Dictionary of Ballet Terms
A printable, quick reference tool for ballet dance students, teachers and choreographers.
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Classical Ballet Dictionary • Terms, Definitions, Pronunciation
• a la seconde
To the side or in the second position.
A la seconde usually means a movement done by the feet to the side such as a 'tendu', 'glisse' or 'grand battement. technically challenging type of turn is a pirouette a la seconde, where the dancer spins with the working leg in second position in a la hauteur. This turn is typically performed by male dancers because of the advanced skills required to perform it correctly. It is seen as the male counterpart of fouettes en tournant.




• a terre ah tehr'
On or to the floor; the earth.




• adagio ah-dazj'-eh-oh
Slow. A slow, sustained movement.
dagio (Italian), adage (French), meaning "at ease", refers to slow, enfolding movements, performed with great fluidity and grace. In a grand pas (or classical pas de deux, grand pas d'action, etc.), the adagio is usually referred to as the grand adage, and often follows the entree. This adage is typically the outward movement of the grand pas where the female dancer is partnered by the lead male dancer, or one or more suitors, or both. In ballet, adagio does not refer to the music accompanying the dance but rather the type of balletic movement being performed. For example, in Swan Lake the grand adage of the Black Swan Pas de deux is musically andante, whereas the movement is adagio. In a classical ballet class, the adagio part of the lesson concentrates on slow movements to improve dancers' ability to control the leg and increase extension (i.e., to bring the leg into high positions with control and ease). Adagio combinations typically occur in the centre following exercises at the barre, and consist of principal steps such as plie, developpe, attitude, arabesque, and grande rond de jambe.




• allegro ah-leh-groh'
Fast. Jumps performed to a quick, sharp tempo. Grand allegro: large jumps. Petite allegro: small jumps.
Meaning brisk, lively. A term applied to all bright, fast, or brisk movements. ll steps of elevation in ballet fall under the term 'allegro' such as sautes, soubresauts, changement, echappe, assmeble, jete, assemble, sissone, entrechat, and so on. The majority of dances, both solo and group, are built on allegro. The most important qualities to aim at in allegro are lightness, smoothness and ballon.




• allonge aa-lohn-jay'
To elongate; to stretch.
Means to "ellongate" djective describing a position as stretched out or made longer, often used with arabesque.




• plomb
refers to stability of the position.




• arabesque ah-rah-besk
a pose on one leg with the other leg extended to the back; originally, a flourished, curved line used in Arabic motifs.
Arabesque is the position of the body supported on one leg, with the other leg extended behind the body with the knee straight. The standing leg may be either bent, in plie, or straight. Arabesque is used in both allegro and adagio choreography. The working leg is placed in 4th open, a terre (on the ground) or en l'air (raised). Armline defines whether this is 1st, 2nd or 3rd Arabesque.




• assemble ah-sahm-blay'
To assemble; a jump from one foot landing on two feet. Example: from 5th position brush the back leg to the side 45° as the supporting leg bends at the knee, then jump off the floor, land on both legs in 5th position at the same time.
Sometimes also pas assemble. Literally "assembled". jump from two feet to two feet, where the working leg performs a battement glisse/degage, "swishing" out. With the dancer launching into a jump, the second foot then swishes up under the first foot.




• attitude
position in which the dancer stands on one leg (known as the supporting leg) while the other leg (working leg) is lifted and well turned out with the knee bent at approximately 90-degree angle.
The lifted or working leg can be behind (derriere), in front (devant), or on the side (a la seconde) of the body. In some styles of ballet, such as RD, the foot should be below the knee, creating an obtuse angle at the knee. In others, such as the Balanchine and Russian styles, the foot must be in line with the knee or above it, creating an angle that is 90-degrees or less. The attitude position can be performed with the supporting leg and foot either en pointe, demi pointe or on a flat foot.




• vant
"Forwards", to the front, as opposed to arriere.
A step travelling en avant moves forwards, towards the audience.




• balance bah-lahn-say'
To swing; to rock. A swinging 3-step movement that is usually done either on the musical meter of 3/8 or 6/8.
Usually executed in three counts, the dancer typically begins in fifth position plie. Before the first count, one foot extends in a degage, typically to second position. However, balance devant or derriere are also possible. Balance is often confused with pas de valse, a waltz step. However, when doing a balance the three steps make a "down, up, down" motion (fondu, releve, fondu), whereas in pas de valse, a true waltz, the motion is "down, up, up" (fondu, releve, releve).




