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 steps
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
- Make sure to work your turnout properly from the hip socket.
- 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.
- Keep all ten toes on the floor at all times.
- Control your ankles and knees and don’t let them roll in.
- 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.
- Never sit at the bottom of the plie.
- Use the same amount of counts to go down as you do to come up again.
- 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.
- Don’t attempt plies in fourth and fifth position until you have mastered them in first and seconde positions.
- Do not grip the floor with your toes, try to keep them relaxed.
- 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……