How to Do Chaines Turns in Ballet

Learn how to do chaines turns from ballerina Maegan Woodin in this Howcast ballet dance video.

My name is Maegan Woodin, and I’m a professional dancer, choreographer, teacher and student. I have danced for MTV, Diana Ross, Marc Jacobs and have appeared in many music videos. You can find more information about me and my career, as well as photos and videos, at www.dgtnyc.com. I’m going to be talking to you about ballet. Chaines Turns are turns that are done on a diagonal usually that are very very fast turns. And your arms can be in a basic first position and I’m going to demonstrate your Chaines Turns with your feet together in first position. So you wanna make sure that your spotting the corner or the area that your going to be finishing and also you’re going to think about your arms being fully engaged and wide. You want to make sure that your arms don’t sink in as well as your chest because then you’ll spin in all sorts of directions. It’s also important that you try to think about going towards that direction just as we talked about in pique turns. You want to make sure that you’re always stepping ahead, not of to the side because where ever you’re stepping is where you’re going to be going. So I’m going to demonstrate on a very basic level just the action of Chaines Turns with your arms in this position. This position just helps you become very lifted and supported in your back which is crucial to doing Chaines Turns very fast. And I’m also going to show it just by flipping front to back front to back. Practicing Chaines Turns on a basic front to back movement is good at creating speed and also helping with the fluidity of the movement. So demonstrating the very simple version, your going to point your toe out to the side and you’re going to come up to a very shallow first position. From this position spotting the corner you’re going to flip. Making sure your heals are turned out, and flip. And flip. And flip. And it’s very good even if you are a professional to practice that every once in a while. It’s good because it engages your back as I said earlier. And it’s a very simple version but it’s very effective. I’m now going to demonstrate the actual Chaines Turn with more speed. And if you get dizzy when you’re turning in Pique Turns or Chaines Turns it’s always good afterward to stop and look at something stationary. I always look at my hands. And you stop and just freeze at them and then you will instantly not be dizzy. It’s always good to keep your spot which is very important in doing any turn.