Tips: How to Perfect That Grand Jeté
Many dancers constantly ask how they can perfect their grad jeté. I often hear complaints from dancers that they stretch often, and even have their splits but still can’t perfect this move.
In a grand jeté the initiating leg is thrown to 90º which is immediately followed by a similar throwing of the supporting leg, thus creating the image of an arabesque or attitude suspended in mid-air. Dancers work hard to achieve this full split in mid-air and it is very much a “wow” leap when the split is achieved. Some dancers can even get an over split when they do a grand jeté taking that wow factor up a few notches.
When executing a grand jeté there is always the preparatory movement of a glissade or couru where the dancer is propelled up and forward. Here are some tips that we are CCDA find helpful when trying to achieve that classical grand jeté.
Here are some of our favorite tips that help our dancers improve their grand jeté.
Get ready for your leap!
1. Flexibility is huge when it comes to a perfect grand jeté, so increasing your flexibility is essential. A great range of motion will allow for more split in the legs, achieving that beautiful split grand jeté we all want. Make sure you stretch daily and safely. You should always be warmed up before you stretch and be sure to work the hip flexors along with the inner thighs and the hamstrings.
2. Focus on increasing trength in your hamstrings and gluts. Many dancers have a hard time with the back leg lifting in the grand jeté. The hip extensors (muscles down the back of the legs) have to be strong and quickly explode to achieve this leap. If the muscles are weak or under developed the dancer will be unable to to get both legs up fast enough. Practicing tendu jeté (also known as dégagé) and grand battement to the back with a very sharp accent can help with this explosive action needed. Another reason why barre is so important.
3. Work on core strength and alignment. When you have a solid core everything stays together and no extra energy is used to keep the body in alignment. If the core is engaged and strong then the energy can be directed to the power needed for the leap.
4. Don’t forget to plié. Work on executing a good plié, especially when landing jumps. Be sure to pay close attention to the foot and ankle to make sure there is not pronating, or rolling in happening.
Give these tips a try and see your grand jeté improve!