Tendu – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Dance Techniques Glossary

I. What is a Tendu in dance?

In the world of dance, the term “Tendu” refers to a fundamental movement that is commonly used in various dance styles, including ballet, jazz, and contemporary. Tendu, which translates to “stretched” or “stretched out” in French, is a basic exercise that involves extending one leg from a closed position to an open position while keeping the foot in contact with the floor. This movement helps dancers develop strength, flexibility, and control in their legs and feet.

II. How is a Tendu executed?

To execute a Tendu correctly, a dancer starts in a closed position with the feet together and the weight evenly distributed between both legs. The working leg is then extended outwards along the floor, with the toes pointed and the foot fully stretched. The movement should be controlled and precise, with the foot sliding along the floor until it reaches a fully stretched position. The supporting leg remains straight and engaged throughout the movement, providing stability and balance.

III. What are the different variations of Tendu?

There are several variations of Tendu that dancers can practice to improve their technique and strength. Some common variations include Tendu devant (to the front), Tendu derrière (to the back), Tendu à la seconde (to the side), and Tendu en croix (in a cross shape). Each variation focuses on different aspects of the movement, such as turnout, alignment, and coordination, and helps dancers develop a well-rounded skill set.

IV. What is the purpose of practicing Tendu?

Practicing Tendu offers a wide range of benefits for dancers of all levels. This fundamental movement helps improve leg strength, flexibility, and control, which are essential for executing more advanced dance steps and sequences. Tendu also helps dancers develop proper alignment, turnout, and foot articulation, leading to a more graceful and polished performance. Additionally, practicing Tendu can enhance a dancer’s overall coordination, musicality, and spatial awareness on stage.

V. What are common mistakes to avoid when performing a Tendu?

While Tendu may seem like a simple movement, there are several common mistakes that dancers should avoid to ensure proper execution. Some of these mistakes include sickling the foot (turning the foot inwards), gripping the floor with the toes, collapsing the arch of the foot, and failing to engage the core muscles. These errors can lead to poor technique, decreased range of motion, and increased risk of injury. To perform a Tendu correctly, dancers should focus on maintaining proper alignment, engaging the correct muscles, and moving with control and precision.

VI. How can Tendu benefit a dancer’s technique and overall performance?

In addition to improving strength, flexibility, and control, practicing Tendu can have a significant impact on a dancer’s technique and overall performance. By mastering this fundamental movement, dancers can develop a strong foundation for more complex steps and sequences. Tendu helps dancers refine their alignment, turnout, and footwork, leading to a more polished and professional appearance on stage. Furthermore, Tendu can enhance a dancer’s musicality, rhythm, and expression, allowing them to connect more deeply with the music and tell a compelling story through movement.

In conclusion, Tendu is a versatile and essential movement that plays a crucial role in the training and development of dancers. By practicing Tendu regularly and focusing on proper technique, dancers can improve their strength, flexibility, and control, leading to a more polished and professional performance. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced dancer, incorporating Tendu into your daily practice routine can help you achieve your full potential and take your dancing to the next level.