Ballet Barre excercises

Plie

Two types of Plie

Plié, translating in french as “bent” or “bending”, is the action of bending at the knees.  Of course, when that happens, your ankles and hips are also technically bending.  There are two different types of plié: grand plié and demi plié

A grand plié is a full bend of the knees until the thighs are parallel with the floor, while a demi plié looks more like a half bend, where the heels do not come off the floor.

Tendu

Point and Stretch!

Tendu is taught as the action of stretching your leg and foot out from one position to another, while keeping it on the floor. While most teachers may simply say “Tendu…,” the complete term is battement tendu. Tendu literally translates from French as “stretched”.

Degage

Off the fllor!

Dégagé is a classical ballet term meaning “disengage.”  A dégagé is when a dancer moves their leg off the floor from a position with a pointed foot and straight leg to the front, side or back.  It gets its name dégagé because the step is a movement, not a position, where a leg “disengages” from the other.

A dégagé is considered a basic step that is learned in a beginner’s class, but like many other basic steps, later used for more advanced steps by advanced students and professionals.  A good understanding of dégagé is very important for a strong technique in petit allegro.

Battement Jete

Let's throw your leg!

Battement Jeté is a classical ballet term meaning a “battement thrown.” Battement jeté is often used in the russian school to better describe how a grand battement is “thrown.”  Its the idea that the working leg quickly gets to the top of the position as opposed to slowly.  A quicker grand battement jeté leads to a better grand allegro.

Rond de jambe

Maintain and increase your turn out!

Rond de Jambe  meaning “round of the leg” or “circular movements of the leg.”

Ronds de jambe, as a step, can be done a terre (on the floor) or en l’air (in the air) as well as En-dehors  (clockwise) or Endedans (counterclockwise).

Fondu

It is all about coordination...let's melt!

Fondu  means to “sinking down.”  It describes both the movement and the quality of a dancer where they are doing a plié on a single leg.  If you think of a plié being for two legs, a fondu is the same, just for one!

Grand battement

A final excercise at the barre!

Grand Battement  means “large battement.”  A dancer performs a grand battement by throwing the working leg into the air from the hip and brings it back down to a position, typically fifth position.  While doing a grand battement a dancer keeps both legs straight while the rest of the body remains relatively still.

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