Do you have any tips for leaping higher? My dance teacher says my leaps are good, but I wish I could get higher in the air. What can I do?
Good question! First off make sure you always are stretched out first. Work on your splits if you don’t have them. However: don’t bounce into them. You don’t want to risk injury. Work on them every day and you will get them.
Make sure you are working on grande battements. These will loosen your hip joints. Now for one of the most important tips: plié on the last step before leaping. This will give you the power you need to get up higher. While leaping, make sure you are looking up just above eye level. If you are looking down even just the slightest bit can pull you down. Sounds like you are already working hard! Keep at it!!
Getting leaps higher is a very common challenge that many dancers face. There could be a number of reasons why you lack height in your leaps. 1) Body structure- are your legs long and your torso short? Do you have a hard time building muscle in your legs? 2) Are you using enough plié in preparation to the leap? 3) Does your class work on leaps enough in technique? Are you practicing enough petite allegro in ballet to really build the muscles in your feet and legs needed for jumps?
Here are some tips to start improving the height in your leaps!
- Ankle weights – get some that are about a pound and a half! Wear them across the floor for technique (not just for leaps but battements and even turns too), as well as wear them during barre work. You will be AMAZED at the results.
- Practice leaping with no prep, or only one step preceding the leap. No chasse, no chaine, no run-run. Just one step in plié and LEAP! The more you practice leaping without a prep, the better and higher your leaps will get with the prep.
- Think travel the leap rather than try to stop it mid air. You will not only go higher but your back leg will stay up longer and straighter, too!