Marissa Schaeffer is a Physical Therapist in New York City. She is also a CSCS certified personal trainer and graduated from SUNY Purchase College Conservatory of Dance with a BFA in dance performance.
The demi-plié is performed countless times in any dance class, rehearsal, or performance. Because it is such a common movement, it would benefit the dancer to have good technique to decrease his or her risk for injury.
Eleanor Hullihan is a professional contemporary dancer in NYC. Photo by Kyle Froman
Développés devant and à la seconde are important movements in almost every genre of Western dance. Often, however, there is a disconnect between obtaining the flexibility to perform these movements and developing the strength to control the same height. With that in mind, here are some exercises to help you obtain and maintain higher développés in dance class.
Long after your students leave your studio and go on to dance elsewhere, you will continue to have an influence on them. Though I no longer aspire to dance professionally, I still hold my former dance teachers in high regard. I carry their words of wisdom with me, feel the joy they brought to their dance classes and continue to abide by offhanded comments they made like, "Don't eat turkey before class; the tryptophan will make you sleepy."