Ballet dance exercises involve techniques like echappe a terre and echappe saute, among others. Learn about ballet dance exercises with help from a creative director for a dance studio in this free video clip.
Hi there, this is Jennifer Parker, owner and director of Fluidity Dance & Yoga. Today, I'm here to teach you some ballet dance exercises. In particular, I'll teach you echappe a terre, as well as echappe saute, and eventually echappe saute bateau, or echappe jumps with beats. There are many different types of echappe, which translates into "scissors", because your feet go back and forth like a pair of scissors. We'll first talk about echappe a terre, which you can do either in your soft ballet shoes, or you can do in your point shoes. And then, we'll talk about echappe saute, where you get to jump. So, first, with echappe a terre, we'll start in fifth position, with our right foot in front of our left. We'll bring our hand into first position, we'll take a plie, and then as we releve, we'll go out to second position. And, we want to make sure that we stand up nice and tall on top of those legs. And then, we'll switch the feet, bringing the left foot in front of the right, as we plie back into fifth position. Now, with your echappe, you don't have to alternate feet, but usually it does, so we'll do a couple now, just to show, as we go out and in, out and in, out and in. So, that's our echappe a terre. Now, when we use echappe saute, we actually jump with the echappe. Now, you want to think about jumping up before you go out. So, we'll start again in fifth position, we'll take a nice plie, we'll squeeze our legs together as we jump up, and then we'll go out to second position, and then we want to think about jumping up out of second position before we come back into fifth position, with the left foot in front. Jumping up and in, just like that. So if we did a lot of echappe sautes in a row, they would look like this. So, out, up, in, up, out, up, in, up, out. Now, you can also beat your echappe, and in fact, it's a really great to learn how to do bateau, or beats, with your moves. So, I'd recommend first learning how to beat your echappe while going back in. So, I would start in fifth position, take a nice plie. Again, jump up before you jump out, and then you're going to beat your right foot in front of your left foot, before you close back into fifth position. Beat switch, just like that. Now, a lot of times, people think that beats happen because your feet move quick. But actually, beats happen because your inner thighs are working really hard. So, you want to think about squeezing those inner thighs together in order to beat the foot around. So, again here on the left side, we could plie, go up and out, and then we'll beat the left foot in front of the right, before we come back into fifth position. Beat and switch. Now, if you're looking for something a little bit more challenging, you can also add a beat on the way out of your echappe. So, in that instance, we would plie, and beat our right foot in back of our left foot before we go out to second position, like that. And then, we could also beat the foot as we come back in. In this instance, we want to beat the right foot in front of the left foot, so that the left foot ends up in front, like that. Now, if we were to do a bunch of these doubles in a row, it might look like something like this, where we beat out, beat in, beat out, beat in, beat out, beat in. Now, if you want to learn your beats using echappe saute, it's a really good way to transition into beats, but you could also use echappe a terre if you break it up. So, we can plie, go out to second position, take another plie, and then we can bring our left foot into a nice sous-sus position. That gets our inner thighs used to working in the way that they would work in a beat in a saute echappe. So, we could plie, go out to second, plie, come into sous-sus, plie, go out to second, plie, come into sous-sus. And, that helps get our inner thighs nice and ready for those beats. Now that you know ballet dance exercises, including echappe a terre, echappe saute, and echappe saute with beats, you can practice getting your beats nice and strong, as well as your inner thighs, and the rest of your legs. I'm Jennifer Parker with Fluidity Dance & Yoga. Thanks for watching.