Tendu – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Dance Terminology Glossary

I. What is a Tendu in dance?

In the world of dance, a tendu is a fundamental movement that is commonly used in ballet and other dance styles. The term “tendu” is French for “stretched” or “stretched out,” and it refers to the action of extending one leg along the floor while keeping it in contact with the ground. This movement is essential for building strength, flexibility, and control in the legs and feet, making it a key component of a dancer’s training.

II. How is a Tendu performed?

To perform a tendu, a dancer starts in a standing position with their feet in a turned-out position. The working leg is then extended along the floor, either to the front, side, or back, while the supporting leg remains firmly planted on the ground. The movement should be executed with precision and control, with the foot pointed and the toes reaching as far as possible while maintaining proper alignment and turnout in the hips.

III. What are the different variations of Tendu?

There are several variations of the tendu that dancers can incorporate into their training. Some common variations include the battement tendu, where the working leg is lifted off the floor slightly before extending, and the tendu dégagé, where the working leg is lifted off the floor and then extended with a quick, sharp movement. These variations help to challenge the dancer’s strength, control, and coordination while further developing their technique.

IV. What is the purpose of Tendu in dance?

The tendu serves multiple purposes in dance training. It helps to strengthen the muscles of the legs and feet, improve flexibility and range of motion, and develop control and precision in movement. Additionally, the tendu is often used as a preparation for more complex movements, such as jumps and turns, making it an essential building block for dancers of all levels.

V. How can dancers improve their Tendu technique?

To improve their tendu technique, dancers can focus on several key elements. First, they should pay attention to their alignment and turnout, ensuring that the hips, knees, and feet are properly aligned throughout the movement. Dancers can also work on strengthening the muscles of the legs and feet through exercises such as releves, plies, and foot exercises. Finally, dancers should practice their tendus regularly, paying attention to details such as foot articulation, extension, and control.

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

When performing a tendu, dancers should be mindful of common mistakes that can hinder their technique. One common mistake is allowing the working leg to lift off the floor too high, which can compromise alignment and control. Another mistake is collapsing the arch of the foot or sickling the ankle, which can lead to injury and poor technique. Dancers should also avoid rushing through the movement or sacrificing precision for speed, as this can result in sloppy execution and a lack of control.

In conclusion, the tendu is a foundational movement in dance that serves as a building block for strength, flexibility, and control. By understanding the proper technique, variations, and purpose of the tendu, dancers can improve their overall performance and technique. By practicing regularly, focusing on alignment and turnout, and avoiding common mistakes, dancers can enhance their tendu technique and become more proficient and expressive dancers.