Called many things such as a posé turn, piqué tour en dehor or posé en tournant. This dynamic step can be seen throughout classical ballet repertoire. Usually performed during what is called the ‘coda’ (the finale) the ballerina executes several piqué turns effortlessly and gives the appearance of flying through the air. Alas effortless they are not, this step can take years to master with a complex myriad of actions to think about. Below I will describe how to perform a piqué turn and some important things to think about whilst perfecting this step.
How to Execute a Piqué Turn
Starting fifth position croise right foot* front arms in bras bas.
Fondu on the left leg and dégagé devant the right leg arms in third.
Take the right leg to second en l’air staying in a fondu on the left leg.
Push off of the left leg onto the right with the left leg coming to retiré derrière. Arms are in second at this point and you are facing the corner.
With the head performing a spotting motion, the arms change to first as you turn. You turn on the spot with the left foot in retiré derriere.
You then land on left leg in a fondu with the right leg dégagé devant to start the movement again.
*Can also be performed with the left foot in front.
Tips for Piqué Turns
Track The Leg - Make sure you keep the feet close together with the retiré leg tracking down the back of the supporting leg at the end of the turn.
Spotting - Make sure you spot the direction you are traveling to. The action of the head is really important otherwise you will struggle to travel in a straight line and will lose your balance.
Upper Back - The upper back should be flat with the shoulders back and down. Try not to let the shoulder blades stick out.
Torso - Grip your stomach muscles a strong torso should be maintained throughout. The majority of the time when an exercise goes wrong it because we aren’t using our core enough.
Opening and Closing - Think of an open and close action, the arms open to second as you spot the corner, then they close to first as you turn. Don’t let the elbows dip they need to be hold a strong first position throughout.
Pull up the Knee - There is a tendency for the leg to slightly bend when you step onto it from a fondu. Pull up the leg as though the knee is smiling.