As If Pirouettes Weren’t Hard Enough…

Pirouettes (en dehors) during ballet are still somewhat of a struggle for me on most days. The getting all the way around part, specifically, because for whatever reason half pirouettes are no big deal. It’s the actual turning part, not the balance (ok, I could use some more balance – it certainly wouldn’t hurt…).

But then, in Modern class, M Teacher introduced pirouette preparations last week: just tendu out to second, then close in plie in fourth position to the back, and then spring up to passe (first in flat, then passe releve), while coordinating the arms. The kind of thing I couldn’t do back when I started this blog for sure, but by now has become no big deal – even the releve part. I though ‘cool, now I get more practice on my passe releve in center, yay!’

Then she said to add the turn. The big deal is that in Modern we are barefoot – no ballet slippers, no socks, nothing. So, if I have trouble getting around all the way while wearing footwear, you can imagine how difficult it is with sticky feet grabbing on to the marley. At first I thought, ‘maybe I should really focus on spotting’. So I did for the next turn, and still I can feel the pad of my foot getting stuck while the rest of my body continued on with momentum. Umm, I don’t want to risk twisting an ankle or injuring my supporting knee. So I pulled my legwarmers down a little so they would cover the ball of my foot and did a whole pirouette – yay, the problem’s not me, it’s my sticky foot. Then I got paranoid M Teacher would get upset that I was “cheating”. I pulled the leg warmers back to normal and struggled through a couple more turns.

No idea what I’m going to do about this… as I already mentioned, I don’t want to risk hurting myself. When a fellow classmate asked “What do we do about our feet sticking?”, M Teacher said something along the lines of “Get some dirt on your feet!”. Uh, ok, I guess? Except my feet already come out of this class plenty dirty, so no idea what else to do.

I guess the good news in all of this is that at least regular pirouettes (with slippers on) in comparison should be a piece of cake. Mmm, cake – gotta go check on the oven…

8 thoughts on “As If Pirouettes Weren’t Hard Enough…

  1. nadiainherownworld

    It really does get easier as your feet build calluses, but it’s tough at first! (I have heard of people putting talc powder on their feet to help with stickiness though–kind of like gymnasts and hands)

    1. kit Post author

      That sounds like a good idea, except that before pirouettes we do these deep lunge balances and during those I’m glad my feet are sticky.
      As for the callus-building, since I only do Modern during the school sessions (instead of year-round like ballet), I’m afraid I lost all my previous callus during the break.

      1. kit Post author

        Thanks for the link 🙂 From there I found an article that went into more detail about the care of the callus, and I can’t say I’m looking forward to it…

    1. kit Post author

      If I thought she’d be ok with us wearing that, I think that would be a good solution. It’s good to know there are options!


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