Archive for September, 2010

Plié – The Dancers’ Friend

September 4, 2010

“Plié is the first thing you learn and the last thing you master.”  Suzanne Farrell ( Pointe Magazine, August/September 2009)

Plié, which means ‘to bend’, it is one of the most important dance movements. We use it to warm up the muscles and joints of the legs and also to establish proper placement. This is the first step that is done in every traditional ballet class (and is used in other forms of dance).

Plié is more than a warm-up step. We soon find that it is used throughout class to join or link each movement to the next one. This step is the foundation of turns and jumps. Plié provides momentum for turns and then helps the dancer stop in the right direction. Plié is also used to push-off the ground when jumping and then as a cushion when landing.

To reap the benefits of this step, it must be executed properly. Here are some tips:

  • Knees must be aligned over second and third toes.
  • Keep weight even on two feet (unless you are landing on one foot).
  • Keep heels on the floor.
  • Collect energy by bending with resistance both going down and on the way up.
  • Take the same time to go down as it does to come up.
  • Stretch thighs through to the hips as you straighten.