The Five Types of Jumps in Dance

The Five Types of Jumps in Dance

Jumping. Either you love it or you don’t. I’m not sure if there is an in between. From my experience though, the more you know about something the easier or more likable it becomes. So why not talk about jumps a little more. (and honestly, jumping becomes more enjoyable when you’ve done a bit of cross training to build more umph behind a jump)

We can think about jumps as being one of five types of jumps. 

  • Jump from two legs to two legs: Sauté

  • Jump from one leg and land on the same leg: Temps Levé

  • Jump from one leg to the other: Jeté

  • Jump from one leg to two: Assemblé

  • Jump from two legs to one leg: Sissonne

  • Jumps, from petite allegro to grand allegro, are found at the end of a ballet class and can also often be seen in the big hoorah of a dance concert or performance. It’s vital to be well warmed up and ready to jump in either case, but also to have the strength it takes to do these jumps in a healthy way. Not only do you need endurance or muscle strength, you need cardiovascular strength. What’s the difference?

    When I talk about endurance/muscle strength I’m talking about training your muscles to be able to handle more physical activity. There are quite a few different focuses of strength training including starting strength, agile strength, and explosive strength. Really, a ballet class should cover the different types of strength training. However in most weeknight ballet classes students are either moving quickly through a warm up in order to work on recital material or an often standard hour class is not enough time to cover the material of a standard ballet class.

    Cardiovascular strength involves training the endurance of the heart and circulatory system. This is so valuable for dancers since often jumps are squeezed really quickly at the end of a class and not given a lot of time to train jumping that quickly gets the heart rate up, much like a HIIT class. You can think of Cardio training in two ways. Steady state, which refers to slow and sustained movements that get the heart rate up like a jog, a long swift walk, or a swim. There is also high intensity interval training that has gained momentum over the past ten years. These are quicker, more intense training sessions that include things like squat jumps (similar to our sauté) and burpees. While the end of a ballet class might be able to look like a HIIT training, we often don’t get to put in the time for that part of class. 

    What are your thoughts on training and building your ability to jump with better technique and endurance? Which type of strength training do you want/need to focus on for building your jumps?

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