Increasing Your Toe Touch Height and Overall Technique

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In this video, dance expert, Brittney Schubert, will demonstrate ways to increase your toe touch height and your overall technique.

In the prep of your toe touch, you start with your feet together. Your body should be completely aligned with all your joints stacked on top of one another. The first move is to go up onto relevé with your arms in a shelf position. Then, you take a big plié and extend to your highest jump.

One of the most common mistakes dancers make with toe touches is not getting to their fullest extension. The reason most dancers can’t get to their fullest extension is because of their hips. Most dancers try to open their legs right away, which causes their body to lean forward and their hips to shoot backwards. Doing this causes you to look like you’re hunching forward.

The goal is to extend all the way through your hips first and then extend at the last second in the air. Your legs should open to their straddle position at your highest peak in your jump. To help with getting used to extending your hips first, you can practice the preparation into the jump, but instead of opening your legs, keep them pointed to the ground. This drill will help you to get the correct muscle memory for the hip extension and lengthening.

Once you feel you have the correct motion of extending your hips first, you can then add the actual jump and open your legs. Again, really focus on the extension and then hitting your highest point before popping your toe touch.

Another thing to think about with toe touches are to tilt your hips and land with your feet together. It helps to think about sticking your imaginary tail between your legs to help you to tuck your pelvis under. It’s also important to land with your feet together. This is why you need a good plié, so you have enough air time to open your legs and end with them closed together.