How To

10 Tips For Better Grand Allegro


The high-flying leaps of grand allegro are meant to be incredibly exciting. But at the end of an intense ballet class, when you're exhausted, it can be hard to give them the attention they deserve. Want to pump up your big jumps? Follow these 10 vital tips from Jennifer Hart, curriculum director and instructor at Ballet Austin.

Prep Wisely

Getting ready for grand allegro should begin at the barre. "Pay attention when performing quick tendus, battement jetés, and grand battements, because all those exercises prepare you for grand allegro," Hart says.

Plié, Plié, Plié

This goes without saying, but your plié is so important. "A plié must rebound," Hart says. "If it dies at the bottom, it kills the jump."

Use Your Toes

"Don't forget to engage the whole foot, including toes," Hart says. "There are a lot of small muscles on the bottom of the feet that can facilitate jumps."

Keep Your Chin

Raising your chin and eyes will help keep you airborne mid-jump. "Don't look down, because that pulls you down," Hart says.

Control Your Arms

"Make sure to coordinate your arms with your legs," Hart says. "If you initiate a jump with the arms, the whole body will be in balance. Then, when landing, let the arms float just slightly after the legs," to create the illusion of more ballon.

Engage Your Back

Your back can help you build momentum into a jump. "Use your back to propel you forward," Hart says.

Try Syncopation

To improve the height of your jumps, "syncopate the transitional steps," Hart says. "For example, the précipité before a big jump should be quick so that the plié and push off are energized," which will give you more air time.

It's Not All About the Legs

Because grand allegro involves many jumps, you may be tempted to focus all your attention on your legs. But the whole body needs to be activated. "Don't do a jump solely with the legs!" Hart explains. "Using the core helps elevation. My old teacher used to talk about imagining yourself in a baby jumper, thinking of your core lifting you into the air."

Just Add Energy

Obviously, energy is a grand allegro essential. "Slow legs won't get you off the floor," Hart says.

Use Your Imagination

If you can picture it, you can slay it! "Sometimes just imagining yourself hovering in the air can help a jump," Hart says.

Show Comments ()

Summer dance camp season will be here before you know it and you might be starting to wonder what you need to pack in your bag. Don't stress, we have 5 of the top must haves for camp this summer!

Keep reading... Show less
Dance Videos
Safe to say that flexibility is still not an issue for the talented Ms. Igo. (screenshot via YouTube)

Because winning the Junior Division on last summer's inaugural season of "World of Dance" (suuuuuuuuuuper casual) just wasn't enough.

Keep reading... Show less
Dance News
It's already on its way to legendary status. (screenshot via YouTube)

Let's start with the obvious: Over the weekend, Beyoncé and Jay-Z released a joint album, Everything Is Love. Bey and Jay also dropped a video for the album's lead track, which they filmed inside the actual Louvre museum in Paris (as one does, when one is a member of the Carter family). And the vid features not only thought-provoking commentary on the Western art tradition, but also some really incredible dancing.

So, who choreographed this epic? And who are the dancers bringing it to life in those already-iconic bodystockings?

Keep reading... Show less

We caught up with former Rockette Trina Simon at Showstopper's Myrtle Beach dance convention to get her expert advice on how to work as a professional dancer. Trina's work on Broadway has given her insight into the key things to focus on as a professional dancer looking for jobs and making a name for yourself, whether you are new to the world of professional dance or you have been making your way from one audition to the next for a while.

Keep reading... Show less
Dance Videos
Screenshot via YouTube
Keep reading... Show less
Dance Videos
Safe to say that flexibility is still not an issue for the talented Ms. Igo. (screenshot via YouTube)

Because winning the Junior Division on last summer's inaugural season of "World of Dance" (suuuuuuuuuuper casual) just wasn't enough.

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer to Dancer
Including Travis Wall, obviously! (Adam Rose/FOX)

"So You Think You Can Dance" is often a launching pad for a dancer's career. While many "SYT" alums go on to perform for iconic artists or join high-profile companies, some also become choreographers—and a few even come full-circle, making dances for the show where it all began. Here are 8 talented choreographers who got their start as "SYTYCD" hopefuls.

Keep reading... Show less
Cover Story
Photo by Lucas Chilczuk

Click here to get the inside scoop on the film High Strung: Free Dance!

Juliet Doherty has been at home in the studio and the spotlight since before she could walk. The 21-year-old comes from a long line of dancers: She practically grew up at the school her grandmother owned, Fishback Studio of the Dance in Albuquerque, NM, and her mom was her longtime teacher. As a young student, Doherty competed at the world's toughest ballet competitions and performed as Clara in the Radio City Christmas SpectacularRadio City Christmas Spectacular. Eventually, she left Albuquerque to train at the San Francisco Ballet School for three years, and then she danced with Phoenix Ballet for two years.

Along the way, Doherty discovered another great love: acting. In 2014, she was part of the cast of the Susan Stroman–directed musical Little Dancer (alongside Tiler Peck). And in 2017, she appeared in her first film, On Pointe—playing, naturally, an ambitious young dancer.

Now, Doherty's on the big screen again, starring as Barlow in High Strung: Free Dance. Plus, she has a new city to call home: NYC. Doherty sat down with us to talk about the film, her transition into acting, and what's next.

Keep reading... Show less


Want to Be on Our Cover?





Get Dance Spirit in your inbox