Releve in Ballet means raised in French.
You raise yourself onto demi-pointe (on the balls of the feet) or full-pointe (on the tips of the toes). A demi plie usually precedes a releve so that it looks as though the movement has a little spring, although the toes should not leave the floor. The legs are always straight with well pulled up knees while up in a releve.
What Is The Purpose of a Releve In Ballet
The main purpose of releve in ballet is to develop the leg muscles, especially the calves and the inner thighs. That is why dancers have such beautiful legs.
Releve in ballet also prepares you for pointe work, as your feet and ankles are strengthened. Releve is usually repeated many times and is very tiring for the dancer.
Releve in ballet also challenges the dancer to hold the turnout, alignment, and pull-up when the heels are off the ground.
Releve is used by many dancers to practice their balance. Releve in ballet can be done either at the barre or in the center.
How Can I Get The Most Out of a Releve?
- Before you go up think of pressing down into your heels.
- When doing a releve in fifth position, squeeze the legs together as you rise to make it a cleaner and tighter position.
- Feel those thigh and gluteal muscles as you rise, and use them to develop them.
- Think of holding a coin between the tops of the thighs and not letting it drop.
- If going up on demi-pointe, make sure you are as far up as you can get on the balls of your feet without going fully on your toes. You should feel a stretch at the base of your toes.
- If going up into full pointe, make sure that the front of the foot is fully stretched, and that you are right on the top of the block of your pointe shoes.
- Think of snatching the feet up without them leaving the floor. The feet will retract in as you go up, about the length of your big toe.
- As you come down, do not let the upper body collapse. Keep it well lifted.
- Don’t let the tail bone stick out as you come down, or before you go up.
- A good demi plie should precede the releve and end the releve.
- If using the arms in 5th, think of pulling the shoulder blades down your back.