Dancing with a turnboard requires performing a pirouette as usual, but with the dancer's foot flat on the turnboard instead of on pointe. Using a turnboard allows dancers to practice elements of pirouettes, such as arm placement, balance and spotting, without placing excess strain on their toes and feet.
Turnboards are practice tools and are not designed for use in actual dance performances. A turnboard is a small plastic board designed to improve pirouettes in dancers new to ballet. The part of the turnboard on which the dancer places her foot is coated with a rough material that prevents slipping or sliding. The curved underside of the turnboard, however, is made of hard, low-friction plastic. Turnboards are three inches wide and 11 inches long, large enough for most dancers. Turnboards are available in three colors: blue, purple and pink. All genuine turnboards are products of Ballet is Fun, who manufacture turnboards exclusively within the United States.
While the turnboard is an effective tool in familiarizing dancers with spotting, balance and other aspects of a proper pirouette, over reliance on turnboards poses certain problems. Because a turnboard has the dancer perform the pirouette with her foot flat on the board, difficulties with proper pointe techniques sometimes develop.