How to do a turning disc in dance

Turning Disc Board – Esmeralda Dance Supplies

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Best Ballet Turn Boards and Turn Discs (Pirouette Board)

Best Ballet Turn Boards and Turn Discs (Pirouette Board)

Turn Boards and Turn Disks

What Is a Turn Board or Turn Disc?

Turn boards and turn discs are used for training to perform multiple turns on one foot. They are most commonly used in Ballet but are also widely used for other forms of dance (and even outside of dance).

Turn boards have a convex bottom that creates a small point of contact with the floor. Because only a small portion of the turn board or disc touches the floor, there is very little friction, which makes spinning substantially easier.

What Is The Difference Between a Turn Board and a Turn Disc?

There are a couple key differences between a turn board and a turn disc. The most obvious major difference is the shape. Turn boards are rectangular while turn discs are circular. Turn boards and turn discs, although both used for turning, are quite different in practice.
  • Turn Boards
    Turn boards are typically about 3 inches wide and 12 inches in length. The primary "feature" a turn board offers is that it allows you to go flat footed. Although turns aren't typically performed flat footed, it can be helpful for getting used to the feeling of doing multiple turns and developing balance. It allows the user to figure out how to find their center while in rotation, and due to the increased turn speed magnifies any imperfections.
  • Turn Discs
    Turn discs are generally under 6 inches wide. The lack of size encourages the user to practice their spins in Releve, as they would without a turn disc. This essentially forces the user to perform their practice spins on the balls of their feet, otherwise their feet will make contact with the floor. Turn discs are growing in popularity because they encourage proper form and are more compact than traditional turn boards.

There are a variety of different brands that make Turn Boards and Turn Discs. Below we have listed some of the top rated products for both budget buyers and those looking for the highest possible quality.

TurnBoard Pro

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The TurnBoard Pro is a well constructed turn board featuring an iPhone app that allows you to track the speed, number of turns and form - resulting in a total score. It is manufactured in the U.S.A. and is guaranteed not to flatten out over time.

Key Features

  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • App tracks turns, speed and form
  • Glittery finish looks fantastic
  • Rechargeable battery and cable included
  • Fits inside the StretchPro Foot Stretcher
Check Best Price on Amazon

Kenzie Ziegler TurnBoard

(see more photos)

The Kenzie Ziegler TurnBoard is the same as the TurnBoard Pro - but without the ability to monitor and track your spins using the iPhone app. This turn board is made of high density plastic and is guaranteed not to flatten out over time.

Key Features

  • Made in the U. S.A.
  • Glittery finish looks fantastic
  • Fits inside the StretchPro Foot Stretcher
Check Best Price on Amazon

Pirouetter by Frank Frog

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The Pirouetter by Frank Frog is a high quality turn board made from 7-ply Canadian Maple wood. Many people prefer wood turn boards over plastic and claim that they are longer lasting and less proned to wear.

Key Features

  • Beautiful Canadian Maple wood
  • Extremely sturdy and durable
  • Many people claim hardwood turn boards benefit from faster rotation and less wear
Check Best Price on Amazon

My Turn On Releve Disc

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The My Turn Disc is a padded turn disc made from high density plastic. Turn discs are quickly becoming the preferred training tool for practicing turns as it forces the user into releve while maintaining the benefits of a traditional rectangular turn board.

Key Features

  • Padded for comfort
  • Encourages proper form by forcing user into releve
  • More compact than a traditional turn board
Check Best Price on Amazon

Why Use a Turn Board or Turn Disc?

Turn boards and turn discs offer many advantages when practicing turns. They reduce the users friction with the floor, thereby allowing for much increased speed and additional rotations. The greater speed of the turns allows the user to feel imbalance easier and adjust their form to correct. Additionally, it allows the user to get used to multiple rotations and improve their overall spotting ability to maintain balance not only during their turns but after.
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Whirling Dervishes

Even if you have never been to Turkey, you are sure that at least once in your life you have seen a photo or video of men in white robes and high hats, as if in ecstasy circling in a dance. These are dervishes - Muslim monks with an extremely interesting history of life and rituals, which we want to tell you about.

