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Centre: Rotation

Form and/or Function

Rotation or twist is a basic dance action which can involve the limbs (arm and head placement in port de bras, use of turn out in the legs) and torso (twist/épaulement).

Notes on our approach

In this center warm up exercise the dancers were led through an exploration, rotating/twisting different body parts which were then set on counted phrases. This exercise prepared for the barre: tendu and the centre: port de bras exercise, but is of course also applied in centre: support positions for plié and barre: plié.

Score Elements

Rotations for 8 counts each

  • Head
  • Arm right then left
  • Leg right and left
  • Torso with arms on hips
  • Torso with arm swings

Depending on the class group, I would not use all of these variations but limit them to a number of variations of their choosing. Additional variations can include arm/legs straight or bent, wrists or feet etc.


  • Apply rotation/turn out in different contexts
  • Develop a phrase with this movement principle.

Observation Tasks

  • Observe the different choices the dancers make
  • The task is to rotate one part freely while keeping the rest of the body still.  What feedback would you give?
  • What would be an appropriate next challenge or learning goal?