Biomechanics and Kinematics of a Leap Dance


Analysis of the Muscles Involved

The Center of Gravity

Analysis of the Injuries Prone to the Movement

It is not known when leaping first appeared in dance. Many ancient forms of dance involve leaping. The most common connotation of leaping is found in ballet. Ballet reached the height of its popularity during the reign of Louis XIV at the end of the late 17th and early 18th centuries. It was because of leaps that the ballet dancers shortened their skirts. The French Dancer, Marie Camargo broke convention and shortened her skirts to emphasize her leaps and jumps (Thinkquest, 2002).

Leaping refers to a movement taking off from one foot and landing on the other foot. There are five types of jumps in ballet. This particular type of leap is called a jete’ A leap in dance is often proceeded by a preparatory move such a one or more approach steps or a plie. A plie means bending at the knees. Preparatory steps are designed to give the dancer momentum so that they can achieve greater height and distance. Emphasis in a ballet leap is on proper form in all stages of the leap from preparation to take off to flight, and landing. A proper leap will include a lifted upper body, proper arm placement, extension, tight legs, and pointed toes. A proper leap has both height and distance. The leap should give the illusion of flight.

Kinesthesiology is a branch of physics dedicated to the physics involved in movement. Several scientists of note contributed to this field including Aristotle, who applied geometry to the acts of walking, running and jumping. Barelli, a student of Galileo, noted that the bones act as levers. The forces that act on the body are both internal from muscles and bones, and external forces, such as gravity and inertia. As a dancer moves across the stage force is transferred from one element to another. This paper will explore the body mechanics involved in all phases of the ballet leap, called the jete’.

Phases of the Jete’

The leap can be divided into three major portions, the take off, flight, and landing (Becker, 1964). In addition there is a preparation stage and a recovery stage after landing. The preparation and recovery stages can be have many forms and variations.

The purpose of the preparatory stage is to provide momentum. In order for maximum upward and forward momentum to be exerted, several actions must take place, a change in direction and a burst of energy from the feet pushing against a solid object. These two forces interact to launch the dancer into the air. Ballet dancers use many preparations in their leaps. They may give a plie, bending of the knees to varying degrees. They may also use a series of steps prior to the leap.

The take off is the most important part of the leap. In order to change direction the feet must impact a solid surface (floor). At this point the legs move from a bent positions to a straight position and then one leg extends forward and one extends backward into flight position. At the same time the arms and hands rise from the preparatory positions, usually either hanging to the sides or at 90 degree angles to the floor and torso. They rotate into final flight position.

Flight involves forward motion. At this point legs and arms are positioned for maximum aerodynamics and extension. Many arm positions are possible. Legs are extended rigidly in a split position. Toes are pointed. The body travels in an arch.

The forward foot is the first to impact the floor. Specifically the big toe, ball of foot, then rolling to the heel. The second leg joins the first, which is already firmly planted. Knees are slightly bent to absorb impact. The recovery involves a bend in the knees to absorb shock. Arms return to natural position. The knees straighten to a standing position ready for the next move.

Analysis of the Muscles Involved

The forces exerted during the leap are both internal and external. Internal forces come from the muscles, bones, and tendons. When a muscle contracts it exerts active force. A passive force absorbs energy that is transferred to it by the active force, such as when the muscle tries to move the joint. Gravity and inertia are examples of external forces that are exerted on the dancer. An load is applied when a dancer lifts another dancer Dancing involves many types of movements. However, physics primarily recognizes two types of movements, linear and rotational (Kent School District, 1998).

For the leap, the body can be divided into two portions, the upper body and lower body. The upper body including the head, shoulders, arms, and torso are used primarily in the leap for stability, balance and aerodynamics. All major muscle groups in the upper body are involved in this activity. However, none of them has excessive force exerted on them, except for friction from the air and gravity.

The legs do the major portion of the work in the leap. At the take off, primary stress is placed on the calves, ankles, hamstrings, and gluteus maximus. They work in combination to provide the change in direction and propulsion. During the flight phase, these same muscles must transition to maximum extension to provide balance and stability while in the air. During the landing, these same muscles must absorb the impact of the landing and work to return the body to a stable position.

A leap is complex and involves every muscle in the body at one point. The arms and upper body do some work. However, it is the lower body that must bear the brunt of the burden. A jete’ is one of the most complex movements in dance.

The Center of Gravity

The object of the leap is to keep the center of gravity just above the contact points with the floor. Any variance from this will cause the dancer to become unstable and possibly lose balance and fall. Failure to maintain proper center of gravity will severely reduce the dancer’s distance and height in the leap. This is perhaps the most critical element of the leap and the most difficult as well.

