Plie: Knee bends, done with the legs turned out. Normally the first exercise in a ballet class.
Plie: One of the steps that classical ballet is built upon. It is executed by bending the knees over the toes, keeping the
heels on the floor, and increasing turnout at the hips.
Grand Plie: A deep bend, down to where the thighs are almost
horizontal. In all positions except second, the heels release from the floor in a grand plié.
Now that you have all this information you can get started with your class. Here is a sample from the English National
Ballet that you can follow:
First exercise: demi-plié and relévé in first position
1. Start in first position, heels
facing each other and toes pointing out at the ‘ten to two' position. Put both hands on the barre (or a chair
back or something similar).
2. Bend your knees over your toes, keeping your heels on the floor.
3. Stretch your knees and rise up onto demi-pointe (tiptoes) with straight knees.
Remember to keep your shoulders down and your tummy in, and don't lean on the barre too hard! If you do the whole
exercise a few times can you feel your calf muscles working? Second Exercise: Swan Arms
Pretend you are a swan! Lift your arms above your head with the backs of your wrists facing each other. Your head is slightly
tilted down, looking towards the floor.
2. Take your arms out to the side, feeling resistance as you do this as though you are in a swimming pool.
Your head is now straight.
3. Take your arms all the way down to your side, your face now slightly raised towards the ceiling.
Once you have mastered this movement you can do it whilst running around, but don't forget to point your toes!Third
exercise: port de bras a la seconde
1. Stand in first position, facing the barre as in the first exercise,
but this time take one arm out to the side.
2. Lift the arm from the side up above your head in a beautiful curved fifth position. Keep those shoulders
3. Without moving your lower body or twisting, bend to the side, looking down at the floor. See how
far you can go!
Don't forget to keep your arm curved above your head as you bend in a beautiful fifth position.