• balancoire bah-lahn-swahr'
See-saw. A movement that as the leg moves forward and backwards, the body bends in the opposite direction. Begin with working leg to the back and the body leaning slightly forward, pass the leg through 1st position and straighten the body, then extend the leg to the front and the body leans slightly backwards.
movement usually with grands battements or attitudes, in which a dancer swings his/her leg front (devant) and back (derriere) through first position.




• ballerina
Italian for "female dancer". As late as the 1950s a ballerina was the principal female dancer of a ballet company who was also very accomplished in the international world of ballet, especially beyond her own company; female dancers who danced ballet were then called danseuses or simply ballet dancers. Ballerina was a critical accolade bestowed on relatively few female dancers, somewhat similar to the title diva in opera. The male version of this term is danseur noble (French). Since the 1960s, however, the term has lost this honorific aspect and is applied generally to women who are ballet dancers.
In the original Italian, the terms ballerino (a male dancer, usually in ballet) and ballerina do not imply the accomplished and critically acclaimed dancers once meant by the terms ballerina and danseur noble when used in English. Rather, they simply mean one who dances ballet. Italian terms that do convey an accomplished female ballet dancer are prima ballerina and prima ballerina assoluta (the French word etoile is used in this sense at the Scala ballet company in Milan but has a different meaning at the Paris Opera Ballet.) Danzatore (male) and danzatrice (female) are general terms in Italian to signifiy dancers.




• ballerino
Used in Italian for "male dancer". A Ballerino is a principal male dancer of a ballet company in Italy. He is referred to as a "danseur" in a ballet company in France. These terms are rarely used in English.
Since ballerino is not used in English, it does not enjoy the same connotation as ballerina (see above for a detailed explanation of these terms). regular male dancer in Italy is called a danzatore, while ballerino usually denotes a male ballet dancer in Italy. In the English speaking world, boys or men who dance classical ballet are usually referred to as (male) ballet dancers. Often "ballerino" is used in English-based countries as slang.




• balletomane
ballet fan or enthusiast. The word is of Russian origin c. 1930, with the suffix -mane coming from maniya (mania).




• ballon
"to bounce," where the dancer can show the lightness of the movement. This is a quality, not the elevation or height, of the jump. Even in small, quick jumps (petite allegro), dancers strive to exhibit ballon. A dancer exhibiting ballon would spring off the floor and appear to pause mid-air before landing.




• ballonne bah-lahn-nay'
Expanded; from balloon. A jump from one foot to the same foot as the other leg is extended outward and then returns to original position. Example: begin with the working leg to the back and the body leaning slightly forward, pass the leg through 1st position and straighten the body, then extend the leg to the front and the body leans slightly backwards.




• ballotte bah-luh-tay'
To toss; to toss about. A jump that can be done from either one foot or two feet. Example: from 5th position, jump off the floor with both feet, extend the front leg either to the front, side, or back by bending the knee, and land on the back leg.




• barre
horizontal bar, approximately waist height, typically made of wood or metal, that is used for ballet warm-up exercises. Ballet classes commonly begin at the barre, and consist of half their total class time at the barre.
Dancers are often taught not to rely on the barre as so much to treat it like a partner, holding on gently and still maintaining their own weight. Fixed barres are typically mounted along mirror-covered walls. There are also portable barres that can be relocated as needed.




