Plies In Ballet – Why Do You Need Them?

Plies in ballet are a very important part of the ballet training. Plie means to bend or fold, and in ballet, it is to bend the knee or both knees.

If you watch a ballet production, plies are used all the time in the following ways:

  • to cushion the landings after a jump or leap
  • to take off into a jump or leap
  • to protect the knees when landing
  • to control the dancers turnout
  • to help the dancer to establish correct placement
  • to begin a turn
  • as a transitional step to link ballet stepsplies in ballet

The barre normally begins with a plie exercise, but they are not as simple as they look.

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Plies In Ballet

  1. Make sure to work your turnout properly from the hip socket.
  2. Keep your spine errect, and don’t let your coxyx pop out as you go down, especially in 2nd. Sticking the bottom out is a very common problem, especially in beginners.
  3. Keep all ten toes on the floor at all times.
  4. Control your ankles and knees and don’t let them roll in.
  5. In a demi plie, keep your heels on the floor. In a full plie they only lift as much as they have to and replace them onto the floor again as soon as you can as you come up again.
  6. Never sit at the bottom of the plie.
  7. Use the same amount of counts to go down as you do to come up again.
  8. Don’t snap your legs as you straighten them – resist as they come up – like you are squeezing a ball between your thighs. In other words, come up with grace and style.
  9. Don’t attempt plies in fourth and fifth position until you have mastered them in first and seconde positions.
  10. Do not grip the floor with your toes, try to keep them relaxed.
  11. Always keep the knees aligned over the toes. Don’t let them close inwards.

How To Do A Plie In Ballet

A video says it all……

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