How to Improve Leaps for Dancers [Front Leg]

by / 4 Comments / 9404 View / February 4, 2013

There are many ways you can improve your leaps/Saut de Chat. Most importantly dancers need a good balance of strength and flexibility in order to achieve a full split in the air. Sometimes, dancers have both of these things, but still lack the 180 degree range.  There are many methods teachers use to help their students, and we’ve recently found another way that may click with your students.

How to improve leapThe leap is only as high as the passe. A Saut De Chat or leap, unlike a grand jete, passes through passe before straightening. If your student’s passes are low when they extend their leg, their leg will remain at that low level. Instead teach your dance students to have the highest passe possible. This high passe has a greater chance of remaining high during the completion of the saute chat/leap. With the front leg reaching a full 90 degrees at extension, you are free to work on getting your back leg up- along with the other necessary leaping technique. See the below pictures:



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4 Comment

  1. […] When I taught dance, I used to see gorgeous leaps, but they seemed unimpressive. I realized that their arms were blocking their faces and making them look less technical. Once I told them to press their arms behind their faces they instantly looked effortless and lighter. Keep this simple tip in mind when teaching leaps.saute chats in dance class! Also see How to Improve your leaps focusing on the front leg. […]

  2. I’ve been teaching for 7 years and I can’t believe that I haven’t thought to approach leaps this way! I love finding any new angle that can help my girls improve. Thanks!


  3. FYI: The actual name of the step is SAUT DE CHAT, which means “jump of the cat.” It is important, not only to teach the steps correctly, but to understand their origin. Our terminology, right or wrong, originated in France, so a basic understanding of the language is an important part of the culture of dancers, and therefore, an important part of teaching. “Sauté chat” meaning “jumped cat,” is not simply incorrect grammatically, but also not descriptive of the movement. You may want to edit this article.

    • Fixed! Thank you for your input.

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