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How to Do a Grand Battement in Ballet

Learn how to do a grand battement from ballerina Maegan Woodin in this Howcast ballet dance video.


My name is Maegan Woodin, and I'm a professional dancer, choreographer, teacher and student. I have danced for MTV, Diana Ross, Marc Jacobs and have appeared in many music videos. You can find more information about me and my career, as well as photos and videos, at I'm going to be talking to you about ballet.

I'm going to be talking to you about ballet. A grand battement is a big kick that you do to the front, side, or back. But unlike normal kicks, you want to brush your foot on the floor and lift it up with your foot always pointed. So if we talk about it coming from a degage, a degage position is just a little bit off the floor, and when you're doing a grand battement you just want to bring that foot either to 90 or higher, just as high as you can possibly go. An important thing to remember is that you want to feel like you are massaging your toes against the floor as you brush your foot up. This will give you power in your legs and give you the height that you want and also make sure that you are fully stretched on your supporting leg. A common mistake is that in order to get your leg up higher, people bend their standing leg. That's incorrect and you should try to always feel the length in both your legs as you're doing this. Another thing that's very important to remember is that you don't want to tuck or grip in your hips and this is common when you're going to your side. A lot of people bring their weight forward and make this very uncomfortable position or they put their feet too far back and it becomes a very awkward hip up position. So you wanna make sure that you are dropping your hip and your leg is going directly to the side. When you're doing a grand battement to the back, you wanna make sure that your body is tipped slightly forward, don't be afraid to bring it forward, because your leg has to have room to kick behind you. So, you don't wanna bring your body completely straight up and you don't want to bring it all the way down but you wanna find this middle position where your back is slightly arched and your able to bring your leg all the way back to the side. So I'm going to demonstrate a grand battement front, side, and back. I'm going to keep my arms in a second position which helps me just neutralize the entire shape and to concentrate on my grand battement.

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