Thinking about fouettés…

I have recently received more than a few requests for some tips on fouetté turns, which is arguably the most difficult ballet step of them all.

The biggest problem for most of you, and for most people in general, is that you have difficult staying on your leg and you hop/fall out of them.

In my experience, most of the time this is due to a lack of force or momentum, which comes from the working leg.

If you think about this concept, if you don’t have the momentum to keep turning and you now have to balance in a position that is unintended to be stationary, you will hop and fall over.

So, my quick advice to you is to focus on gaining momentum from the working side and focusing on the mechanics of turn itself, rather than trying to fine tune the position you are attempting to rotate in.

To conclude, here are some tips to keep your turn going and technically strong:


Get your leg all the way to second.  I have had this problem for ages, and one correction that really helped me, although it may be different for you, was to really relax my working hip flexor and imagine my entire working leg releasing, starting at the inner thigh.  The more I was tensing in up, the less I was able to whip it around to the side.

Coordinate your arms.  Many times dancers lose force and begin to hop because they are not using their arms to help them get around.  Coordinate the in/out of the arms with the in/out of the legs.  It should help you gain more force and make the transitions between positions smoother.

Build up calf strength.  The harder it is to get up in the fouetté, the harder it will be to keep turning in a coordinated way.  When your calves are no longer strong enough to hold the position, that is when you begin to compensate – and you do a weird twisting motion or the classic “hike” up onto pointe.  When these things begin to happen, that is when your fouettés go south.  So, work on the supporting calf and hip strength to prevent these unneeded motions.


I hope this helped you a little bit!  Please keep in sending your requests because I am always happy to answer them.

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