Ballet
Vocabulary
Alignment
Proper body placement;
posture with neck over shoulder
girdle, shoulders over hips, hips
over knees, knees over feet
Ballet Notes 1
Demi-Plie’
Half bend of the knees
Ballet Notes 1
Grand Plie’
Big full bend; heels come off the
floor (except in 2nd position)
Ballet Notes 1
Tendu
Stretched; Slide toes along the
floor until toes reach out to a
pointe
Ballet Notes 2
Degage’ - Jete
Tendu with the foot off the ground.
Means “To disengage”
Ballet Notes 2
Grand Battement
Big kick
• Example-working leg rises from
the hip into the air and is brought
down again with both knees
straight.
Ballet Notes 3
Port de Bras
Carriage of the arms
Ballet Notes 3
Rond de Jambe’
Circling of the leg.
• Example-point foot front, side,
and back, then through 1st and
reverse.
Ballet Notes 3
En Dehors
To the outside
En Dedans
To the inside
En L’Air
* in the air
_________________________________________________________________
A’Terre
* on the floor
Ballet Notes 2
En Croix
In the shape of a cross
• Example-Four tendues in each
direction front/side/back/side
Ballet Notes 2
Devant
To the front
Ballet Notes 2
A la seconde
To the side
Ballet Notes 2
Derriere
To the back
Ballet Notes 4
Passe’
Means “passed”. Toe passes
along supporting leg & stops
below or at supporting knee.
Ballet Notes 4
Developpe’
Develop the leg to an extended
position
Eleve’
To rise onto the ball of the foot/feet
without a plie first.
Releve’
Eleve’ with a plie’
Sous-sus
“Over / Under”
From 5th, plie’ then rise to releve
with no space in legs and heels
Pas de Bourree’
Step of the flowing. Step back,
side, then front.
Glissade
“To glide”
From 5th position in demi-plie’,
degage front leg, slide and
transfer weight, degage second
leg into 5th position plie’.
Assamble
To assemble or put together the
legs
Cambre
• Bending at the torso
Soutenu
A turn that begins with a deep plie
with the leading leg extended in a
tendue position. Turning
underneath yourself
Spotting
The movement of the head and
focusing of the eyes in turns to
keep from getting dizzy
Pirouette
A Turn
Chasse’
Means “to chase”. One foot literally
chases the other foot out of its
position. Step, together, step.
Chaine’
Chain like turns
Grand Jete’
A Big leap
26. Pique
To prick or lightly tap as if dotting
an “i”
Pique Turns
Stepping onto a straight knee and
turning on passe
Changement
A jump to change feet from front to
back or vise versa
Saute’
A jump that begins and ends in a
demi-plie’. Both feet to both feet.
30. Arabesque
A famous pose in ballet where one
leg is extended to the back and
the opposite leg is standing
straight on the ground.
Temps Leve
“Raised time”
A hop on one leg
Echappe
“Escape”
Changing from a closed position to
an open position
Balancoire
Degage front and back brushing
through 1st
Balance’
Shifting the weight from one foot to the
other. 1, 2, 3 even tempo (brush, ball
change, brush, ball change)
Reverence
A bow or curtsy at the end of class
to show appreciation to the
teacher and other dancers
Attitude
A pose on one leg, the other leg
lifted, well turned out and bent at
the knee with the lower leg and
foot opened away from the body
Pas de Chat
Means “step of the cat”. Jump
sideways, and while in mid-air,
bends both legs up bringing the
feet up as high as possible, with
knees apart. Land in plie’
Bourree
Rippling movement in sous-sus
position. Rapid steps where front
knee is slightly bent.
Ballet Notes 1
Plie’
A bending of the knees
Ballet Notes 1
Battement
“Beating”
• Three kinds of battement:
tendue, jete/degage, & grand
battement
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