How to Perform the Pique Turn


A pique turn is a turn on one foot while the other leg is in passe--with your toe touching the opposite knee. In ballet, this passe is turned out, while in jazz and modern dance, it's often kept in closer to the body.

  • Begin in front of a mirror with enough room to turn a few times across the floor. Wear dance shoes with soles that allow you to easily turn without slipping.

  • With your weight on your left side, point your right toe out to the side. Step to the side with your right foot, bringing your arms out to the sides.

  • Step down onto your right foot. Plie, or bend the knee slightly, in preparation of the turn.

  • Bring your left foot up in passe--toe touching your right knee. If you can't bring your foot all the way up, begin as high as you can and develop the muscles and flexibility through practice.

  • Turn your body, using the momentum of bringing your left leg to passe. Pull your arms into a circle as you turn as if you were holding a beach ball.

  • Bring your left leg down in plie after one rotation. You should be facing the mirrors again. Use your left leg to stop yourself from continuing to turn. When you're ready, try the pique turn again--step, up and turn, step down and point your toe out in finish.

  • Turn until you run out of space and then practice turning to the left. Reverse the movements, bringing your right leg up in passe to turn left. Practice daily to perfect your form and control.

Tips & Warnings

  • Find a spot on the wall and watch it, flicking your head as you turn to focus again on the spot. This "spotting" technique helps keep you from getting dizzy as you do multiple turns across the floor.
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