Amy demonstrates ideal posture in ballet: back straight, belly button in, shoulders relaxed

Demi plié is an essential transition step used in ballet (e.g. relevé, pirouette, sauté). The depth of a demi plié depends on choreography, however, many details about the execution of a demi are listed here:

To initiate a demi, the entire foot is ideally flat on the floor. The instep of the foot is lifted to avoid “rolling over”. Additionally, “turn out” is managed from the hips and not forced from the position of the feet.

As a general rule, we imagine that there is a plumb line dropping from the ceiling to the floor that helps us to align our posture in ballet.  The ears are balanced over the shoulders, the shoulders over the hips, the weight of the body distributed equally over the feet. Additionally:

  • Turn-out is initiated from the external rotators of the hips.
  • The pelvis remains in neutral (versus tipping forward or “tucking” under)
  • The knees align over the toes.
  • The core muscles are active (ie.  the belly button inspires to meet the spine)

Some common mistakes in demi are shown here:

In this image, Amy shows the knees in front of the toes during demi in second position. Turn out is being initiated from the feet and not the hips. This is very hard on the knees. Ouch!

In this image, Amy demonstrates demi in fifth. Keeping the heels lifted in demi will place undue strain on the knees and achilles tendons!

Here Amy demonstrates THE position to avoid during any position in ballet!

Check out Amy’s video on Plié.  Common mistakes are demonstrated in the beginning of the video.

Thanks Amy!