What Does Tendu Mean in Ballet?


Tendu is an important ballet movement that helps dancers develop strength and flexibility. It is a French word that translates as “to stretch.” Tendu is used to describe a number of steps in ballet, such as plié, grand battement, pas de bourrée, and relevé. It is also used to describe the position of the legs during various steps.

Tendu Exercises

Tendu exercises help dancers develop strength and flexibility in their lower body. By pushing their feet against the floor and actively pushing against it, dancers can increase the range of motion in their hips, ankles and knees.

This helps them become more proficient with jumps and turns. Additionally, tendu exercises help build core stability which is important for overall balance and coordination.

Types Of Tendus

There are two main types of tendus: en dehors tendu (outside leg) and en dedans tendu (inside leg). In each type of tendus, a dancer will use one foot to push off the ground while the other remains on the floor in either a demi-plié or a relevé position. En dehors tendus involve pushing off with the outside edge of the foot while en dedans involve pushing off with the inside edge of the foot.

Using Tendus in Choreography

Tendus are often used in choreography to create interesting transitions or dynamic shapes with the body. For example, some choreographers will use alternating en dehors & en dedans tendus to travel across the stage quickly or use them as part of a larger combination of steps like turns or jumps. Additionally, because tendus involve actively pushing against the ground for support, they can be used to add additional impact or weight to certain movements in order to heighten dramatic effect in choreography.

Conclusion – What Does Tendu Mean in Ballet?

In ballet, ‘tendu’ refers to a movement where a dancer stretches one foot out from its supporting ankle while keeping it flat against the floor either in demi-plié or relevé position . Tendus help improve strength and flexibility which can help dancers become more proficient at jumps & turns as well as be used by choreographers to add additional impact and weight during performances.