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How to Do Battement Exercises to Improve Jazz Dance Moves

Learn how to do battement exercises from jazz dance expert Liz Piccoli in this Howcast dance video.


The grand battement is a big kick, and I'm going to teach you a couple of exercises that help to strengthen the battement.

First one, you're going to start in first position, arms lifted, and tendu right, flex it, tendu, close back in first. Then we're going to do one degajé, which means disengage the foot off the floor, then one grand battement using the same leg, right leg, up, close first. Á la secondé, to the side. Tendu, flex, tendu, first, one degajé lengthening that leg, then grand battement, up, and close back in first. Same thing to the derriére, which means behind. Point, flex, point, first, degajé, and grand battement. Á la secondé again, tendu, flex, point, first, degajé, grand battement. Try not to life your hip up with the grand battement, and you also want to think about pushing down into the floor and lengthening that leg up so it's nice and strong. Also, very important, is the down. A lot of times students like to flop their leg down like it weighs a lot of weight, and you don't want that to happen. You need to control the leg through your center. So this is lifting up and down. Other side. Point, flex, point, first, degajé, grand battement. Same thing. Á la secondé, thrush, up, derriére, arm goes down and through, lengthen through the fingertips, tendu, flex, tendu, first, degajé, and battement.

Another combination that is strong for battements is this. We're going to do one low kick, ball, change, step. That's with the right. Then on the other side. One low kick, step, step, step. And you're gradually going to get the kicks up higher. So, bend to the nose, right, left, right, up, left, right, left. Then eventually the kicks will go all the way up to your ear, but we need a lot of strength and flexibility for that to happen. And also, you need to always think about pushing down and out off the floor. So this is up, ball, change, cross, up, ball, change, cross. Great!

Starting in first. [Indecipherable 00:02:34], point, flex, point, first, degajé, battement. Point, flex, point, first, degajé, battement. Derriére. Really point those feet, and stretch, and lengthen. Left side. Point, flex, point. Long neck, and push off the floor. Derriére. Á la secondé. Very good!

Keep breathing. It's very important to keep breathing through those battement exercises. I know sometimes we forget. Let's try the second one. Ready? Arms out. Low kick, ball, change, pass. Little higher. And even higher. Up! Up! Up! You can also do those kicks to the side.

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