In these uncertain and scary times, it’s really important we do the things that we love and keep our passion for dance alive. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced dancer, there are several ballet exercises we can do from the comfort of our homes.

Beginner Ballet Exercises You Can Do From Home

Ballet classes might be canceled for the time being, but there are plenty of ways to keep practicing. As we all sub our ballet barre for whatever furniture we can find around the house, there are plenty of ways to adapt and continue dancing as we social distance. These beginner ballet exercises will help you maintain your form so you’re ready to get back into the dance studio when the time comes.


A relevé means “raised” and is a classical term to describe when a dancer rises to either a demi-pointe or a full point.

Relevé Exercise

It is very easy to practice your relevé at home, even without a barre. You can use any counter top, or chair to lean on, to help maintain your center and keep your balance. Face forward with your feet together, making sure to lift your heels and to keep your knees straight. Relevé for a count of eight, facing your makeshift barre. For an extra challenge you can repeat this exercise by balancing on one foot at a time. Take care to do both the right and left side, if you choose to practice your balance, so each side gets an equal work out. For more practice, you can repeat this exercise in first and second position as well.


A plié refers to the movement in dance, when one bends at the knees. There are two types of pliés, a grand- plié and a demi plié. A grand plié is a full bending of the knees with the legs turned out in first position, and the heels coming off of the floor. Grand pliés are usually performed by intermediate and advanced dancers. A demi plié is a half bending of the knees with the heels planted on the floor. Demi pliés are a great introduction to pliés for beginners.

Plié Exercise

To perfect your demi pliés, stand with your feet in first position with one hand on your homemade barre and the other rounded in first position. Bring your knees to a half bend to perform a demi plié. Make sure to keep your knees over your toes when in plié. You can do this exercise for a count of eight, and for an extra challenge, repeat in second position.


A sauté means, to jump and combines both a relevé and a plié. It can also be described as a demi plié that propels the dancer off of the ground.

Sauté Exercise

Sauté’s are a great way to build strength as a dancer, and can be done very easily at home. You can continue using your makeshift barre or opt for practicing in an open space, whichever works well for this exercise. Begin in a first plié then rise to a relevé so that you can propel yourself into the air, landing once again in a plié. Be sure to straighten your legs in the air and land in a plié so your knees are cushioned. This can be done for a count of eight and for extra practice, repeated in second position.


Piqué means “to prick” and is a great barre exercise to help improve turnout and to strengthen the legs.

Piqué Exercise

Begin in first position and brush the foot to a pointe, lifting the foot slightly off of the ground to prick the floor, then return to first position. Practice this exercise by moving the foot to the front, side, and back. Switch to the other side, so both sides are equal.You can do as many as you like, whether you want to do two, front side and back, or eight, front side and back. This will help strengthen your legs and perfect your turn out. Be sure to tuck your tail bone under and to keep your legs straight. For an extra challenge you can try this exercise without a barre.

Final Thoughts: Beginner Ballet Exercises You Can Do During COVID-19 Class Cancellations

These are just a few easily accessible ways to build on your technique while you’re stuck inside. Not only will practicing ballet help make you a better dancer, but it will keep you healthy and happy. Be sure to take these exercises slow and do them at the pace that makes you feel the most comfortable.

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