How to Do a Basic Barre Grand Plié

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Begin in First Position

first position ballet
First position.

Treva Bedinghaus

A plié is simply a movement where dancers bend their knees and then straighten them again. Often, the feet of the dancers are turned outward while their heels are pressed against the floor. A half bend is simply called a demi-plié.

In order to perform a grand plié, the movement will consist of a full and deep bend with thighs horizontal. Grand pliés are often recommended by professional dance teachers for intermediate students and not for beginners. This is because the deep bend movement can be dangerous without perfect form and alignment, which beginners are often still learning how to master on their own.

  • To do a basic barre grand plié, the first step is to stand in the first position, facing the barre, with your back straight. The idea here is to lengthen your upper body upwards.
  • Then, it is important to rest your hands lightly on the barre for balance.
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Bend Your Knees

bend knees ballet
Bend your knees.

Treva Bedinghaus

  • Slowly bend your knees, keeping your knees over your toes.
  • This is called a "demi" plié. If this is not accomplished right, no more bending can happen.
  • Continue feeling the upper body grow as you descend along with your lower body​ as if you are sliding down a wall.
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Lift Your Heels

grand plie
Grand plie.

Treva Bedinghaus

  • Continue bending your knees, allowing the heels to rise off the floor. Maintain the rotation with each ascending and descending move.
  • Keep your hips on top of your thighs, directly over your feet.
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Straighten Your Knees

first position
First position.

Treva Bedinghaus

  • As you finish, slowly push your heels into the floor.
  • Straighten your knees as you do this, back to the starting position.