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Improving Basic Ballet Positions For Ballet Split Leaps

What ballet movements and ballet positions will result in clean accurate split leaps? The first
exercise at the ballet barre, demi and grand plie, your posture, the placement of your weight and
the strength of your turnout, is the foundation of your ballet positions and ballet movements. Your
split leaps, and even fancier allegro depends on it.


Starting with your primary level ballet classes, understanding and being able to execute correct
posture as well as an accurate grand battment devant and derriere will eventually produce a good
grand jete en avant, the well known ballet split leap.


A demi plie take off in a basic jump in first position without posture changing, or the turnout
decreasing or the heel coming off the ground, is a secure take off. As you progress to more
advanced jumps, this ballet technique will continue to support good positions and a good quality of
balon, or easy bounce.


An effective brush of the foot on the floor,practiced hundreds of times in battment tendu, degage,
and grand battment, will add power to your petit jete, and eventually your grand jete.


Being able to change from the upright back to a proper arabesque position (as in a grand battment
derriere) will make for a good position in the air, and a good landing. Repetitive releves in
arabesque at the barre will enable you to see if the position is being held well, and the demi plies
are on balance and strong.


A chasse temps leve forward into arabesque is a good practice routine to also make sure the
arabesque leg reaches its height at the height of the jump and can be held in the air. Much of the
ballet I watch lacks a moment at the height of a releve or jump where everything freezes for a
nano second, without stiffness or effort. In other words if someone wanted a snapshot, the position
could be easily captured.


Brushing up into the devant position, releve, arms reaching their position at the same moment,
holding the position, and then tombe forward, repetitively across the floor, helps too.


If all the basics are done with strength, it doesn't take too much to do a good ballet split leap, or

grand jete. Positions that are not strong can be practiced at the barre in the usual exercises before
the jumps will improve.


Click here and find out how a would-be ballerina and men in ballet get exactly the right fit in ballet
shoes and pointe shoes, prevent dance injuries, get The Perfect Pointe Book, The Ballet Bible,
and Deborah Vogel's 'dancing smart' products on injury prevention and functional anatomy.
Dianne M. Buxton trained at The National Ballet School of Canada, The Martha Graham School of
Contemporary Dance and Toronto Dance Theater.<br class="clear" />

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