Lift & Kick versus Reach & Push

As you dance forward across the center floor with a battement fondu developpé relevé, it’s a good idea to remember how Gail Grant defines it in “The Technical Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet”: “As the supporting leg straightens, the dancer rises to the demi-pointe and performs a developpé at 45 or 90 degrees.”  Sadly, many ballet students execute this step backwards: First they lift and kick the developpé and then use that momentum to lift the supporting heel and pull the supporting leg straight. This pulls your weight away from the supporting toe, looks jerky, and makes you look clumsy.

Here’s how to look better: Reach forward as far as possible with what will be your supporting leg. Point that foot strongly. Correctly align that foot so that it will be under your body on half-toe. Press down firmly on the floor with the ball and toes of your supporting foot. This will make you rise to the half-toe on a straight leg. As you push down and rise, the back foot will automatically be brought forward—it will follow your supporting foot—and then you will complete the developpé. Always time your movements with the transfer of weight to the supporting foot and leg.

Get On Your Leg & Dance!

You are a Star

A star has five points. So do you: your head, your fingertips, and your toes. Energy radiates from the center of your body up through your head and out of your eyes; down both legs and out of your toes; up through your chest and out through your arms and hands. Turn out, stretch out, look out, breathe out, move out. Keep pushing in all directions all the time. Never stop and you will dance better than ever.