The Well Trained Dancer: Rond de Jambe

Monday, April 2, 2018

Welcome! Today we are talking about rond de jambe, specifically rond de jambe à terre.

Rond de jambe means: "circle of the leg on the ground". (Rond de jambe can also be done en l'air, but we are not addressing that yet.)


1.) Rond de jambe can be performed en dehors and en dedans. En dehors takes the leg from the front to the back, and en dedans takes the leg from the back to the front.

2.) You want to think about where you have a tendu to the front, to the side, and to the back, and rond de jambe is connecting the dots. The leg has to pass consistently through the same places it did for tendu. The same goes for en dedans moving from the back, to the side, to the front.

3.) Closing to first has to maintain turnout. From the back, heel leads to close, and from the front, the toes lead into close.


1.) Maintain the disengagement of the leg from the hip, working rotation. The hip is a ball-and-socket joint formed between the hip bone and the femur. We want the femur to move independently within the hip bone, without taking the hip bone with the femur. Sometimes this is referred to as "hula hoop hips" because it looks like the hips are moving as they would if we were doing a hula hoop!

2.) The hip of the supporting side needs to stay very turned out and lifted. Allowing the supporting side to relax, either because we simply forget or because we feel like we can gain more rotation of the working leg, is incorrect. Turnout and rotation should always come from both hips!

3.) Be aware not to let the foot turn in as it passes through first. Maintain rotation throughout the entire exercise!

Please keep in mind these are the very basics for rond de jambe, and by no means a comprehensive guide to everything going on in this step. I hope these will be helpful for those of you beginning or returning to ballet, as well as a good reminder for more advanced dancers!

Check out the video version below for further help!

- Abby


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