1 March 2014

Ballet Basics: Developpé...

While I was in the studio today, I was able to take the necessary photos for this post! Alongside my glamorous assistant, I came up with this.


Let's get started.

Start at the barre, with your feet in first position.

Peel your foot (furthest from the barre) off the floor and up your leg.

Continue to peel your foot up the supporting leg, ending at the retiré position just in front of your knee. Remember to turn out the working leg, keep your hips square and your supporting foot turned out. And relax those hands!

Start to unfold your leg. Your should try to keep your thigh still and extend from the knee, but make sure to get your retiré as high as you can to achieve maximum height.

Your developpé should look something like this. Ideally, your arm would be in second, although it's been a while since Hannah and I have practised barre work.

This can also be seen in my developpé.

Starting in first position with free arm in bras bas. Remember to turn out and keep shoulders and arms relaxed.

Start to peel foot up the side of your supporting leg, turning out from your hips, keeping them nice and square.

You should be in retiré.

Before you start unfolding your calf, you must get your thigh as high as you can. I can't find a better way to phrase it, but your thigh should be as high as your hip allows before unfolding. This works best if you're stretched so your hamstrings are 'longer' and more relaxed so it can go higher.

Extend outwards. Try not to lean towards the barre as much as I am; use your core and hips to pull up straight.

Now for some tips.

You need to practise these a lot to get better! I practise my developpés every day just around the house, and I have noticed a difference.

Hip flexors. You need them to be fairly loose to work with, and also you must build up their strength. You're going to have to hold your leg up pretty high so you need muscle for that!

Stretch! This may seem obvious, but you must properly stretch your leg muscles (especially hamstrings) before trying these, as it helps drastically.


I found this amazing page of tips and videos to help you!

This is a great resource for developpé devant, and it's one of my favourite dance instructors!

I hope you all enjoyed this tutorial! I feel obliged to say that these tips are only from my experience, so please feel free to add any tips of your own that may help!

Also, if there's any techniques, steps or tips you'd like help with, just drop a comment down below, and I'll try to come up with a tutorial for you. Thanks for reading, please share with anyone you feel this would help.


  1. This is so great! I wished I had learned Ballet from a young age but unfortunately I am not flexible and /or coordinated haha!! Great post!!! :) xx


    1. Thanks so much! You should try to teach yourself now :)

  2. Thanks so much! This was super helpful! I've been stretching and practicing randomly around the house, and it's a little easier! :)

    1. Thank you Phia! And I'm so glad to hear that! :)