When stages closed in March 2020, Tiler Peck left NYC for an extended stay with her parents at her childhood home in California. During the last year and a half, the New York City Ballet principal dancer took to her Instagram to get her community involved in her daily training, doing her best to stay in shape until she could take the stage once again. The #TurnItOutWithTiler series became a massive hit and welcomed guests like Amanda Kloots and Jennifer Garner to join in on the fun with Tiler. The Ballet Now star brought her dance workout series to the HollywoodLife Instagram, just as she was preparing to return to the theater, with her performance of Lines at the LA Music Center.
“It feels incredible to be back on stage performing. The first time I stepped onto the stage surrounded by colleagues, a wave of emotion came over me. I realized just how much I missed that human connection and dancing next to them,” Tiler told HL of getting back to work. “I was fortunate enough to dance throughout the pandemic, but nothing beats dancing on my home stage at New York City Ballet with friends.”
Ahead of her July 18th performance in front of a LIVE audience, the professional shared a lengthening and strengthening barre workout for you to do at home, just like she does!
A plié is a simple bending and straightening on the knees. We are going to start with two demi pliés and one grand plié, which is a plié that is a little bigger and goes lower to the ground. We will do that in four directions: first, second, fourth, and fifth positions.
A tendu is basically the pointing of your feet and toes with an arched instep with the toes touching the floor. So we are going to do one tendu front, then we are going to flex the foot, point it again and then bring it back into first position. We will do that in four directions: front, side, back, and side and we will repeat this entire exercise twice through in all four directions.
Dégagé (or low jete)
A dégagé is basically a tendu but now the leg is slightly off of the floor instead of where a the toes touch the floor in a tendu. We are going to do two dégagé to the front an then one plié stretch. Just like with the tendus, we are going to do this in all four directions, front, side, back, and side.
Rond de jambe
A rond de jambe is a movement in which the leg moves in a straight line away from the body, making a semi circle on the floor. We are going to tendu front and then trace a circle carrying the leg side, to the back, and then back through first position to repeat your next circle. We will do four ronds de jambe and then after the fourth one we will close back in fifth position so we can then reverse the exercise. Reversing the exercising means four ronds de jambe starting back then carrying the leg side and the finally ending in front.
Développé is the slow lifting and extending of the leg. In order to développé you will need to pass through three positions—coupé (by the ankle), passé (by the knee), attitude (halfway from knee to extension) — in order to get to full extension with the leg completely straight. For this exercise, we will simply do one développé in each direction. Développé front, développé side, développé back into what we call arabesque, and ending with a final développé to the side.
Grand battements is a powerful battement action in which you pass through dégagé and “throw” the working leg as high as possible, with both legs held straight and rotated outward. We will end this barre, with two grand battements in each of the four directions we have learned today. Two to the front, two to the side, two to the back, and two to the side.
“TIOWT is such an effective workout because nothing can strengthen and build lean muscles like a ballet barre. There isn’t a fitness exercise that one can do to target the same muscles that ballet does,” Tiler said of her at-home series. “Ballet is the perfect way to build and lengthen at the same time, and with TIOWT you can do it at home, in the comfort of your home, so you don’t have the pressure of performing for anyone- you can do it for yourself!”
She continued, “When practiced consistently, ballet gives your muscle memory a certain fluidity and ease of motion that actually gives you a change in gait and posture that inspires positivity, poise and self-assurance.”
As Tiler prepares to take the stage for her first LIVE in person performance at The Music Center, she is also working on her second children’s book in the Katarina Ballerina series and a fashion collaboration! You can watch the last performance of her run in Lines at The Music Center on July 18th, as it will be streamed for free on the website here.