Technique for TOUR EN L’AIR (or spin in the air)

by Varun
(No location given)

Please, let me know the technique behind spin in the air. I find difficulties in doing it and please tell us what this turn is called?? It's my favorite turn so please answer..

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Apr 01, 2013
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Dear Varun,

One single turn in the air (with legs together) is called "TOUR EN L’AIR" in the vocabulary of ballet. That expression is made up of French words that mean "turn in the air" or "spin in the air", as you call it.

The classical technique for executing a TOUR EN L’AIR is as follows:

1. Make a demiplié (half-bending your legs) in the fifth position without leaning or loosing your vertical axe; find a spot forward with your eyes; prepare arms in third position (one in front of you, the other to the side) in such a way that the arm that goes to the side will close towards the sense of the turn.

2. Jump up; turn; bring the opened arm to the front to help you gain momentum for the turn; search to find the spot you had identified as soon as possible after turning.

3. Fall in a demiplié again; open your arms to a second position (optional but recommended when learning).

The classical "tour en l’air" is a difficult movement and it takes time to learn to execute it properly. You may want to start the technique described above by doing just one quarter of a turn first, then half a turn, then three quarters and so on. Don't go further until you feel you can do the smaller turns with ease and don't forget to study both sides. Remember: learning dance is always a progressive path.

Nevertheless, studying isolated ballet moves is not highly recommended. The ideal method is to take complete ballet classes and be guided by a teacher, who will tell you when the proper time to study the tour en l'air is for you.

I hope this helps.

Warm regards,


...You all know I'm not a specialist in ballet technique, so if anyone from the ballet field wants to add some tips... it would be great...!

Apr 02, 2013
by: Anonymous

Thnx a lot

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