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Technique Tips: Mastering the Grand Allegro

The Grand Allegro is the pinnacle of ballet technique, requiring a combination of strength, coordination and flexibility. Targeted exercises and practicing mindfully can allow one to strengthen different aspects of the grand allegro.

Proper Take-Off Builds Strength for the Jump


Strength is essential in making powerful jumps seem effortless. In dance, many of the more complex steps are trained by first mastering foundational steps and techniques.


For jumps, strength begins in the feet. In this case, start with Battement Tendus to engage and strengthen your feet, then progress to Grand Battements and jetés.


When doing tendus, feel every movement as you articulate your feet, maintaining turn out and feeling the pressure against the floor. This builds up strength in the take-off leg for bigger jumps.


Having square hips, a deep plié and strong grand battement are the first steps to achieving a powerful jump. The deep plié works just like a spring -- the deeper your plie, the more energy you have to lift yourself off the ground.


Jump Higher with Better Coordination and Muscle Activation


The key to a high jump is to have the right take off position and coordination of the right muscles. Strong core and hamstring muscles can help with elevation by holding the body up.


When jumping, instead of trying to propel yourself forward using your arms or upper body, think of making a rainbow with your jump, with a clear highest point. Brush your front leg off the ground, feeling the articulation of the foot and pressure against the ground. To do a grand jeté, follow with a grand battement derrière, with strong pointed toes, making sure to feel a push under the back thigh (as if someone is lifting and pushing your leg up).


At the highest point, imagine that someone is taking a photo of you! Inhale, engage your core, and ensure your arms reach the desired position, to stay in the air as long as possible. Tension or imbalance in the arms and upper body can hinder the height and strength of the jump, so relax your shoulders and arms.


Find out more on how to strengthen your core here.


Tips from Professionals: Maia Makhateli, Principal Dancer with The Dutch National Ballet

-       Use a jump rope to develop stamina, coordination and speed for a stronger takeoff

-       Use weights, about half a kilo for each leg, especially for small jumps

-       Strengthen your metatarsals – you take off and land with your toes!

Read more of her advice here.


The Grand Allegro is one of the more complex ballet exercises to master. By focusing on perfecting foundational techniques and working on proper posture and muscle coordination, you can achieve more powerful and graceful jumps. Keep practising and let your jumps soar! 🩰✨



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