Vocabulary Review: Dégagé

Dégagé is a very important step, because not only is it a good warm-up for the feet, and a strengthener for pointe, but it’s a preparation step for later steps in the center, like glissade, sauté and temps levé, and jetés.

The word degage means “disengaged.” The American and Italian school tend to call the step this because we’re focused on disengaging from the floor. However the French school tends to call it battement glissé, which means “glide.” They want this step to focus on the gliding graceful aspects of the step. The Russians school often calls it battement jeté, which means “thrown.” They look at the sharper components, and want the throwing out and pulling back in.

It’s important to know all these different versions so that a) if you ever go to a different class and the teacher says one of them, you know what they’re talking about, and b) good dégagés combine all three of these different components. Disengaging, throwing, and gliding. See if you can get all three of those adjectives into your dégagés!

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