Ballet Technique Lessons

Learn from Online Ballet Lessons and Tips

Grande battements are an essential step in ballet technique that form a base for more advanced steps including grande allegro.  Ballet students will typically learn how to do a grande battement in a beginner level ballet class.  Learn how to properly do a grande battement with our tutorial below. How to do a Grande Battement…

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Before we begin, here’s how to read this article: This is not meant to be easy or entertaining reading. Because the subject is complex, intricate and multi-layered, this article is technical and tries to cover all the basics and all the details. If you have never thought of tendu as anything other than stretching your…

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Turnout is an essential part of classical ballet technique and like many other aspects of technique is worked on every day!  You may say it is one of the more difficult qualities to master, considering how unnatural it is to the human body.  However, with proper training, care, and repetition, you can be on your…

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Have you been wondering how to get splits for ballet?  Or maybe how to become more flexible for ballet class?  Check out our video that shows you how to safely get your splits with easy stretches that you can do after class or at home!  This stretching method is very easy and basic, but provides…

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Stretch If you’re trying to improve your penché, the first thing you will want to do is look at your flexibility. To achieve a 180 degree penché (where your arabesque leg is pointing absolutely straight to the ceiling), you have to be able to sit in a split and then some. If your split is…

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Ballet dancers use their feet to make positions, jump, turn, and do just about every step in classical ballet. They are also a key to having great, balletic lines. No matter a dancer’s natural foot flexibility, it is important for all dancers to do exercises to increase the strength in their arch, toes and ankles….

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Here are some great tips for improving pirouettes. Take a look at each one and try to apply these corrections the next time you’re doing a pirouette combination in ballet class. These tips assume you already have a general understanding of how to do a en dehors pirouette in retiré.  These pirouette tips aren’t just…

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Grand Battement en Rond is a ballet step commonly done at barre with rond de jambe exercises.  Today we’ll take a detailed look at doing this step properly from start to finish.  Grand Battement en Rond can be done both en dehors or en dedans.  For this lesson, we’ll be showing you en dehors, but…

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Arabesque is a very common position in classical ballet and can look very impressive from the view of an audience member.  However, its important that a dancer not cheat an arabesque line by trying to open it to the side in an effort to get their leg higher.  Stay classical and clean by remembering to…

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In classical ballet, there are five basic positions of both the feet and arms.  First, we’ll take a look at the five basic ballet positions of the feet.  The five basic positions are usually one of the first things taught in a beginner’s ballet class but are essential to the technique of classical ballet as…

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A demi plié is one of the most basic but most important steps in classical ballet.  Today you’ll learn how to do a demi plié in ballet! 1. Start in a Position A demi plié in classical ballet is always done in one of the five positions of the feet.  For this demonstration, we’ll show you…

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If you have hyper-extended arms, this tip is especially for you!  In ballet, there are several positions of the arms that require them to be straight.  But you’ll find that its a common mistake for dancers with hyper-extended arms to go beyond the “straight” line they’re trying to achieve and into hyper-extension.  While it may…

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Try to always keep your shoulders down.  Even when you are in fifth port de bras, they should be kept down and not scrunching upwards.  Sometimes a dancer may have raised shoulders because they’re concentrating too hard on trying to be in a good position or strong port de bras.  Relax and your position and…

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Here’s a quick ballet technique tip: Remember to always keep your heels forward and turned out in relevé!  Keeping your heels forward, instead of back behind your toes, allows for a stronger position and better line.  It may help to think of your feet and ankles as puzzle pieces that need to connect together.  If…

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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”.  A tendu in classical ballet, outside of a class, is most…

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Plié [plee-AY] is one of the more basic steps in ballet, but it’s arguably the most important as its often the beginning and ending of the majority of intermediate and advanced steps, provide explosive power in jumps and pirouettes and help reduce the risk of injury. We’ll get into a more advanced look soon, but…

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Believe it or not, there is actually a technique to properly hold the barre in ballet class.  It may not seem important to a beginner, but the more you think about it, the more it makes sense.  After all, every step and position in ballet has a specific technique, why would holding the barre be…

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Having a stretching routine is a great thing to have for both students and professionals.  However, poor stretching habits can lead to fewer, and possibly unwanted, results when it comes to ballet technique.  Let’s take a look at a few examples of how to properly stretch your muscles at the barre. Tips for Proper Stretching…

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For the male in ballet, partnering requires a fair amount of strength.  While partnering is not fully based on how big your muscles are, it certainly helps to have a strong core and upper body. You can of course, always hit the gym.  But most exercises one could do at a typical gym would require…

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Ballet requires the dancer to be in specific positions, shapes and move in ways that requires above average flexibility and strength. And almost always, unless for instance a contemporary choreographer asks for a movement to look otherwise, it all must also be done to look somewhat effortless. Part of achieving the effortless look deals a…

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Developpe in classical ballet technique is seen mostly throughout ballet in adagio and jumps.  It is especially seen performed by women in pas de deux and variations, and mostly commonly by men in jumps.  A developpe is basically the movement from one position to the other, usually with the end position being an extension of…

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Passe (pah-say) and Retiré (reh-tur-a) are often interchangeable ballet terms describing the same position where a dancer’s leg is bent upwards, with their toes typically connected to the other leg.  Having the “passe leg” turned out is mostly common in classical ballet, but of course, passe (or retiré) can also exist as a turned in…

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Fifth Position in ballet is a position of the legs and feet where one foot is placed in front of the other, with the toes of the front foot aligned with the heel of the back foot.  Fifth position is one of the more important positions as it is often a preparation and “in-between” position…

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Fourth position in classical ballet technique is a position where basically the dancers legs are both turned out equally, toes pointing away from the body, one leg directly in front of the other, about a foot and a half apart.  It is most commonly used as a preparation for pirouettes. Fourth Position in Ballet Practicing…

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Third position in classical ballet technique is a bit of an odd position, only because it isn’t often used in class or choreography.  The reason for this is likely because the position of your feet are in between a proper first position and fifth position.  Since ballet is all about exactness, hitting a proper third…

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Second Position in classical ballet technique is a position where the dancer’s legs and feet are equally turned out and facing away from each other. While there is a second position of the arms, today we’ll talk about the basics of second position with the legs and feet. The most easy way to think of…

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First position in ballet is a position where a dancer is typically standing while their feet and legs are turned out and facing away and out from each other. While there is also first position of the arms, today we’ll cover first position with the feet. While you will likely learn First Position in a…

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