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Updated: Oct 31, 2020

A tendu is a step in ballet which involves moving from first or fifth position through demi pointe to a fully extended leg with the foot pointed. The step touches the floor throughout and can move to a devant, an a la seconde or a derrière position. The step can be performed croisé, en face or effacé depending on the exercise or repertoire that has been set. Below I will explain the different elements to think about when you are executing a tendu.

1. Imagine that you have something stuck on the bottom of your ballet shoe and that as you move from your fifth or first position to your fully extended position that you are trying to wipe the bottom of your shoe.

2. Ensure that the weight remains on the supporting leg when you extend the working leg to devant, a la seconde or derrière.

3. Pull up the knees of both legs to ensure they are not slightly bent.

4. Ensure that both legs are turned out from the hip.

5. When you tendu devant lead with the heel and when returning to your starting pose lead with the little toe.

6. When you tendu to second make sure that you don’t force your turnout you should make a straight diagonal line from your starting position based on where your turnout is. To achieve this imagine your have some red paint on your big toe, stand in first position and imagine that as you tendu to second your are drawing a straight diagonal line.

7. It is also important when you tendu to second to ensure that the leg doesn’t go behind the body it should be in front of the body with the heel facing forwards.

8. When you tendu derrière lead with the little toe and as you close lead with the heel.

At Balletic we follow the bbodance ballet syllabus which in turn uses the ‘Gail Grant Technical Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet‘ for all of it‘s terminology. Diagrams may be different to what you are used to based on the school of ballet that you follow.

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