Exercise: Developing your Développé

If you have attempted a développé, you probably know it’s easy for several things to can go wrong. Perhaps you are someone who has practiced this move repeatedly, only to find yourself not targeting the desired muscle group. Or maybe the flexibility you can reach when stretching is somehow not attainable when you attempt a développé. All of this can stem from not using proper technique or practicing in a particular way that is necessary when looking to lengthen and heighten your développé. To achieve the proper control needed, you must pay close attention to which muscles you’re using to lift your leg; are you raising the whole leg, or lifting from the hip? As with most things in ballet, you must develop a precise balance between flexibility and strength. If looking to improve extension, you’ll need to complete exercises that will allow you to focus your attention on that specific area without only practicing the move in repetition. Here is one exercise that you can complete to help you develop the strength and flexibility in the necessary areas, primarily focusing on building control of your leg and pelvis.


  • Begin in the retire position with your hips facing forward.
  • Begin to move into a développé devant with your leg at hip height. Don’t move too quickly here as you work on the lengthening of your leg and control of the turnout. More so than anything else is making sure you’re focusing on your form above all else.
  • Work on a slow rotation of your leg.
  • Look out for cheating your leg out and arching your back as you come back to your starting position. These can disrupt your form and
  • Repeat 2-3 times on each side.


The more you practice this exercise, the better your muscle memory will become, allowing you to comfortably solidify your form and a greater level of control of your hip and leg. This practice will make you more confident as you practice your développé. By developing a more precise form, you are already moving towards a more significant height and control level. If you are having difficulty with the above exercise, then there is a chance that you need to take a few steps back and focus more on your form and better your foundational strength and flexibility. There are numerous additional resources that you can find that will assist you in your strength and flexibility. Check out our other resources and reach out with any questions you might have!