• battement baht-mahn'
Movement of the leg.
Meaning "beat". A beating movement of the working leg, the leg that is active. Battements are usually executed in front (en avant or a la quatrieme devant), to the side (a la seconde) or back (en arriere or a la quatrieme derriere). -battement developpe is usually a slow battement in which the leg is first lifted to retire position, then fully extended (or "unfolded") passing through attitude position. -battement fondu is a battement (usually slower) from a fondu (both knees bent, working foot on the cou-de-pied of the supporting leg) position and extends until both legs are straight. The working leg can end up on the floor (a terre) or off the floor (en l'air). It can be executed double. -battement frappe is a battement where the foot moves from a flexed or 'cou-de-pied' position next to the ankle of the supporting leg, and extends out to a straight position quickly and forcefully, and by doing so hitting the floor (the so-called frappe). In the Russian school the foot is wrapped around the ankle, rather than flexed and does not strike the floor. In this case, the frappe is given by the working foot striking the ankle of the supporting leg. Battements frappes can be executed double, with beats alternating front and back of the standing leg's ankle before striking out. -battement glisse (French school) or "degage" (Italian School) or "jete" (Russian school) is a rapid battement normally taken to 2-3 centimeters off the floor (literally means a "gliding" battement). See battement tendu jete. Typically, on this exercise, the accent of the movement with the downbeat of the music is on the closing in of the feet, as opposed to the extending of the leg. -battement lent is a slow battement, normally taken as high as possible, which involves considerable control and strength. Both legs remain straight for the whole duration of the movement. Grand battement with pirouettes -battement tendu is a battement where the extended foot never leaves the floor. The working foot slides forward or sideways or backwards from the fifth or first position to reach the fourth or second position, lifting the heel off the floor and stretching the instep. It forms the preparation for many other positions, such as the ronds de jambe and pirouette positions. -battement tendu jete (Russian school) is a battement normally taken to anywhere from 2 cm off the floor up to 45 degrees, depending on the style. It is the same as battement degage (Cecchetti) or battement glisse (French school). -grand battement is a powerful battement action where the dancer passes through degage and "throws" the leg as high as possible, keeping it straight, while the supporting leg also remains straight. -grand battement en cloche is a grand battement which continuously "swishes" forwards and backwards passing through the first position of the feet (literally: large battement with pendulum movement). -petit battement is a battement action where the bending action is at the knee, while the upper leg and thigh remain still. The working foot quickly alternates from the cou-de-pied position in the front to the cou-de-pied position in the back, slightly opening to the side.




• battement releve lent baht-mahn' rehl-leh-vay' lehnt
To rise slowly and evenly; a movement that requires one leg to extend evenly forward as the other leg rises to demi-pointe; it can be done front, side, or back.




• batterie baht-tree'
Battery; beating. A general term used to describe the beating of the legs.
A whole family of techniques and steps involving turns and jumps, where the feet cross quickly in front and behind each other, creating a flapping or "beating" effect and brushing through first position. lso called beats in the Royal cademy of Dance (RD) syllabus.




• battu bah-tew'
Beaten; beat. term used to describe certain steps and jumps. i.e. echappe battu: a jump from two feet with a beat before landing on two feet; also, a specific movement usually performed at the barre. i.e. battement battu: standing on one leg while the other leg beats against it.
To beat. ny step that adds an extra beat before finishing is considered battu. Jete battu, for example.




• bourree boo-ray'
To tamp. A step done on the half-toe where one leg pulls the other leg to close both in a tight 5th position in a series of very small and rapid steps.
The word originates from an old French dance resembling the gavotte. In ballet, this denotes quick, even movements often done on pointe, the movement gives the look of gliding.




• brise bree-zay'
To break apart; to burst. A beating jump from 5th position to 5th position travelling either forward or backwards. Example: right foot back to 5th position on the diagonal; throw the leg forward and while travelling forward, beat the supporting leg, and then land with the working leg back in the 5th position.
jump. One leg is thrust from the fifth position to the front in the air; the second leg reaches the first in mid-air executing a beat. An alternate execution of brise devant starts croise in fifth position; brise derriere is executed similarly with the front foot initiating the movement and brushing to efface derriere. The back foot brushes through first to degage efface devant, the bottom leg thrusts up to meet the top leg and beats to the front and lands in the starting fifth position. It is a traveling movement; the dancer executes an assemble, then, doing a beat, changes fifth positions in the air. The dancer may practice petits battements in preparation for this step.




• bras croise
Literally "crossed arms". Arms are placed so that, when the dancer is facing one of the stage corners, one is extended the second position away from the audience and the other is curved in first position front (Cecchetti forth position en avant).




• bravura
A flashy, showy and elaborate style of dance that involves a lot of elaborate steps and style to similar music. Usually during a key solo.




• cabriole kah-bree'-ohl
Caper; leap. A beating jump from one leg to the same leg. Example: hold one leg off the floor and then jump up with the supporting leg, beat it against the other leg and land back on the original supporting leg.
An allegro step in which the extended legs are beaten in the air. Cabrioles are divided into two categories: petite, which are executed at 45 degrees, and grande, which are executed at 90 degrees. The working leg is thrust into the air, the underneath leg follows and beats against the first leg, sending it higher. The landing is then made on the underneath leg. Cabriole may be done devant, derriere and a la seconde in any given position of the body such as croise, efface, ecarte...




