How to Demi Plié

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

how to demi plie start in ballet position with straight legs

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 how to do a demi plié in first position.

Begin in first position with straight legs.

2. Bend Your Knees

how to demi plie bend at the knees

Bend your knees, making sure your knee caps are pointing in the same direction as your toes.  Be sure to keep your heels on the floor, otherwise it isn’t considered a demi plié.  Once you’ve bent your knees as far as you can without sticking your behind out or lifting your knees, you’ve reached the “bottom” of your demi plié.

3. Return to Straight Legs

how to demi plie in ballet finish plie with straight legs in same positionOnce you hit the “bottom” of your demi plié, straighten your legs by pushing into the floor and squeezing the inside of your legs together.  Your legs should look like just how you started, setting you up to do another plié or any other step!

Tips for a better demi plié

While a demi plié is a basic step, it can easily be done incorrectly.  Here are a few tips for a better demi plié:

  • Remember to always keep you heels on the floor.
  • Be sure to keep your knees over your toes.  If you can’t do this, you may be planting your feet too turned out.
  • As your whole body moves closer to the ground when you plié, try to think of lengthening upwards, then staying “heavy” as you push into the floor.
  • Be sure your whole foot is on the floor as you plie, you don’t want to be “rolling” your feet or ankles.