How to use a turn board
Have you ever had a dreamt that you started a pirouette, and before you knew it, you rotated 8 times, and then landed perfectly? With turn boards, those dreams can become a reality! Turn boards help you get used to the feeling of turning multiple times, help you practice spotting, and of course help you train your strength and balance.
Turn boards have less friction than your feet or dance shoes, making it easier to turn on the ground. When using a turn board, you can practice turns in parallel or turned out position. Additionally, turn boards help dancers work on finding and strengthening their center of balance. At Allegro, we carry the Improve Dance pirouetteMASTER! Here's what makes the pirouetteMASTER unique...
The curved design makes it harder to balance when turning, challenging the dancer to improve their core strength and turning technique.
Flat mode is one of the two modes the pirouetteMASTER has to offer. When using flat mode your foot will be placed against the board so the ball and heel of your feet are on the black foam portions of the board. Additionally, Improve Dance incorporated a safety break into the pirouetteMASTER. The safety brake is a small rubber circle is placed under the heel portion of the board to prevent falling in flat mode. With the curved design, the safety brake will not restrict turning and will only come into play when you’re about to fall out of a turn.
What's cool about the pirouetteMASTER is that you can also practice turning on relevé! In relevé mode, only the ball of the foot will be placed on the turn board. This will be on clear, plastic surface of the turn board. When looking down are your feet, your foot and turn board should make a “T.”
TIPS WHILE USING A TURN BOARD
- Start SLOW. That is, the first time you turn, turn very gently. You'll be surprised how quickly you turn while on the turn board and likely won't be prepared for it.
As always, remember to spot and engage your core!
Prepare in the same position as you would for a normal pirouette.
Make sure to not to sit in your supporting leg.
Less is more! Turn boards have less friction than your feet and/or dance shoes. A little force during the preparation will go a long way.
Pulling your arms in closer to your body will actually speed up a turn. Be careful though when trying this. Too much force could throw you off balance.
That's it! Now practice, practice, practice.