• chaine shah-nay'
To chain; series of connected movements. Example: make half-turns in 1st position travelling to the side very quickly.
This is a common abbreviation for tours chaînes deboules, which is a series of quick 360 degree complete rotation turns on alternating feet with progression, or chain, along a straight line or circle. The majority of the revolution is completed on the leading foot with the remainder on the trailing foot when it closes in first position. The turns are done with the feet in a small, tight first position releve. "Spotting" of the head is used to stabilize the torso in this and all turning exercises in ballet. They are also known as "chaînes tournes". In classical ballet each rotation is done on pointes or demi-pointes (balls of the feet).




• change shahn-zjay'
To change.




• changement shahnzj-mahn'
Alteration; a jump from 5th position, changing the legs and landing in 5th position.
A jump in which the feet change positions in the air. For example, beginning in fifth position with the right foot front, plie and jump, switching the right to the back, landing with the left foot front in fifth position. In the Vaganova vocabulary, petit changement de pieds indicates a changement where the feet barely leave the floor.




• chasse shah-say'
To glide; a smooth gliding movement that can be either front, side, or back. Example: with one leg in the front and extended forward of the other leg, step forward on the extended leg, pull both legs together travelling forward in the air, then, land on the back leg with the front leg extended.
slide forwards, backwards, or sideways with both legs bent, then springing into the air with legs meeting and straightened. It can be done either in a gallop (like children pretending to ride a horse) or by pushing the first foot along the floor in a plie to make the springing jump up. This step is generally found in a series, either with several of the same or a combination of movements. Like a glide.




• cinq sank
Five.




• cinquieme sank'-ee-em
Fith.




• coda
Literally "tail". As in music, a Coda is a passage which brings a movement or a separate piece to a conclusion.
In ballet, the coda is usually the "Finale", a set of dances known as the Grand Pas or Grand Pas d'action and brings almost all the dancers onto the stage. A particularly large or complex coda may be called a Grand coda. If a large group of dancers are concerned, the terms Coda generale or Grand coda generale may be used. In ballet there are many famous codas, such as the one found in Le Corsaire Pas de Deux. The so-called Black Swan Pas de deux from the ballet Swan Lake features the famous coda where the ballerina performs 32 fouettes en tournant.




• corps de ballet
The ensemble of a ballet company; especially, the ensemble apart from the featured dancers. Being a part of the corps means one is not a soloist, nor a principal.




• coryphee
A dancer of higher rank than a member of the corps de ballet, but not yet a principal, who performs in small ensembles.




• contretemps kahn-trah-than'
Contrary step; a step from one direction that quickly changes to the other. Example: facing down-room corner with right leg crossed in front of the left leg, in a clock-wise circle move the left leg forward of the right leg and change directions to face the other down-room corner, step on the left leg and pass the right leg forward.




• coupe koo-pay'
To cut; a movement that calls for the foot to be sharply pulled off the floor and placed either in front or back of the ankle.
Coupe is both a step and action: Coupe means to close, cut or tombe' (fall) exchanging the from one leg to another and its by the ballet shoe, exchanging weight from one leg to another through a closed position, usually fifth, (rarely first or third). It is commonly executed from a sur le cou de pied front to sur le cou de pied back or vice versa. (Cou de pied positions vary greatly from method to method, school to school.) But it also may be done from an extended leg position into fondu or directly through fifth position. It can only be performed through a closed leg position. (Note: If the dancer closes, cuts or tombe'e (fall) exchanging the from one leg to another through an open position such as second or fourth it is referenced as "tombe' or tombee.[4] The Vaganova School rarely uses this term for this action, except as the preparation for specific allegros. Rather, "Tombe through fifth postion" is more common.[5] In the United States, "Coupe" is confused with "Cou de pied" and Sur le cou de pied.




• couru
Meaning run in small quick steps; in most cases calves are kept together and feet are in a tight fifth position. Couru can be done en pointe or en demi point. You can travel forward, backward and to both sides. For example, pas de bourree couru.




• croise krawh-zay'
To cross; a position that requires the dancer to face on the diagonal and have one leg crossed in front of the other.
One of the directions of epaulement. The dancer stands facing one of the corners of the stage; his/her body is placed at an oblique angle to the audience. The leg may be crossed to the front or to the back. Croise is used in the third, fourth and fifth positions of the legs. The dancer is in croise if the front leg is the right leg, and the dancer is facing the front-left corner of the stage (or dance studio); or if the front leg is the left, and the dancer is facing his/her front-right corner, then the dancer is in croise. In croise position the dancer should be aligned so that the audience can see both his/her shoulders and hips.




