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Ballet is a truly expressive and beautiful art form which looks graceful and admirable, but there’s no denying that there are many challenges and hurdles, especially when it comes to some of the most difficult moves in ballet. Needless to say, ballet and dancing do not come easy. They come with challenges. They come with struggles. Ballet is regarded as one of the most precise and demanding styles of dance in the western culture and it is no surprise why. So, today we are going to look at some of the most challenging dance moves in ballet and some ballet moves that look easy yet are incredibly arduous.

Ballet is formed of hundreds of steps, however, the technique itself is based upon seven fundamental body movements. Across the discipline, you’ll find jumps, twirls and refined movements that leave the body shaking beyond despair and leaps that no matter how hard you try, just sometimes seem to not want to fly. Ballerinas have to defy gravity and that never came easy.

the most difficult moves in Ballet

The skills needed to master challenging ballet is what separates the professionals from the amateurs. Here’s what you need to know about why ballet is one of the hardest art forms in the world and explore some of the most difficult moves in ballet:


A fouette is one of those dance moves that choreographers and audiences love, but most dancers will loath. A ‘whipped throw’ is one of the most advanced ballet moves, if not the most advanced. To execute it, you must pass your working leg in front or behind of the body whilst spinning. A fouette is incredibly difficult to master and takes a huge amount of determination to learn.

Have you ever seen in Swan Lake when the Black Swan executes a seemingly never-ending amount of turns on one pointed foot? Well, there are thirty-two of those turns. It is known as being one of the most difficult sequences to exist in ballet and for that half a minute, it seems as though the Black Swan has transformed into a spinning top.

Possibly the most difficult part of a fouette is maintaining the rotation. Whilst turning, the friction between the pointe shoe and the floor reduces the momentum, so how exactly does she keep going?

For a split second between each rotation, the dancer will pause and face the audience. The supporting foot flattens and then twists as it elevates back onto pointe. It is in this moment, that the they push against the floor again to build a small, yet important, amount of momentum again.

Of course, it takes more than justthat. Simultaneously, the dancer will sweep their arms open to maintain the all-important balance. After all, it’s no use executing a beautiful turn to then end up as a pile on the floor. The rotation looks the most impressive and is the most successful when the centre of gravity is a steady constant.


Pirouettes are notoriously one of the most difficult ballet moves and it can take years for a dancer to learn how to properly execute a pirouette. One of the most common and widely known dance moves, however, it requires an insane amount of balance and technique.


A sauter means ‘to jump’ and is the progression from the relevé. Pushing off from plié and leaving the floor with pointed toes and extended legs. The difficult part is the controlled landing, which must be soft and quiet. It takes a tremendous amount of strength and control to master.

Grand Adage

The grand adage is a challenging move in a ballet routine due to it requiring strong, slow and controlled movements. Lifting the legs to the front, back and sides flawlessly doesn’t come easy at all. A grand adage puts an immense amount of pressure and work on the body muscles.

If you’re looking for tips to master some of the most difficult moves in ballet, then here at Zarely, we’re here to help you out! These are some simple tips to help you achieve beautiful moves that look impressive and effortless:

  • Practise: Remember, practise gives improvement and there is always room for improvement. Keep going. Keep trying. We have all had falls and failures but it’s how we get back up and improve that really defines us. It doesn’t matter how many times you fall as long as you get back up more. Keep working at them and the dance moves will come.
  • Stay calm and breath: Focusing on the dance move and concentrating on executing the move will give you the mentality to maintain your centre of gravity.
  • Spot: It is absolutely vital to spot. Maintain your balance and giving a better appearance of the ballet moves are key to making dance moves look easy.
  • Warm up: It’s no worth piling all your energy into practise without a warm up. You need to warm up your muscles to prevent injury and be at your most physically fit to try out the moves.
  • Cool down: Usually forgotten about, cool downs are essential. You may have performed beautiful moves throughout the performance or rehearsal but if you don’t cool down you’re putting yourself at a much greater risk of injury.
  • Correct Kit: Wear the best equipment whilst performing and rehearsing. You wouldn’t use a deflated football or a racquet with a hole in so ensure your clothing is well maintained and free from rips. Don’t wear a t-shirt over your leotard and invest in well-fitting workout gear. We stock rehearsal tights, performance tights and recovery tights which you can find here: https://www.zarely.co

Sometimes, as a member of the audience you’ll see an impressive yet dare we say, easy looking, dance move. Now, that is most certainly not the case.  Have you ever ran up a flight of stairs and felt that burn in your legs and found yourself struggling for breath? Well, imagine doing a solid hour of exercises that targets those same muscles. The constant support of weight whilst maintaining balance or having to leap into the air without falling to the ground like a pile of bricks. Leg strength and flexibility are paramount to preventing injury and making ballet look so easy.

When you see a ballerina dance “en pointe” meaning on the tip of their ballet shoes, it requires dancers to perform directly on their toes. Ballet steps performed en pointe might look simple and easy, but in actual fact anything performed en pointe is an incredibly challenging dance move that looks easy.

names of difficult ballet moves, advanced ballet moves

On a nicer note, there are some ballet moves that are easy yet look hard. If you’re looking for a sure-fire way to look graceful on the stage, then here are a couple of dance moves that are fairly simple yet look incredibly difficult to impress your non-dancer friends!

Now, before we begin we just want to highlight something very important. Ballet is difficult. Although some of these moves are known as the easier dance moves, this doesn’t mean they are easy by any stretch of the imagination. They are just much simpler to learn and master than their counterparts, fouettes and pirouettes. They’re just not in the same league. They will still require practise, they will still require determination and they will still require hard work.

  • Grand Battements: Although they take an incredible amount of core strength and calculated control, it can be very easy to execute and look impressive without too much trouble. Perform a grand battement by starting in fifth position, lift the leg forwards from the body and perform a spectacular high kick.
  • A Demi-Pointe Glide: Executed right, you’ll give the impression of truly gliding across the stage. On demi-pointe, shuffle backwards whilst your arms are brought to the front in a crossed-over first position. Ensure that you don’t bob your head!

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