Dervish dance

What we, as ordinary people, call the dance of the "whirling dervishes" has its own ritual name - "sema" or "Mevlevi zeal". The participants - the semazens - are members of the Mevlevi Sufi order, which was founded in the 13th century by the mystic poet Jalaladdin Rumi, better known as "Mevlana" (Arabic for "our master"). This spiritual order exists to this day and not only in Turkey, but also in Europe, for example. Of course, now the concept of "dervish" is only symbolic and the members of this order are not wandering poor. They live ordinary lives, often have families, jobs, and even some wealth. Every year from December 10 to 17, these people come to the Sheb-i-Aruz festival in Turkey, in the city of Konya, to visit the Mausoleum where Mevlana is buried, and take part in the seme. nine0005

Mevlana Mausoleum in Konya, Turkey

Jalaladdin (Jalal ad-Din) Rumi was born in 1207 in the Afghan city of Balkh. His father was a court scholar and preacher - a Sufi. In the life of Rumi there were many wanderings in Asia Minor, which as a result led him to the Turkish city of Konya. It was here that all the events that immortalized his name took place. The main one is the meeting with the dervish Shems Tabrizi. Rumi at that time was already 45 years old, he had already inherited from his father the title of sheikh (head of the order, spiritual teacher), he was revered not only by his students, but by the whole city, but .... nine0005

Jalaladdin Rumi and Shems Tabrizi

Rumi's meeting with Shems in 1244 became fundamental for both of them - each became a student and teacher for the other. They were inseparable. Murids (novices of the order) hated Shems because their beloved teacher Rumi spent all the time only with him. Their envy was aggravated by the fact that Mevlana married Shems to one of his adopted daughters in order to be even closer to him. All this led to the fact that in 1247 the murids, among whom was the son of Rumi, killed Shems Tabrizi and threw his body into a well near the house of Mevlana. And then the detective story begins. It is known that the novices told Rumi about the murder of Shems and even showed the very well, but he refused to believe it and, instead of extracting the body of his beloved friend, went to Damascus in search of him. Rumi spent many months there, going house after house, mosque after mosque, in search of Shems. All these physical searches contributed to his spiritual quest on the path to enlightenment so much that the researchers started talking about the fact that Mevlana himself ordered the murder of Shems Tabrizi. Subsequently, Rumi returned to Konya, continued his path as a Sufi and died there in 1273. nine0005

The body of Mevlana and other members of the Mevlevi Order rests in the Mausoleum

This place is also a museum where you can see books (including Mevlana's most famous book "Mesnevi") and things of dervishes. In the cells you can see how the dervishes lived, how they performed their rituals, the main of which is the sema. It is believed that the creator of this ritual was Mevlana himself. One day he was walking through the market and heard the sound of hammers. This rhythm plunged him into ecstasy and he began to spin, raising his hands to the sky. nine0005

Dervish whirling

To take part in this ritual, a novice must go a long way - to show his industriousness, to be trained, to recognize himself in wanderings. If a person wants to set foot on this path, he can come to one of the schools of the Mevlevi order. Sema includes music, dance and prayer. The participants in the ritual are the semazens and the sheikh. They wear symbolic clothing consisting of a white wide skirt, a black cloak and a high felt hat. nine0005

There is an opinion that white clothing symbolizes a shroud, a cloak symbolizes a coffin, and a hat symbolizes a tombstone

First, the semazens are seated in a circle on sheepskins for prayer. After which they get up and follow the sheikh in a circle, this happens three times. Returning to his place in the hall, the semazen throws off his cloak and, with his arms crossed on his chest, again approaches the sheikh, this time for a blessing. Having received it, the semazen begins its circling, first lowering its hands to the waist, and then raising them and spreading them to the sides - one palm up, the other down. The circle is interrupted three times. These pauses-greetings are dedicated to the Creator, the Universe and the soul. nine0005

Whirling, the semazens tilt their heads, pressing down on the carotid artery. This affects the circulation of the blood and helps to go into a trance.

Sema is not a dance, it is a process. The process of converting some higher abstract concepts into quite tangible energy with the help of a conductor - semazen. It can be said that his high felt hat is an “antenna”, the wide bottom of his clothes is a “locator”. The faster the dervish spins, the higher the bell of his skirt rises, the wider the distribution area. nine0005

Whirling Dervish Festival

Sema in Turkey is not uncommon, if you wish, you can see it in many restaurants at dinner. I will not say that there will be actors performing in front of you, it is quite possible that they will be members of the Mevlevi order. But, if you want to not only see this, but also try to understand the essence of this ritual, then, of course, it is best to come to special places - to the halls located on the territory of the schools of the order. The most popular place is naturally in Konya, where you can see the "whirling" at any time of the year every Saturday. Another well-known school is in Istanbul on Istiklal Street - Galata Mevlevihanesi. Entry for visitors wishing to see the semu is permitted on Sundays. nine0005

Text by Galina Smirnova, photo by Alexei Smirnov

Where to see whirling dervishes

For those who are interested in the history and culture of the Turkish people, we recommend downloading the Istanbul audio guide from TravelMe. In it you will find many fascinating stories about the sights of the unspoken capital of Turkey.

