BALLET TERMINOLOGY

Arabesque:


One leg is extended behind the dancer’s body at 90° or higher.

Attitude:

The hip is at 90°, the knee is bent, and the foot is pointed. Attitude croisée devant: the leg is lifted to the front. Attitude croisée derrière: the leg is lifted to the back.

Chaînés:

“Linked like a chain”. A series of small turning steps with the feet in first position relevé. Weight is shifted rapidly from one foot to the other with each half turn. Performed continuously in rapid succession.

Chassé:

“Chasing one foot with the other”. The leading foot slides forward into fourth (or side-ward into second), then with a spring off the floor, the stance limb draws up to it in the air, and the leading foot opens to land in fourth (or second).  Often taught as “step-together-step” for smaller kids. Used as a traveling or transition step.

Fifth Position:

The legs are externally rotated; one foot is crossed in front of the other, with forward toe touching the back heel.

First Position:

The legs are externally rotated, and heels are together.

Fouetté:

A “whipping’ turn, in relevé.  The leg goes into second, and returning it to passé, with opening and closing port de bras. The opening and closing action of the gesture leg and arm create spin of the stance limb, allowing it to turn.

Fourth Position:

The legs are externally rotated; one foot is crossed in front of the other, separated by the distance of one foot.

Grand Battement:

A large, swift leg “kick” with the knee extended and foot pointed. Performed to the front, side, or back.

Jeté:

A “throwing step” where a leaping jump is executed from one foot to the other. The forward leg kicks to the front, and the other leg follows in arabesque. (May also be executed to the side).

Passé:

The hip is abducted and externally rotated, the knee is bent, the foot is pointed, and the toe touches the knee of the standing leg. However, the passé is a transitional movement as the foot passes on its way to another position.

Piroutte:

“Whirl or spin”. A controlled turn on one leg in relevé. One leg is held in retiré (passé), seconde, attitude, cou-de-pied, etc. The turn may be performed en dedans or en dehors (also known as an inside and outside turns).

Plié:

A bend of the knees while the torso is held upright. The action relies on varying degrees of hip and knee flexion. The plié can be demi- (small) or grand (large).

Relevé:

A rise or spring onto the toes (demi- or full pointe) from plié.

Second Position:

The legs are externally rotated and separated by the distance of one foot.

Third Position:

The legs are externally rotated, feet are close together with one heel is touching the middle of the other foot.

 

Want to elevate your engagement?

Join us for an upcoming Live Video Masterclass!

LIVE VIDEO MASTERCLASS
Powered by WishList Member - Membership Software