The Most Difficult Moves in Ballet

The Most Difficult Moves in Ballet

By Move Dance on 13th Jun 2019

Ballet is one of the hardest art forms to accomplish, it takes dancers many years to be satisfied with certain moves, steps and jumps. The dance as a whole is incredibly difficult, however, there are certain moves that take a lot of extra time and practice to perfect. The end result makes ballet may look graceful and effortless, but thanks only thanks to the long hours of practice put in beforehand. We’ve put together this list of some of the most difficult moves in ballet.

En Pointe

Every ballerina’s dream is to have the best “En Pointe” technique, a lot of training and dedication is necessary to succeed, it takes years for dancers to achieve a technique that they’re happy with. The dancer must support their whole body weight on extended feet. Pointe shoes are worn as the structural reinforcement helps to distribute the weight onto the entire foot instead of only the toes. Pointe shoes also elongate the foot giving a more graceful look, they also give you a better structure with a straighter back. Without pointe shoes it would simply be too painful.


Pirouettes are one of the most commonly known ballet moves, yet, they are extremely hard to execute perfectly. They require balance, technique and like all ballet moves, a large amount of practice. Hours upon hours are spent perfecting this move by dancers, the key is to improve your spotting technique, this gives you balance and control.


A fouette is described as a “whipped throw”. The dancer throws their working leg in front or behind their body whilst spinning. It’s one of the most difficult turns in ballet and takes a lot of practice. Swan Lake has 32 fouettes in, imagine how much practice that requires, it is one of the most difficult sequences in any ballet dance.

Colorado Ballet Principal Dancer Sharon Wehner performs “32 Fouettes” from Swan Lake.

Grand Jete

The Grand Jete is a real crowd pleaser but incredibly difficult to pull off. Composure, balance and technique is essential for this move, the dancer jumps into the air and will do the splits before landing gracefully. It’s vital the dancer lands softly and quietly, a great deal of flexibility is required for this jump.

Watch this video of Mikhailovsky Ballet Company Principal Dancer, Ivan Zayzev, performing a Grand Jete.

Grand Adage

The Grand Adage may not look as challenging as some of the other moves on this list, but don’t be tricked. This move requires tremendous amounts of strength and control. The dancer swiftly moves their legs forwards, backwards and to the sides without losing their balance. The movements must be strong, slow and steady.

It’s important for you to remember just how difficult these moves are, making mistakes is a way of learning and getting better. Don’t give up! Even the best dancers take years to succeed these moves, patience and practice makes perfect.