Pirouette: A term used in both gymnastics and dance to refer to a turn around the body’s longitudinal axis. It is used to refer to both handstand turning moves on bars and p-bars and also to refer to a dancing element, e.g. to turn on one foot. Turns for both are measured in degrees or increments of Â½ turns. The dance term literally means “whirligig,” which is an old fashioned name for a child’s top. Pirouette is now used to describe the many kinds of turns that gymnasts and dancers do on toe.