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Ballet Plie


Ballet Plie

The Plie is a fundamental step that any ballet student has to learn to become a professional on the stage. In fact, Plie exercises give strength, flexibility and balance to future dancers.

In addition, this classical ballet's exercise provides beginners the creation of excellent movement lines. This exercise strengthens the quadriceps muscles, the hips; it also lengthens the hamstrings and warms up the legs.

Plie is actually a deep bend that is performed in several ballet positions. The majority of teachers, choreographers and experts said that this basic step is used in five ballet movements. The ballet dancer can do a half-plie, demi-plié, grand-plie and full-plie. This singular word comes from an old French vocabulary that in English means to fold or to bend.

Although this basic step seems quite easy and fast to perform, it is a little bit complicated because it requires some important ingredients during its execution such as a good foot position, a right posture and a complete control of the body. The plies prepare dancers for hard positions and long movements so it is a must learn them properly.

The different plies can be learned in five positions, but it is strongly recommendable to start from the first position. Because the ballet is a process and the students have to improve step by step. For example, the Demi-Plie is basically the first important one that beginners have to understand. Fortunately, this Plie is not complicated and it just needs a simple effort.

In this type of Plie, the learners have to use the knees and create a half bend. The students must face the barre when they are practicing the Demi-plie to help the body take the right posture and hold their backs and shoulders straight.

Once students have learned the Demi-plie, they need to pass to the second level. We are talking about the Grand-plie. It is necessary to use the knees again, but in this level students will have to do a full bend of the knees; this step has to be executed in a correct posture and in the five positions.

In this level the heels elevate when the bend is completed. However, the heels stay behind on the dance floor in the second position. This type of Plie is not used for turns and jumps.