Why You Need to Work on Demi Plies in Your Ballet Classes

Why You Need to Work on Demi Plies in Your Ballet Classes

When we start our ballet dancing classes, one of the first things that we will learn is how to bend our knees and the demi plie will become a constant in all of our ballet lessons. From when we are tiny tots, we will learn to make diamonds with our knees, or open our windows or whatever imagery our teachers use to get us to bend and open out our knees over our toes.

The word demi plie is French and means, literally translated, half bend. By half bend, it means bending your knees until just before your heels lift off the floor. Once your heels start to lift, when you are in first position, you will no longer be doing a ‘half bend’ but will be continuing on into a full plie, which is much further down.

Most dance classes begin their barre work with plies. As the full plie places a lot of pressure on the knees, it is essential that you warm up prior to starting your class, and not use your plie exercise as a warm up exercise.

A plie is a very important component in all aspects of ballet dancing, or any dance type for that matter. If we don’t bend, our movements become very stiff and unnatural looking.

The demi plie is used in just about all of our ballet steps. In the centre we do transfer of weight with a demi plie. We start and end all of our pirouettes with a demi plie. We start and end all of our steps of elevation with a demi plie. The demi plie is used to protect our knees from getting injured, and also to softens all our landings and gives support and fluidity to all our movements.

When a demi plie is performed, all the muscles in the leg will be engaged. The quads will be taught, the calves and Achilles tendons will be stretched, the inner thighs will be held, and the gluts will also need to be controlled. As dancers you must ensure that the MohHHknee is correctly aligned with the feet. To avoid injury and strain to the knees, the knees should never rock inwards, but always feel as though they are pressing outwards over the toes. In order to do this the dancer has to engage all of her turn out muscles.

As you can see, there is a lot more to the demi plie than meets the eye. Next time you do your ballet class, pay special attention to this seemingly unimportant aspect to your dancing, and you may find that small adjustments to your plies will make all the difference to your overall technique.

For more ballet food, visit: http://balletdancing4u.blogspot.com

Michel Maling
I love Dancing and I love Online Marketing. Two completely different fields, but both require passion, hard work and ongoing dedication. I dance to the tune of Life.


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