Beginner Ballet Tips: Grand Plies in Fourth

Ballet class

(Photo credit: Oude School)

Grand plies in fourth position: yuck, right?

Okay, maybe you don’t have a problem with grand plies in fourth, but I certainly do. I’m always super wobbly while doing them. I realize that this probably has a lot to do with the fact my turnout needs a lot of work (my feet can look a mess in fourth position if I’m not being careful).

As it turns out, a quick Google search found a lot of people struggling with grand plies in fourth position, with a lot of them even questioning a need for them, as they’re kind of harsh on the knees.

Someone else recommended keeping a very small fourth position that allows you to really feel your turnout. Other people on the same message board recommended making sure your back knee doesn’t bend too far in, maintaining proper turnout, and keeping your weight equal on the same legs.

My goals for improving my fourth position grand plies will be both working on my turnout and strengthening my knees (from Dance Spirit Magazine). I’m already doing the squats from the knee strengthening post!

Do you have trouble with 4th position grand plies? Do you think they should be banned?

Note: I’m not a professional ballet instructor or fitness instructor, just sharing the notes I found helpful when I was looking for help for myself.

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