2 3 A Tendu in the Sand | Ballet Webb

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Tendu in the Sand


The most important step in ballet technique is plié, and the second most important is tendu.  A tendu hones the dancer’s ability to fully extend (stretch, point) the foot, before the foot ever leaves the floor.  As soon as the foot leaves the floor, the step is no longer a tendu, but instead becomes a dégagé.   This is because, by definition, a correctly executed tendu never leaves the floor – not even a little bit.

 There is always a downward energy “through the floor” as the dancer moves the foot from its original position (probably fifth or first), outward to a fully pointed foot, and back.  The sensation of pressing into the floor happens even before the foot moves outward.  This energy can be envisioned as what would happen if the tendu happened on the beach.  The foot would leave path or footprint (tendu-print?) in the sand that would be wide and deep at the beginning, and narrow at the end.    I call this sensation of pressing downward an “under circle” or “under curve” with my students.  It is used in many other areas, since it provides a firm grounding or stabilizing connection to the floor.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Secret #4a:

“A tendu never leaves the floor.  Otherwise it is not a tendu.”

Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:

“Write injuries in sand, kindnesses in marble.”
-          French proverb


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