Forum: Ballet / Pas De Deux

Help with whip turns?
By Gwyneth17member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Oct 10, 2007 09:37 PM

This is probably just an issue of my strength and turnout power (not to mention fouette technique), but whenever I try to do a whip turn, I can never seem to get enough force, and when I try to get enough force, my body and turnout get all contorted.

Part of the problem I need to get my leg more side before pulling it in, but where is the rest of the force supposed to come from in a whip turn?

3 Replies to Help with whip turns?

re: Help with whip turns?
By BalletdogPremium member
On Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:47 AM
Edited by Balletdog (120852) on 2007-10-12 00:57:55
In doing a whip turn, the force comes in the following way:

The girl's leg starts fully extended in devant, and the guy uses a lot of force in initiating her turn. When her leg reaches the side, she pulls it in to devant (like you imply in your second paragraph). Now picture this: what happens when you have been accelerated with your leg fully extended, and then you bring your leg in. It's the "ice skater effect," where bringing your leg in causes you to turn much more rapidly. This is the "whip."

Briefly stated, the guy uses a lot of force in initiating the turn, continuing to add energy to the turn until her leg reaches the side. She then pulls her leg into retire, and viola...she will be turning rapidly.

Assume right turns:
- For a waist accelerated whip turn, the guy holds the tops of her hips with his hands, and pulls with the right hand while pushing with the left hand (making sure he keeps her upright as he does this push/pull). As she "whips" into the turn, he controls her turn with his hands, as he would control any supported pirouette.
- For an arm accelerated whip turn, the partners start with the same arm positions that are used for a right turning finger pirouette. The guy "arcs" her raised arm straight out to the right side, and then pushes that arm across himself from his right side to his left side, accelerating her into the turn. She needs to keep her right arm tightly connected with her shoulder/torso, so when he pushes her arm across in front of him, her pushed arm will accelerate her body into the whip turn. After she is whipped into the turn, he uses his hands to control her turn as in any supported pirouette.

Regarding the girl's body and turnout going into the turn, she needs to be strong in her torso, and maintain a good upright posture. Her standing foot is up on pointe, and her body motion in the first quarter of the turn is similar to the first quarter turn of a fouette turn (except her standing foot is on pointe, not flat on the floor). The guy needs to accelerate her without pushing her off balance - pushing her off balance could also be the cause of the girl losing her body composure during the whip.

If you have any questions, please ask on this thread and I and/or others will try to answer.

Rick
re: Help with whip turns?
By UntoldLies
On Fri Oct 12, 2007 04:53 PM
This is amazing advice, but not intirely true.

The mans force should be minimal, he should in fact just be focused on keeping her centered.

And what about finger turns??!! The man does not hold the girls waist in finger turns, to it is up to her to keep centered and give force.

I really feel that holding your center is key.
Really turn out when you reaching a la second.
re: Help with whip turns?
By BalletdogPremium member
On Fri Oct 12, 2007 10:02 PM
^^Interesting point in the post above, about minimal force in initiating the whip turn. I've never tried a whip turn imparting minimal force. I learned it as the guy giving quite a bit of force to initiate her turn...while her leg is fully extended. Then as she retracts her leg to retire after one-quarter of a turn, the guy stops imparting energy into her turn, and just concentrates on controlling her many-turn pirouette. It's correct that his focus on keeping her centered is important.

To correct a possible misunderstanding, UntoldLies is correct that the guy doesn't hold the girl's waist to do a finger pirouette. My reference to "finger pirouette" is only to state that an arm-accelerated whip turn starts from the same arms as does a finger pirouette. That is, to do an arm-accelerated whip turn to the right, the partners first hold their left hands together to the left of her waist, and their right hands are above her head with her hand wrapped around his down-pointing index finger. From this configuration of arms and hands, either a finger pirouette or an arm-accelerated whip turn can be done.

UntoldLies' last two points are very important for the girl when doing a whip turn: she needs to hold her center, and she should be well turned out when her leg reaches second position.

Rick

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