If you are asking ‘how do I jump higher in my dancing,’ then I have some tips for you taken from male ballet dancers that just seem to soar through the air so effortlessly.
The aim when you do grande allegro in ballet is to look as if you are flying for an instant. It’s an illusion, but it does take lots of practice as well as strong leg and core muscles.
When doing a grand jete for example as the girl above is demonstrating, you need to actually open your legs out in the air again once you are mid-flight in order to stay in the air a little longer and to give the illusion of flying.
So How Do I Jump Higher?
For all the grand allegro in ballet the plie is very important, but if you want to get high off the ground you really need to get down as much as you can before you take off.
If you ask a non-ballet person to jump as high as they can, they will bend in their legs and let their hips go back before taking off into the air.
In ballet, we are trained not to let the hips sink back, but unfortunately that is the only way that you are going to get any significant height into your jump.
You can sink into the hips, but then at the very bottom of that sink, you must immediately throw your whole body, which includes your hips, legs, torso, head, toes and fingertips into the air. The magic must happen in the immediacy and the quickness of the push, and you must try to get to the top of your jump as quickly as possible.
It helps to focus all your energy into the muscles that are pushing you into the jump, so you really need to concentrate with focused energy on the whole leg that is pushing you into the air.
This must show a lot of attack and must be aggressive in its approach.
When you first try this way of jumping, you won’t be able to control your landings. If you can then you are obviously not pushing off the floor hard enough or strong enough.
The next trick is this. Once you are up in the air, don’t come down. Try to live up there for a little while, as this is where the magic happens.
We can make the audience think we are defying gravity by holding the jumping position in the air a bit longer than we think we can.
Don’t jump and then think about landing straight away. You have more time in the air than you think you do, and the floor is not as close as it seems. You need to challenge yourself to go beyond your comfort level and you will be amazed at what you can achieve up there.
Another neat trick that a dancer can use in her quest on ‘how can I jump higher,’ is to lower the eye line and head slightly before take-off and then lift them both sharply on the push off of the floor. If you can get this coordination working, then the look of the jump will appear higher.
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More Tips For How Do I Jump Higher:
- Use your feet fully. Leave the floor heel, ball, toe and land toe, ball, heel.
- Experiment with breathing. Sometimes it helps to breathe out as you alight and in as you come down. Try it both ways and see what works for you.
- Make your jump work with the music you are dancing to by listening to the timing and the tempo.
- Imagine a harness lifting you and supporting you from your pelvic floor as you take off.
- Relax your shoulders, arms and neck as many dancers seem to tense this area up as they take off.
- Core muscles must be strong and activated throughout your jump.
Tips For Teachers:
- Never underestimate the importance of taking them back to the bar. Here they can do a series of quick jumps and releves. Make sure they keep their weight on the balls of their feet and their knees over their toes as they come down. Repetition with good alignment helps develop the muscles correctly.
- Do many slow releves and quick releves at the bar to strengthen the feet and legs.
- Simple things like chasses into jumps, and skips help prepare your students for more complex leaps later on.
- Let them do petit allegro with their hands behind their heads and they will get a better feel where the power is coming from that allows them to get off the ground.
- Use imagery in your teaching, like ‘hover like and eagle,’ or ‘take flight,’
- Let them do vertical jumps a lot in order to improve the height of their traveling jumps.
In finishing, I know this is not what you want to hear, but there are no secrets to jumping. It is just a matter of hard work and a combination of proper alignment and solid technique.
The only other secret to how do I jump higher is practice, practice, and practice some more!
10 thoughts on “How Do I Jump Higher As A Female Dancer?”
This is very interesting topic. I must say that I like to watch ballet mainly because my sister is female dancer. Although she is a good dancer she always had a problem with high jumps and sometimes she feel frustrated because of it.
I will show her this very helpful article and I hope that she will fix the problem.
Thanks for stopping by Daniel. Well the article won’t fix the problem. It is about application of the information and practise.
Thank you for these wonderful tips, they were a very good eye opener.
I love ballet (though not in the proffessional sense) and have never been able to go off the floor above a few inches. Always thought it is because I am a little on the chubby side. Will surely give this a good practice and see how it goes.
Thank you Queen. Why not try some adult ballet classes. You may be surprised at just how much fun they are.
I am not a female. I think dancing is a very good exercise for your health. Me myself is not too much of a dancer. I love dancing music though. I love the arts even though I was never involved in it.
I watched Dancing With the Stars sometimes when comes on TV. I like the tricks they do on stage. You have athletes and movie and TV stars on there doing their thing. Sometimes I root for a couple if they played for my favorite team or TV show or movie.
I also watch movies like Fame and Flashdance with Jennifer Beal. That woman in Flashdance had to go through obstacles to get where she is going. That inspires me as a person. Try to do whatever it takes to get where want to go no matter what. The only problem I have with movie is that I believe the movie setting is in Pittsburgh, but I still liked the movie because it’s inspirational.
I want to know if you have something for men?
I am not sure what you mean by something for men, but you will more than likely love this movie about a male dancer.
This is very interesting! Even though I am not involved in dancing, I found this website very helpful for me because I do Korean martial arts and I need to improve my jumps. I will keep visiting this site to check for more new posts that could even help me to skyrocket my karate jumps.
I hope that this advice on how to jump higher helps you in your karate Alex. I am sure that it will.
I love the photo of the dancer doing the grand jete. To my relatively untrained eye, she is making a very graceful and beautiful jump. What I like best is that she is doing it in the middle of a trailer park. This is sort of an egalitarian statement that high art is for everyone.
Your tips to achieve higher jumps appear sound to me. I agree with the final point that there is no secret to jumping higher. It is only a matter of repeated practice, which I think is a great lesson for anyone with a goal.
Thanks for your post.
Thanks for the comment Joe, and you are quite right, it is only repeatedly practicing something that can make it perfect.