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?
Leaps are a skill that a lot of dancers struggle with. Leaps are an essential part of many dance styles, and being able to achieve a high, graceful leap can add a lot of impact to a performance. There are so many things to consider – the position of your hips, your front leg, core strength, If you’re looking to increase your height in leaps, here are a few tips to try:
- Practice proper technique – The key to achieving a high leap is good technique. Make sure you are using proper alignment and body positioning, and focus on engaging your core and using your back muscles to propel you into the air.
- Stretch – make sure you have properly stretched your calves and hamstrings prior to leaping.
- Build Flexibility – by working on achieving a full split.
- Strengthen your legs and core – Strong leg and core muscles will help you achieve more height in your leaps. Incorporate exercises such as squats, lunges, and pliés into your dance training to build strength in your legs. Try core-strengthening exercises such as planks and crunches to improve your stability and control.
- Practice using different takeoff points – Experimenting with different takeoff points can help you find the one that allows you to achieve the most height. Try taking off from a flat foot, a demi-pointe, or even a full pointe to see which works best for you.
- Practice leaping with no prep or only one step preceding the leap. No chasse, no chaine, no run-run. Just one step in deep plié and LEAP! The more you practice leaping without a prep (standing position); the better and higher your leaps will get with the prep.
- 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), as well as wear them during barre work. You will be amazed by the results.
- Think of traveling the leap rather than trying to stop it mid-air. You will not only go higher, but your back leg will stay up longer and straighter!
- As you leap, look up a bit to help increase your height in leaps.
- Experiment with different shapes and styles of leaps – Different styles of leaps may feel more comfortable. From straight-leg leaps, to split leaps to switch leaps, each one requires slightly different skills.
- While trying to improve the height in your leaps, remember not to sacrifice height for proper technique such as keeping your toes pointed and your knees straight.