The turn board pro looks much like a normal turn board. For those of you new to them, a turn board is a durable curved piece of plastic, which lessens friction with the floor allowing the dancer execute a higher number of turns more easily. The turn board pro takes this one step further, as it has built in sensors to detect your overall form, speed and number of turns you execute. This can be a great assist as it’s the next best thing to physically having your teacher in the room.
About The Turn Board Pro And How It Works
The board connects to your phone through Bluetooth and an app which is free to download. Once the board is switched on and synced up, it then scores you from 1 (rookie) all the way up to 1000 (world class.) Do be aware though, that it only syncs with an iPhone-sorry android users! The board comes in three colours and is endorsed by Mackenzie Ziegler and Kendall Vertes, so if you’re looking to get a present for the dancer in your life, and they’re fan of dance moms, I’d say this item as a gift is a win. The turn boards themselves are glittery- pink for Kenzie’s, Red for Kendall’s and Gold for traditional so based on this it will probably appeal more to a younger audience.
Should I Buy One?
I’m not here to tell you to buy; I like to give the information and let you decide. If you feel like splashing out this is a fun way to fine tune your practise at home. Is this a necessary product to becoming a great dancer? No. But could it be useful? Yes, if you a) find an ordinary turn board is working for your pirouette practise, and b) would find feedback beneficial. As I’ve mentioned, as it’s endorsed by Kenzie and Kendall off Dance Moms, it’s definitely a product that screams novelty, however this doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value.
The Advantages To The Turn Board Pro
I would say it makes a great gift for the dancer or ice skater in your life who has everything, especially if you’re looking to get that something a bit more exciting that is dance related. Also, if the dancer is particularly advanced and easily able to execute many turns, this particular model could be useful as it’s harder for them to keep track. It’s also a great way to keep a personal best, as practise alone cannot tell you how fast you are turning week on week in a quantifiable way.
The turn board pro is a real tangible way to track and measure your improvements over time. And for those of you that find you thrive best with a little healthy competition you can also share your turning scores on social media with friends. This aspect does make it more of a game, which can potentially make it quite addictive! Not a bad thing, just make sure you’re doing actual pirouette practise along side this!
Things To Consider
The turn board pro is sold for around £70 in the UK, although tends to be available for less in America (approximately $60.) My advice would be, only invest in this board if you are easily cutting multiple turns 5+ with a turn board. Make sure first that you feel you are getting good gains with a normal turn board. Much as a musician will invest in a more expensive instrument when their playing has evolved, so it is with the turn board.
Use And Application
- Once turned on, spin the board just to check that it’s properly synced to the app.
- As always, make sure you are using the turn board on a flat foot, not on a releve which can be dangerous.
- It is made for smooth surfaces so avoid using it outside on concrete (don’t practise in the garden.) Opt instead for a nice lino floor. If you’re using it on a varnished wood surface be especially careful as this is more slippery.
- Always make sure you are hitting the 3 stages of a pirouette: preparation (extending the leg to position,) plié (bend) and position (the turn itself.)
- It can also be a good idea to stretch and warm up a little before using your turn board. As it’s designed for less friction, there is a higher chance if you misestimate your alignment, that your turn will get a little out of control, so it is a good idea to have your ankles and feet warmed up. This way if you fall out of it awkwardly there is less chance of injury. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be a big production; simple ankle rolls and some basic working through the feet will suffice.
To work through the feet:
- Stand in parallel, legs together facing a wall (that way if you need it to balance you can use it.)
- Rise up
- As you lower through one foot allow the other foot to make contact with the floor with the front of the toes so your foot is pointed. As you do this you lower on the supporting leg. Repeat on other leg, and keep going until your feet feel warmed up.
One Last Note On Turn Boards…
Don’t be disheartened if you’re not turning like a spinning top straight away. You will not be on releve, but a flat foot which changes your centre of gravity for your turn, and you are turning on a curved board so this can take a bit of getting used to. Remember, they are an aid to actual pirouette practise, not a replacement. As long as you heed these two things, your bound to cash in on the joy of multiple turns not just on your turn board pro but in your actually pirouette practise too.