• danseur
The official term for a male ballet dancer. A Male dancer can also be known as a ballerino in Italian.




• danseur noble
A highly accomplished male ballet dancer. The female version is Prima ballerina (Italian) or danseuse (French). danseur noble is not just any dancer in the world of ballet, but one who has received international critical accolades from the dance community. Please see entry above for ballerina for a more detailed explanation of this concept. Most boys and men who dance classical ballet are just called danseurs.




• danseuse
The official, yet often unused term for female ballet dancers. The term for just any general female ballet dancers is mostly ballerinas, even though it is technically inaccurate.




• de deh
Of; to.




• de Cote deh koh-tay'
Sideways. To the side. Used to indicate that a step is to be made to the side, either to the right or to the left.




• de poisson duh pwah-sohn'
Of the fish; a movement that describes a jump from two feet with the legs held tightly together and the body bent backwards.




• deboule
A fast sequence of half turns performed by stepping onto one leg, and completing the turn by stepping onto the other, the dancers stepping high on the toes and with the legs held very close together. These can be performed in a circle (en manege) or a straight line (chaine).




• degage
To disengage. In between a tendu and a grande battement, the foot slightly leaves the floor.




• demi
Meaning "half". Applied to plie and pointe and other movements or positions to indicate a smaller or lesser version.




• demi detourne
A half turn executed on both feet. Start right foot front (5th position). Demi plie and then releve onto the demi pointe whilst making a half turn, lower through demi plie. The feet will have now changed position and the left foot should now be in the front. To finish, pull the legs up and stand in 5th position. This is frequently used at the barre to change from one side to the other side during class exercises.




• derriere
At or to the back side. For example, a battement tendu derriere is a battement tendu taken to the rear. Point/face behind you.




• dessous
Literally "under". Used where the front leg is brought behind to the back of the other leg, in techniques such as the assemble, pas de bourree, and glissade.




• dessus
Literally "over". Used where the back leg is brought ahead to the front of the other leg in techniques such as the assemble, pas de bourree, and glissade.




• demi-plie deh-mee'-plee-ay'
Small bend; a movement fundamental to ballet that calls for the knee, or knees, to bend in alignment over the toes without causing the heel, or heels, of the foot to lift off the floor.




• demi-pointes deh-mee'-pwant
Small point; rise; a rise on to the ball of the foot; usually referred to when a ballerina is in pointe shoes.




• demi-ronds deh-mee'-rohn
Half-round; half-circle; a term used to describe a movement of the leg usually off the floor 45° or 90° and travels from the front to the side or side to back (en dehors), or from the back to the side or side to the front (en dedans).




• dessous deh-soo'
Under; a directional term used to describe a movement. Example: right leg in front 5th position, extend the right leg to the side and then place it in 5th position back.




• deux duh
Two.




• deuxieme duh-zee-em'
Second.




• devant deh-vahn'
Front.
For example, tendu devant would mean stretching the foot to the front, or attitude devant would mean executing an attitude to the front. point/face to front.




• developpe
a common abbreviation for battement developpe. A movement in which the leg is first lifted to retire position, then fully extended, passing through attitude position. It can be done in front (en avant), to the side (a la seconde), or to the back (derriere).




• diagonale dy-aguh-nahl'
Diagonal.




• d'ici-de la deh-see'-deh-lah'
From here to there; a term used to describe a movement with the leg off the floor 45° or 90°. Example: leg in front 45°, quickly carry the leg to the side, then, back to the front.




• divises en quarts deh-vee-say' ahn kar
Divide in quarters: a movement on one leg with the other extended that switches the position of the body and leg with one quarter turn. Example: begin in 5th position, extend the front leg either 45° or 90° to the front, turn on the supporting leg one quarter-circle as the leg is moved to the side.




• dix deess
Ten.




• double
Making two of the movement, such as in double battement fondu and double rond de jambe en l'air.




• double tendue doo-bluh-tahn-dew'
Two tendus; a movement that requires the leg to extend from a specific position in a given direction with the foot fully pointed, place the heel on the floor, fully stretch the leg with foot pointed again, then close to original position.




