Leap - Begins on one foot and lands on the other foot in plie'

Jump - Begins on  2 feet and can land on 1 or 2 feet in plie'

Split Leap

Straddle Leap



  • Both legs are straight, toes pointed

  • Arm positions are optional,  but easy to learn bringing them to the front

  • Both legs should come into position at the same time to avoid a see-saw action 

  • Chest (upper body) should not lean forward in the leap

  • Try to hold the actual split (straddle) position for as long as possible before landing

Sit Leap



  • front leg should be at least horizontal

  • both knees should be touching

  • Chest held up - many tend to lean forward if their flexibility is poor

  • a useful leap to do through a rope or a hoop

The Basics

  • All pivots/turns should be performed in 3 parts:

    • Start - preparation (ie. lunge)

    • Middle - the actual pivot

    • End - presentation (ie. end with feet together and arms raised)

  • The entire pivot must be done on toe (no flat feet) in order to be counted by the judges

  • In most cases (especially for beginners) the supporting leg should be kept strait throughout the pivot

  • In double and triple pivots, good use of the shoulders and arms is essential in order to gain enough speed to complete all of the rotations

  • During a pivot, all muscles should be kept tight, stomach pulled in, chin up and eyes should not look at the floor (in most pivots)

  • In pivots with multiple turns, try to pick a point on the wall to focus on, keep this focus through as much of the pivot as possible so that for most of the pivot you are looking at this point. This will improve the overall presentation of the pivot and help you keep better control of the

 number of turns you do. This technique called spotting is usually used for fast pivots like passe and fouette pivots. It is not usually used for slow pivots like arabesque.

Terms and Meanings

  • Pivot - A movement performed on 1 leg (on toe) where the body rotates around a vertical axis
  • Turn - Similar to the pivot but performed on 2 feet
  • Supporting leg - The leg that is on the floor during the pivot
  • Free Leg - The leg that is not on the floor during the pivot. What you do with your free leg can make the pivot easier or more difficult (ie. holding

the leg in an arabesque position is more difficult than holding it in a passe position)

  • Spotting - Keeping the focus of the pivot at the same place (ie. a spot on the wall) for as long as possible
  • Reverse - Performing the pivot on the same leg but in the opposite direction

Common pivots


  • Supporting leg is strait
  • Knee should be turned outwards
  • Toe of free leg should be at or above the knee of the supporting leg
  • this pivot is the easiest to perform and is the first to be used as a triple of double pivot
  • Spotting should be used for this pivot
  • Can look interesting in reverse or with a bent supporting leg (Only when the pivot has been mastered with a strait leg)


  • Both legs should be kept strait
  • Free leg held at horizontal
  • Arms position is optional and many variations are often seen
  • This is usually a slow pivot so good use of arms and shoulders should be used (in the early stages of the pivot) to maintain momentum
  • Variations of this pivot can be done with the leg held to the front, at the side or behind the body


  • Similar to the arabesque pivot but with the free leg bent
  • Knee of the free leg should be turned out so that none of the leg is below horizontal
  • In order to maintain a nice body line, do not let the hips twist unnecessarily
  • Can be performed as a double pivot to increase difficulty


  • Supporting leg should be bent at a 90 degree angle
  • Keep the free leg strait and toe off the floor
  • Arms are optional but keeping in line with the free leg (like in the picture) usually gives the nicest line
  • This pivot can also be performed with a reverse turn

Leg up

  • An advanced pivot - needs good flexibility, leg strength, and a competent legmount before it can be performed properly
  • the difficulty is increased if no hands are used to hold the leg (as demonstrated in the picture)
  • This pivot is usually easiest when performed in reverse
  • Leg can be in front, at the side, or behind the body
  • Even if you don't have the necessary strength and flexibility for this pivot, try it anyway. The only way you will ever do it is through practice!

Unusual Pivots

The above pivots are very common but are good basics to begin with. After the basics have been mastered, the pivots can be changed to make them more interesting by bending the supporting leg, arching the back or changing the speed and direction of the Pivot. Pivots can also be used in combination (ie. a reverse passe pivot into an attitude pivot). Listed below are some examples of more interesting pivots:

  • Cossack Pivot - Supporting leg is bent so that the gymnast is almost sitting on the floor and free leg is strait and in front of the gymnast (at horizontal)

  • Ring Pivot - a pivot is performed with the leg up behind the gymnast, close to her head. It can be held with the hands reaching backwards. (see ring jump for a picture of the correct shape)

  • Bent body Pivot - an interesting pivot can be performed with the body arched backwards or bent forwards - this can be combined with a bent supporting leg or different free leg positions

  • Pivots can also be performed like a cork screw. The gymnast can start standing, and as she rotates, move downwards so that the pivot ends close to, or on the ground

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