you turn, deepen your plié and imagine rooting that heel into the floor. Doing so will force you to shift your weight forward over your supporting leg.

Deeply ingrained habits like this might take a while to fix. But be patient! With consistent effort, you can do it.

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