Proper positioning of the body is the key to maintaining a proper center of gravity. A dancer practices each phase of the leap separately until proper body position is easily maintained throughout all phases. A center of gravity, which is too low will cause a reduction in height and reduce the parabolic flight path. A center of gravity, which is off center will cause the dancer to have to compensate, which could ultimately cause a fall.

The dancer seeks to raise the center of gravity just above the area of contact with the floor. Otherwise they will tip over. A smaller area of contact makes balance more difficult. In a leap there is a time during the flight phase where nothing is in contact with the floor and the center of gravity is quite high. This is the most difficult phase in which to maintain balance. In addition if a dancer gets off balance, they will have to compensate in the landing phase to prevent a fall.

In physics terms, the effect of gravity on center of gravity is the same as if gravity were acting on the entire body. At the center of gravity force = 0 (Laws, 1994). If the center of gravity drifts off center the object (dancer) will develop torque (spin) which increases the risk of a fall. Gravity and friction are the main forces acting on a dancer in the air. Maintaining a correct level and balanced center of gravity is the key to flight.

Analysis of the Injuries Prone to the Movement

The body is subject to various injuries throughout all phases of the leap. The upper body, arms and shoulder are at risk of hyperextension and injuries involving muscles, tendons, and joints. Maintaining proper positioning and center of gravity are the keys to preventing these types of injuries. The less these body parts need to compensate, the less likely they will sustain injury.

The legs and lower body bear the brunt of the force and have the greatest risk of injury. During the take off stage, there is a risk of injury to the major muscle groups of the legs and buttock areas. All muscles are at equal danger of risk. The primary risk is that of excessive force beyond the muscle capacity to bear the force. Primary injuries would be to muscles, tendons and joints. The risk of injury to the lower body is primarily the same during the flight phase. Muscles, tendons, and joints run the risk of hyperextension.

The landing phase of the leap is by far the most dangerous. If the body is not positioned properly to absorb the impact, injuries could be extensive, particularly if they cause a fall. Every part of the body is at risk in a fall situation. Injuries could be more severe involving broken bones, especially in the ankle and foot of the leading leg. If a fall is involved bruising could result.

An injury during any part of the leap can cause a cascade effect in which not only the part effected is injured, but other parts are injured in an attempt to compensate for the injured part. Seldom do injuries that occur during a leap involve only one muscle group or body part. The most dangerous phase of the leap is the landing. The faster and higher a dancer is going, the more force the landing will have (Laws, 1994).


The Jete’ is a complex movement with many elements of physics involved. There is an entire branch of science devoted to the study of kinesthesiology, or body mechanics. The jete’ is one of the most complex movements in ballet, or any other dance form for that matter. The jete’ involves all major muscle groups at some point in its execution. A dancer must maintain near perfect position in all phases of the leap. A slight error in any phase could cause injury.

Of the phases of the leap, the landing is by far the most dangerous phase. Muscle, tendon and joint injuries can occur at any time during the leap. However, more severe injuries occur in the landing phase. Injuries can have a cascade effect, where one injury leads to successive injuries. Impact injuries can involve serious injuries such as broken bones and extensive bruising. The bones of the foot and ankle are most susceptible to this type of injury. A dancer must strive to maintain proper balance and positioning in the phases preceding the landing phase in order to minimize risk of injury during this phase.

Injuries from the jete’ can be minimized by obtaining proper training and instruction from a reputable teacher. Emphasis in the jete’ should always be placed on proper positioning. Height and distance will develop with proper body mechanics. A dancer should always do proper warm up exercises to reduce the risk of hyperextending muscles. The jete’ is one of the most demanding and difficult of all ballet moves. However, a properly performed jete’ gives the illusion of flight. Dancers must be aware of their surroundings and signals from their own bodies to reduce injury from the performance of this difficult, but beautiful move.

Works Cited

Author unknown. The Physics of Dance. Kent School District. 1998. Retrieved from


accessed August, 2002.

Becker, T.J. Kinetic and kinematic parameters of landing impact forces in the dance jump and leap, 1964. Ph.D thesis., Indiana University.

Kenneth Laws Physics, Dance, and the Pas de Deux, Schirmer Books, New York, 1994. Ballet through the Centuries. Retrieved from

accessed August, 2002

Get Professional Assignment Help Cheaply

Buy Custom Essay

Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?

Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.

Why Choose Our Academic Writing Service?

  • Plagiarism free papers
  • Timely delivery
  • Any deadline
  • Skilled, Experienced Native English Writers
  • Subject-relevant academic writer
  • Adherence to paper instructions
  • Ability to tackle bulk assignments
  • Reasonable prices
  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • Get superb grades consistently

Online Academic Help With Different Subjects


Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.


Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.

Computer science

Computer science is a tough subject. Fortunately, our computer science experts are up to the match. No need to stress and have sleepless nights. Our academic writers will tackle all your computer science assignments and deliver them on time. Let us handle all your python, java, ruby, JavaScript, php , C+ assignments!


While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.


Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.


In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.


Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.


We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!


We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.


Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.

What discipline/subjects do you deal in?

We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.

Are your writers competent enough to handle my paper?

Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.

What if I don’t like the paper?

There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.

Reasons being:

  • When assigning your order, we match the paper’s discipline with the writer’s field/specialization. Since all our writers are graduates, we match the paper’s subject with the field the writer studied. For instance, if it’s a nursing paper, only a nursing graduate and writer will handle it. Furthermore, all our writers have academic writing experience and top-notch research skills.
  • We have a quality assurance that reviews the paper before it gets to you. As such, we ensure that you get a paper that meets the required standard and will most definitely make the grade.

In the event that you don’t like your paper:

  • The writer will revise the paper up to your pleasing. You have unlimited revisions. You simply need to highlight what specifically you don’t like about the paper, and the writer will make the amendments. The paper will be revised until you are satisfied. Revisions are free of charge
  • We will have a different writer write the paper from scratch.
  • Last resort, if the above does not work, we will refund your money.

Will the professor find out I didn’t write the paper myself?

Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.

What if the paper is plagiarized?

We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.

When will I get my paper?

You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.

Will anyone find out that I used your services?

We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.

How our Assignment  Help Service Works

1.      Place an order

You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.

2.      Pay for the order

Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.

3.      Track the progress

You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.

4.      Download the paper

The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.

smile and order essaysmile and order essay PLACE THIS ORDER OR A SIMILAR ORDER WITH US TODAY AND GET A PERFECT SCORE!!!

order custom essay paper
Calculate the price
Make an order in advance and get the best price
Pages (550 words)
*Price with a welcome 15% discount applied.
Pro tip: If you want to save more money and pay the lowest price, you need to set a more extended deadline.
We know how difficult it is to be a student these days. That's why our prices are one of the most affordable on the market, and there are no hidden fees.

Instead, we offer bonuses, discounts, and free services to make your experience outstanding.
How it works
Receive a 100% original paper that will pass Turnitin from a top essay writing service
step 1
Upload your instructions
Fill out the order form and provide paper details. You can even attach screenshots or add additional instructions later. If something is not clear or missing, the writer will contact you for clarification.
Pro service tips
How to get the most out of your experience with Grade Birdie
One writer throughout the entire course
If you like the writer, you can hire them again. Just copy & paste their ID on the order form ("Preferred Writer's ID" field). This way, your vocabulary will be uniform, and the writer will be aware of your needs.
The same paper from different writers
You can order essay or any other work from two different writers to choose the best one or give another version to a friend. This can be done through the add-on "Same paper from another writer."
Copy of sources used by the writer
Our college essay writers work with ScienceDirect and other databases. They can send you articles or materials used in PDF or through screenshots. Just tick the "Copy of sources" field on the order form.
See why 20k+ students have chosen us as their sole writing assistance provider
Check out the latest reviews and opinions submitted by real customers worldwide and make an informed decision.
writer is very good, love it
Customer 452927, December 15th, 2021
Thank you, it was well written
Customer 452927, February 20th, 2022
Good job
Customer 452619, March 22nd, 2021
Very good.
Customer 452787, November 5th, 2021
Health Care
Thank You!
Customer 453341, April 20th, 2022
scholarly articles references should not be older than 2017
Customer 452807, October 16th, 2021
Health and Safety
Thank you very much to the writer Alex and support Heidi for quick assistance and support
Customer 452957, September 4th, 2022
Biology (and other Life Sciences)
I just reviewed it and I am really happy with the outcome. I really appreciate it, thank you.
Customer 452641, April 20th, 2021
Community Health Nursing
Customer 453269, July 13th, 2022
Computer science
Customer 453333, May 16th, 2022
Medical Biochemistry
Great and on time. Thanks.
Customer 453269, June 28th, 2022
Very satisfied
Customer 452619, March 22nd, 2021
Customer reviews in total
Current satisfaction rate
3 pages
Average paper length
Customers referred by a friend
15% OFF your first order
Use a coupon FIRST15 and enjoy expert help with any task at the most affordable price.
Claim my 15% OFF Order in Chat
error: Content is protected !!
Need assignment help? You can contact our live agent via WhatsApp using +1 718 717 2861

Feel free to ask questions, clarifications, or discounts available when placing an order.

Order your essay today and save 30% with the discount code BIRDIE