5 Tips to Improve Your Dancing Leaps

Ballet dancer

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Leaps are one of the greatest thrills in dance. Professional dancers appear to defy gravity as they soar through the air. Some people seem to have a natural ability for jumping, whereas some have to work at it a little harder. Most leaps in dance require tremendous strength and coordination to execute correctly. However, practice makes perfect. The following five tips can help you improve your leaps!

Stretch Properly

If you can’t achieve a split on the ground, it is unlikely you will achieve it in the air. Stretch, but do not overdo it. Flexibility is important but there is more to it. You need strength and lots of control, too. Good core strength and alignment is critical. While stretching, envision what you want your leap to look like. Having a mental picture of your jump will allow you to calibrate the energy you need to execute it.

Plié Deeper

A deep plié is important for achieving the height you need to properly execute a leap. A plié is simply a deep knee bend and is the last step you take before leaving the ground. The deeper the plié, the more power you will have in your legs to push off. Heel, ball, toe is super important for power and for and a pretty pointe. No matter how many steps you take to prepare for the leap, make sure to really bend your knees to obtain as much power as you need to get high into the air and try not to lean forward.

Look Up

Be sure to look up as you go into your leap. If you look up, the rest of your body will follow. Looking down will keep you low to the ground. As you approach your leap, fixate on a high spot in the distance. Aim to reach that spot, and your body will strive to meet the goals you set, so set your goals high. Looking up will not only allow you to jump higher but will also make a prettier leap.

Take a Deep Breath

If you take a deep breath at the peak of your arc, it can make it seem like you’re soaring. Also, by taking a deep breath, you can loosen your body and any tension you have. Your arms especially should travel smoothly and softly through specific positions rather than go stiff or flail around.

Control the Landing

What goes up must come down, so landing cannot be avoided. A leap is not complete until it is landed safely. Once again, a deep plié will be helpful. Your goal for the landing will be to hit the floor as softly and quietly as possible. Never come out of a leap with straight knees as doing so will almost always cause an injury. You should begin thinking about your landing as soon as your feet leave the ground. Mentally preparing your legs to absorb your weight will really make a great difference.