Learn to Turn: Does Spotting Foster Skill Acquisition in Pirouettes?

Klostermann, André; Schärli, Andrea; Kunz, Svenja; Weber, Melanie; Hossner, Ernst-Joachim (2020). Learn to Turn: Does Spotting Foster Skill Acquisition in Pirouettes? Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 93(1), pp. 153-161. Taylor & Francis 10.1080/02701367.2020.1813239

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Purpose: The spotting technique (i.e., independent head from torso movement) has been revealed as the single feature that differentiates highly skilled from less-skilled dancers. In the current intervention study, the potential of a specific spotting training in novice dancers for learning double pirouettes was tested.
Method: Novice dancers trained pirouettes in an experimental group and an active control group over a period of eight weeks by receiving either specific spotting instructions or technical instructions only. Pirouette performance was examined in a pretest, and a one-week-delayed retention test. In a further control test, effects of explicitly instructing how to perform the pirouettes (i.e., either with or without spotting) were investigated.
Results: Different than expected, in the retention test, only few participants from the experimental group showed the spotting technique. Moreover, the spotting group did not perform better than the control group.
Rather, the balance measure revealed that, while the control group improved over learning, the experimental group remained at the baseline values and showed a slight advantage for orientation only. In the control test, all groups showed inferior performance as compared to the retention test.
Conclusion: In sum, the current findings show that—at least for beginners—the spotting technique is not suitable to be implemented in applied training settings. Moreover, in line with the expert performance approach, this study suggests to investigate the implementation of expert skills in applied training routines experimentally.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Sport Science (ISPW)
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Sport Science (ISPW) > Movement and Exercise Science

UniBE Contributor:

Klostermann, André; Schärli, Andrea and Hossner, Ernst-Joachim


700 Arts > 790 Sports, games & entertainment




Taylor & Francis




Andrea Melanie Schärli van de Langenberg

Date Deposited:

11 Jan 2021 13:10

Last Modified:

27 Feb 2022 01:37

Publisher DOI:






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