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Fast Tendu - Keeping the legs straight

I find that many students have not fully developed the rectus femoris, one of the quadriceps that originates at the top of the thigh, and inserts right at the knee (fun fact - it is the largest quad muscle, spanning from the hip ridge to the knee, it both straightens the knee and flexes the leg forward). This slight weakness is seen when a dancer closes the leg in tendu to the front and the knee softens and then "squishes" straight, or when the leg closes to the back and the standing leg "buckles" under the pressure of closing the leg. This exercise will help dancers keep both legs straight at all times while working on multiple feet.


This is a great pre-pointe exercise, and can be done flat or in pointe shoes! It can absolutely be done slower, or just do one set significantly slower for younger or beginner dancers.


From 5th:


Set 1:

1: Tendu front, close 5th

2: elevé, lower.

3: Tendu inside leg back, close 5th

4: elevé, lower.

5: Tendu outside leg side, close 5th to the front

6: elevé, lower.

7: Tendu outside leg side, close 5th to the back

8: elevé, lower.

Repeat from the back


Set 2:

1: Tendu side, close in 1st

2: elevé, lower.

3-4 repeat

5: Tendu side, close 5th front

6: elevé, lower.

7: Tendu side, close 5th back

8: elevé, lower.

1: Tendu to the side, lower to 2nd position

2: elevé, lower.

3: Tendu to the side, close front

4: tendu to the side, close back.

5: Tendu to the side, lower in 2nd position

6: elevé, lower.

7: Tendu to the side, close back

8: Tendu to the side, close front


Set 3:

1-2: 2 tendus to the front

3: Tendu front, drop to 4th position

4: press up to tendu, close 5th.

5: Tendu side drop to 2nd

6: elevé, lower.

7: Tendu side, close front

8: Tendu side, close back.

Repeat from the back.


Balance in sous-sus for 14 counts, or repeat the side-rolldown-f/b, side-rolldown b/f then sous-sus and soutenue to repeat the other side immediately.







Music: David Plumpton plays Andrew Lloyd Webber, Joseph Medley

© 2017 Haley Mathiot