Fondu is a classical ballet term meaning “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.
Fondu is one of the most beneficial exercises at barre because it allows the dancers to work against gravity, push strongly against the floor, and focus on controlling the movement every centimeter of the way. This movement, when done properly, helps the dancer gain lots of strength and control that is then translated into countless other steps. If a dancer does not have a good fondu, almost every other step will be more difficult and not done as smooth. Like the plié, never forget the importance of a fondu!
Many teachers like to describe a fondu, much like the tasty french meal of melted cheese. When you pull the bread out of the melted cheese, it sort of slowly pulls away from the bread as opposed to instantly falls off it. This is the kind of controlled, gradually quality a dancer tries to achieve.