In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email dearkatie@dancespirit.comfor a chance to be featured!

Dear Katie,

I have a really bad habit: I bend my knee when I step up to piqué, especially during piqué turns. I feel like it should be a simple problem to fix, but I can't stop doing it. Help!

A fellow Kathryn


Dear Kathryn,

I think your problem is likely more mental than physical. The first few times you stepped up to pointe, or tried a piqué turn, you were probably nervous and hesitant. You bent your knee, maybe without even realizing it, and then that motion become a kind of crutch that made you feel more comfortable. Some people have trouble recognizing these kinds of bad habits, so I'm glad you're conscious of your bent knee—that's the first step toward fixing it.

Think about being confident, and projecting that confidence, when you step into a piqué turn. Go for it! Don't hesitate for the extra millisecond that allows your knee to bend. And pull yourself up as tall as you possibly can throughout the turn. With each step out, feel as if you're growing upward, which will help keep your knees straight.

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