Leaps are one of the greatest thrills in dance. Professional dancers appear to defy gravity as they soar through the air. Some people seem to have a natural ability for jumping, whereas some have to work at it a little harder. Most leaps in dance require tremendous strength and coordination to execute correctly. However, practice makes perfect. Following are 3 tips to help you improve your leaps.
Tip #1: Plie Deeper
A deep plie is important for achieving the height you need to properly execute a leap. A plie is simply a deep knee bend, and the last step you do before leaving the ground. The deeper the plie, the more power you will have in your legs to push off. No matter how many steps you take to prepare for the leap, make sure to really bend your knees to get as much power as you need to get high into the air.
Tip #2: Look Up
Be sure to look up as you go into your leap. If you look up, the rest of your body will follow. Looking down will keep you low to the ground. As you approach your leap, fixate on a high spot in the distance. Aim to reach that spot...your body will strive to meet the goals you set, so set your goals high. Looking up will not only allow you to jump higher, but will also make for a prettier leap.
Tip #3: Control the Landing
What goes up must come down, so landing cannot be avoided. A leap is not complete until it is landed safely. Once again, a deep plie will be helpful. Your goal for the landing will be to hit the floor as softly, and queitly, as possible. Never come out of a leap with straight knees, as doing so will almost always cause an injury. You should begin thinking about your landing as soon as your feet leave the ground. Mentally preparing your legs to absorb your weight will really make a difference.