To submit requests for assistance, or provide feedback regarding accessibility, please contact

Sports & Games

Barre Technique: Ronds de Jambe

Misty Copeland

Lesson time 4:22 min

In an advanced demonstration, Misty shows you exercises to practice ronds de jambe. These sequences prepare you for turns and help you engage placement principles while executing elaborate choreography.

Misty Copeland
Teaches Ballet Technique and Artistry
American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Misty Copeland teaches you how to build your technique, embrace your story, and own your movement.
Get Started


MISTY COPELAND: Now that we've covered stationary movements at the barre, we'll focus on maintaining proper alignment while adding motion in preparation for turns. [MUSIC PLAYING] Next, we're going to be doing ronds de jambe and combined with fouetté, and this is something that comes into play and into use in everything that you could probably think of in a classical variation. It's so necessary in every preparation, whether you're turning from tendu preparation and turning with your leg in front to prepare you for piqué arabesque or piqué turn. It's just really essential to have all of that be engaged and intact. And so this is what's going to help prepare you for that. Take a moment to get your body set and run through your placement checklist. As you circle your leg and pass through first, don't let your leg cross the center line, which is your heel. Passing straight through first position will allow you to better maintain control of your hips and keep them from moving. Make sure you tighten your thighs and glutes, so you don't sit in your standing hip. I adjust my ribs as I rotate open to keep them aligned over my hips, pushing my shoulders down, and reminding myself to keep my back engaged. It's very difficult to maintain your turnout as you move from a la seconde through ecarté to arabesque. Be careful not to open up your hip on your working leg. Both hips should remain still and square to the bar. Notice how my shoulders, back, hips, and legs move in unison as I turn outward. No one piece leads the other. What you should be focused on when approaching fouetté is really thinking of going to ecarté first and then moving all together so that one leg doesn't start the other, so that everything is really-- so when you'd be coming this way, the heel would be leading, and then you kind of turn into the arabesque so that you're not manipulating where the leg goes, that it's your hip staying intact and everything kind of working based off of that. This next exercise is what I really do to help prepare me to do fouetté and, in particular, at the beginning of the Black Swan variation. So it's the double pirouette into plié a la seconde into an attitude turn, and then landing. So this is something that I do at the barre to set me up for that. You can see my body forms a straight line from my neck down to my feet. Keep your hips moving forward and your working knee back as you battu. Do these at a quick pace to find the rhythm and coordination that you need to work through your fouettés in the center. One more time. Pushing through your standing heel as you lift. Focus on your placement principles as you move to attitude on relevé. They will help keep you from pitching your upper body forward. That's it. You can see how the core placement principles come into play for renversé. My Hips stay even, my port de bras comes from an engaged back, and the move looks effortlessly elegant as a result.

Bring emotion to life

As the first African American female principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre, Misty Copeland made history. Now she’s one of the world’s most influential dancers, and she’s inviting you to the barre to develop a deeper appreciation for ballet and the language of dance. From pliés to partners, Misty demonstrates her techniques and teaches you to own your movement, own who you are, and do the dance only you can do.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

I enjoyed the videos. As far as what I learned, hmm. Seems like these videos were just her story and her perspective. Not so much on technique or how to up level the skills of the student.

I learned about need to try other things to keep building who you are and to be confident in yourself

I admit that I was not too familiar with Misty Copeland other than hearing my mother ooo and ahhh about her and seeing her on Under Armour's windows. She is lovely, articulate and extremely talented. Love her story and her honesty. Brava!

I started formal dance training in my 40's and now at 63 continue to dance all genres.


Sabrina A.

As a professional dancer myself I am finding this Masterclass so beneficial. Misty is right about "reinventing yourself" and "constantly growing." The older I get (I'm 29 years old now) I feel further in tune with my body and understand muscles and ballet technique so much more now. Thank you Misty for the reinforcement and sharing your tips.

Regina D.

Practicing these ballet exercises this morning. Wishing I never quite ballet as a child. However, now I get a second chance!

Steven M.

Even if it's the simple Ronds de Jambe, I love her concentration and focus. Never once does she just "take it easy". Also like how she talks about how you will be using it in the dances.