How to Perform the Degage in Ballet


When taking a ballet class, you will perform exercises involving the degage during both barre work and center-floor combinations. It is important to learn this basic ballet movement early on in your ballet training.

  • Place your feet in fifth position by taking the heel of your right foot and placing it at the big toe of your left foot. Make sure to keep your right foot in front of your left foot and turn both feet out.

  • Perform a tendu with your right foot by sliding your foot forward along the ground to point your toe to the front. Keep your right foot and leg turned out as you tendu.

  • Lift your right foot off the ground a couple of inches to perform the degage. Then bring your right foot back down to the tendu position, with your foot pointed and your toe touching the ground. Slide your right foot back into fifth position to complete the degage.

  • Practice the degage to the front many times until you can lift your leg off the ground and close it in fifth position in one swift, smooth movement.

  • Do degages to the side and back once you've mastered the degage to the front. With your feet in fifth position and your right foot closed in front, slide your right foot out to the side and point your toe to do a tendu. Lift your pointed foot off the ground a couple of inches, then slide it back into fifth position.

  • Close your right foot in the back to practice doing the degage to the back. After practicing a few times to the side and to the back, perform degages with your left leg.

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