I emphasize a relaxed plié, which is different from a deep plié. I use the image of a bouncing ball to create the quality of a plié that rebounds. Another image I use with my younger students is placing my hand on top of their head as they stand, and asking them to plié, but to remain as high and lifted as they were standing. This helps them understand that a plié doesn’t just bend the knees or drop down. Sometimes I tell students to imagine they are a big piece of elastic and that in order to stretch, the elastic must be held at both ends. If the top (the head) and the bottom (the legs) are not active, the elastic can’t stretch.