Terminology Tuesdays! Grand Battement

Today's terminology is

💃 Grand Battement

💃Pronounce: grahn bat-mahn

💃Translation: large beating

We work on our grand battements towards the end of our barre exercises when our legs are warm and stretched. The grand battement is designed to help us to learn lift, resistance, release and momentum which will greatly helps us as we make our way to the centre of the room to leap and fly! Even if jumping is out of your repertoire these days, this is a lovely exercise to help maintain upper body control, work on flexibility in the hip and to encourage strength in both our supporting leg and the leg which is lifted into the air.

Keep your supporting leg strong and your upper body engaged. Really work towards keeping the upper body still while releasing and throwing the leg into the air. This action comes from the hip, not the upper torso, therefore we need to use the floor to help us to create the momentum for the leg to fly into the air. We do this by providing a little resistance during our tendu. Working your foot through the floor before you release creates almost a ‘loading spring action’ which will then allow your leg to lift without grip or strain.

💃Important to note: Grand Battement to the back can be a particularly sensitive action for those with lower back concerns. Always consider if you may like to just simple tendu to the back instead (ie take the foot to the back without lifting the leg of the ground). If you are kicking to the back I encourage you to bring your body forward a little as you swing to reduce the ‘crunch’ on your lower back. Teacher and techniques will all differ a little on how far forward to come (or even if at all). For us, I say do as you wish! What is important is however forward you lean your body as you swing your leg to the back, can you engage your core sufficiently on your return to re-stack the whole body into a good and strong alignment before starting the next movement?