Your Training

ABT Principal Herman Cornejo on Mastering Double Tour en l'Air

Herman Cornejo in "La Bayadere." Photo by Gene Schiavone, Courtesy American Ballet Theatre.

A double tour, says American Ballet Theatre principal Herman Cornejo, "is the step that defines a male dancer." Here, he shares his thoughts on mastering this necessary trick.

Don't anticipate: "The takeoff is hard," Herman Cornejo acknowledges. "You want to take all your force around, and that twists your back to the side and your fifth out of place." Instead, the impulse for the rotations comes from the bottom of the plié. "Be calm to start. Prepare to a relevé, plié, and the moment the heels touch down, then you take the force."

Use your glutes: A common error Cornejo sees is "sticking your butt out and your chest forward in plié so that you're not on top of your hips. You'll never make it to the other side!" Your glutes, he adds, are "so powerful that when you engage them, it really makes a difference."


Cornejo in a double tour en l'air. Photo Courtesy Cornejo.


Be square in the air: "Take your back around with both sides even, on the same vertical axis." It helps to feel your arms pressing towards you in first position. And, Cornejo specifies, "be careful they don't go over your shoulders. It's lower."

Do it every day: "Double tour is a step you should do like tendus—always." If the teacher doesn't give tours in class, stay and work on your own. "I practice with a triple, to then do a perfect double onstage."

Don't expect perfection: "It never goes as planned," Cornejo points out, "so you can't be stiff. You always need a little room to
adjust."

Bonus Tips:

  • Practice your takeoff and landing plié with your back against a wall. "That's the position you need: a straight line from your heel to your shoulders, and your back flat. Plié from your hips, just open."
  • Instead of jumping and then turning, cross your back foot front right from the beginning," says Cornejo. This creates the first rotation from takeoff, on the way up. "Then the second turn will be on the peak of the jump. It's more exciting."
The Conversation
Viral Videos

Dreams, drama, and capital-D DANCE: The brand-new High Strung Free Dance trailer just dropped, and it is chock-full of everything we love.

Keep reading... Show less
The Royal Ballet's Vadim Muntagirov and Marianela Nuñez in La Bayadère. Photo by Bill Cooper, Courtesy ROH.

Do you ever wish you could teleport to London and casually stroll into The Royal Opera House to see some of the world's best-loved ballets? Well, we have a solution for you: The Royal Ballet's 2018-19 cinema season.

Whether live or recorded, the seven ballet programs listed below, streaming now through next October, will deliver all of the magic that The Royal Ballet has to offer straight to your local movie theater. Can you smell the popcorn already?

Keep reading... Show less
Ballet Training
Getty Images

Do you have any tips for starting at a new studio? How can I impress the teachers and make friends? —Jaclyn

Keep reading... Show less
Ballet Stars
American Ballet Theatre corps member José Sebastian (center) is launching the Hamptons Dance Project with a cast of fellow ABT dancers this August. Rochelle Brodin, Courtesy Hamptons Dance Project.

From coast to coast, and on the shores of Lake Michigan in-between, professional dancers and choreographers are going one step beyond putting together a summer pickup company. Some are now curating multi-evening festivals in their hometowns and beloved vacation areas, and featuring an impressive range of companies, dancers and dance styles. So get ready to plan your next trip—here are three dance fests in beautiful resort areas to keep on your radar.

Keep reading... Show less