Ballet for Lefty

The title of this post is inspired by one of the most awesome bands out there, Scissors for Lefty! Go check ’em out. 🙂

Anyway, ballet for this left-handed gal has been…interesting. I’ve always been a left turner. My right pirouettes are not pretty, and recently I’ve had to actively make myself practice turning right more than left. It’s easy to practice what you feel more comfortable with, because it boosts your confidence. I can do a double on my left side? Yay! But I’m the Leaning Tower of Pisa on my right? Yikes… If I keep practicing my left and right sides split 50/50, my right turns are going to lag, so I’m trying to increase the ratio of right to left pirouettes that I do.

A few classes ago, I was doing this combination across the floor to the right that involved pirouette from fourth en dehors into a fouetté (something I’m not close to mastering, but I’ll talk about that another time) and I was falling over. My teacher asked if I was a lefty and I sheepishly said yes. He responded that everything in ballet is to the right except for solos, and it hit me that if I wanted to perform, I needed to up my right side game. It’s funny because in some sports, being left handed can give you an advantage, like in baseball, but in ballet, uniformity is often necessary so being left handed feels like a disadvantage.

So that’s a major struggle for me right now. Slowly but surely though, I will progress! I’ve already noticed that my turns have improved since January. I’ve got my spotting down and my arms in the correct position, and doubles are coming more easily on the left.

Is anyone else a lefty doing ballet or struggling with one side for pirouettes? Has it affected things like performing in shows? Let me know!


6 thoughts on “Ballet for Lefty

  1. I’m a lefty and my pirouettes to the left are far better! When we do pique turns across the floor my teacher has a zillion corrections when we go from the right and is always so happy I applied them to the left, haha!


  2. Great to find another lefty dancer on here! Yeah, pique turns to the right are difficult…I did a nice double pique turn to the right once and was so shocked at myself!


  3. That happened to me too, but I found it was because I hadn’t learned to spot for two turns. I just practiced by doing two turns on flat feet, like without passé or coupé, fast while spotting. Hope you get your doubles! 🙂


  4. giems

    I am actually not left-handed, but it seems I am left…legged? My splits with my left leg are nice, but with my right leg it’s just a disaster! Same goes for pirouettes and arabesques… Oh boy! And stretching my right leg is just so painful that I lose the willpower to actually do it, so my left side keeps getting better while the right one stays awful! :/


    1. I think my right leg is somehow more flexible than my left, even though I’m a lefty turner. My “bad” side lags too – it’s so much more fun to practice my good side!


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