Skillful hands or How to do

This toy is in many ways similar to the previous one - a round dance around the Christmas tree. The stand is the same. A tree trunk with a support ring is also arranged, the same shaft with rubber cubes transmits rotation to the disk. The fact that the tree here is different - a birch, and not a Christmas tree - does not matter much. The main difference between the "Birch" and the round dance around the Christmas tree is in the nature of the movement of the figures and in their three-dimensional design.

The Snow Maiden, Father Frost and the animals jumped up and down merrily around the Christmas tree. And the girls move smoothly, slightly swaying and bowing, as if in the Russian folk dance "Birch". Therefore, the whole toy was called "Birch". nine0005

The finished toy is shown in fig. 67. From the drawings in fig. 66 it can be seen that its device is almost the same as the device of the Khorovod toy.

Fig. 66. "Birch". Toy device. Symbols: A 1 — stand drum A 2 — upper circle A 3 — lower circle B — birch trunk C — wool D — shaft D 1 — sliding washer D 2 — thrust washer D — rubber cubes E - support ring G - rotating disk 3 - figures Z 1 - skirt I - birch crown K - weight.

Compare fig. 66 with fig. 62, and you can easily verify this. Figure 68, showing the assembly order of the "Birch", is also very similar to fig. 64 for "Khorovod". The main difference is in Fig. 110, where the patterns of details of the Birch toy are given - a dancing girl and a birch.

Materials are the same as for "Khorovod". You just have to get some more plasticine or a few paper clips for the weights.

The stand is made in exactly the same way as for the "Round Dance", according to the same patterns (Fig. 108) or according to the drawing (Fig. 65). Materials, working methods, manufacturing procedure - take everything from the description of the previous toy. nine0005

Fig. 67. "Birch". General view of the toy.

And the same shaft is needed here, from a knitting needle 1.8-2 mm thick and 400 mm long. The arrangement of the cubes on it (Fig. 68), the order in which they are put on - everything is the same as in the "Round Dance". Only the cubes themselves are smaller here: only 5x5x5 mm, and not 8X8X8 mm, as it was in the Round Dance. We already said that girls are not
should jump like frisky hares, but only sway slightly.

Mount the shaft in the stand, support ring "E", disk "G" according to the description and drawings of the "Round dance around the Christmas tree" toy. Here, no less than in the "Khorovod", it is important that the disk "Zh" be completely even, flat. nine0005

Fig. 108. Round dance around the Christmas tree and "Birch". Patterns for the details of the stand. Development of the drum "A 1", shortened in length (blue), fourth parts of the circles "A 2 " (red), "A 3 " (black) and a rotating disk "G" (red), support ring "E "and washers" G 1 " and "G 2 " (all blue).

Fig. 109. Round dance around the Christmas tree. Patterns of details: the trunk "B" of the Christmas tree (black), spruce branches "I1" - "I4" (blue), figures: Snow Maiden "Z 1 ", animals "32" - "Z5" and Santa Claus "Z6" (all red).

After making sure that the disk “Ж” walks well in the toy and confidently describes a full circle, remove it from the trunk of a birch tree and put it under the load (a stack of heavy books), and start making figurines of girls “3” yourself. Reshoot from fig. 110 on a tracing paper skirt pattern and copy it six times onto whatman paper. Color the resulting blanks, as in Fig. 67: leave the skirts themselves white and just apply a birch bark pattern on them in gray, black and brown. You can do it differently: just paint it in different colors, but not too bright: pale yellow, pale pink, faded blue, lilac, light brown, golden. nine0005

Fig. 110. "Birch". Detail patterns: birch trunk “B” (black), four tiers of crown “I” (red), girl figure “3” (red) and skirt “Z 1 ” (black).

When the blanks are dry, cut them out along the contour, roll them into cones and glue them. Bend the tooth at the base of each cone inward at a right angle. Then, according to the pattern in the same fig. 110 cut out six top parts of the figures from whatman paper and paint them on both sides. Here you can not be shy and take the brightest colors for blouses and bows. Leave lace collars and cuffs white. nine0005

Roll plasticine into six "sausages" 10 mm long and 3 mm in diameter. Bend the lower ends of the tongues of the upper parts of the figures upward along the dotted lines (see Fig. 68? at the bottom right) and stick plasticine weights into the folds formed.

Place the glued skirt on the table and insert the top part of the figurine into it so that the tongue with the weight goes through the hole. Try pushing the head slightly. If the upper part of the figurine starts to swing, everything is done correctly.

Take the disk “G” out from under the press, put it on a flat table and arrange six figures of girls on it as shown in fig. 67. All girls must face clockwise. In this position, glue each of the figures behind the skirt clove folded inward.

Carefully put the disk “G” together with the glued figures with the central hole on the birch trunk and lower it onto the support ring “E”.

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