• ecarte
Literally "discard", but also flat, like a card.
One of the basic positions of the body in which the dancer assumes a position with the body facing downstage on a diagonal and points the downstage leg in second position, along the other diagonal, either touching the floor or en l'air. The arms are held in an attitude position with the arm that is on the same side as the working leg raised in the air and the other arm trailing in second. The gaze is directed nearly to the raised arm along the same diagonal.




• echappe
Literally "escaped". movement done from a closed (first or fifth) position to an open (second or fourth) position.
There are two kinds of echappes: echappe saute and echappe sur les pointes or demi-pointes. In an echappe saute, the dancer takes a deep plie followed by a jump in which the legs "escape" into either second (usually when starting from first position) or fourth position (usually when starting from fifth position), landing in demi-plie. In echappe sur le pointes/demi-pointes the dancer, after taking a deep plie, springs onto pointes or demi-pointes, ending in either second position (when starting from first position) or fourth (when starting from fifth) with knees straight. In all cases, the dancer may or may not return to the initial position, depending on the choreography.




• effacee
Literally "erased" or "obscured".
One of the directions of epaulement in which the dancer stands at an oblique angle to the audience so that a part of the body is taken back and almost hidden from view. This direction is termed ouvert in the French ballet vocabulary. Efface is also used to qualify a pose in which the legs are open (not crossed). This pose may be taken devant or derriere, either a terre or en l'air. If the front leg is the right, and the dancer is facing the front-right corner of the stage (or dance studio), he is in efface; or, if the front leg is the left and she is facing her front-left corner, she is in efface. This position is the opposite of croise.




• eleve
Literally "rise".
A releve without the plie, so that the dancer simply rises directly to demi or pointe from flat feet and straight legs all the way to the balls of the feet.




• emboite ahn-bwah-tay'
To fit in; joining; a jumping movement from one foot to the other.
Example: with the right leg slightly bent and held off the floor 45°, jump up and land on the right leg with the left leg slightly bent and held off the floor 45°; usually this move is repeated in quick succession.




• entrechat ahn-truh-shah'
To caper; to dash against each other; a jump from two feet, beating the legs together and landing either on one or two feet.




• entrelace ahn-truh-lah-say'
To interlace.




• en arriere ahn ah-rehy'-her
To the back.




• en avant ahn ah-vahn'
To the front.
A step travelling en avant moves forwards, towards the audience.




• en Cloche ahn klohsh
Bell; as a bell; a rocking, swinging motion like a bell. Example: balançoire en cloche, execute balançoire but with the upper torso swinging in large arcs in the opposite direction of the leg.
Refers to grand battements executed continuously devant and derriere through the first position. See, also, Balançoire. Note: the Vaganova system currently refers to this movement as "Passe' la Jambe" and "Battement Passe' la Jambe".




• en croix ahn krawh
In a cross shape; a term used to describe a movement that is done to the front, side, back, and side again.
This term is usually used when doing barre exercises such as battement tendu and battement frappe. The required movement is done to the front, then the side, then back and then again to the side (a cross shape) closing in either first or fifth position.




• en dedans ahn deh-dahn'
Inwards; a directional term that is used to describe a turn. Example: standing on the left leg with the right foot passe (right foot placed on the knee of the supporting leg and knee, facing outwards), turn counter-clock-wise.
Movement within a circle so that the leg starts at the back or the side and moves towards the front. For the right leg, this is a counter-clockwise circle. For the left leg, this is a clockwise circle. For instance, in a ronds de jambe en dedans, starting from first position, the foot (either left or right) would first reach tendu back, then move to tendu to the side and then front, to end again in first position. It is also considered an inside movement: in a pirouette en dedans the dancer spins the working leg moving forward or ahead of the supporting leg. The opposite is en dehors.




• en dehors ahn dah-ohr'
Outwards; a directional term that is used to describe a turn. Example: standing on the left leg with the right foot passe (right foot placed on the knee of the supporting leg and knee, facing outwards), turn clock-wise.
Movement within a circle so that the leg starts at the front or the side and moves towards the back. For the working leg, this is a clockwise circle. For instance, in a ronds de jambe en dehors, starting from first position, the foot (either left or right) would first reach tendu front, then move to tendu to the side and then back, to end again in first position. It is also considered an outside movement: in a pirouette en dehors the dancer spins towards the side of the working leg (the leg raised in passe). En dedans is the opposite. Many people have trouble and confuse en dedans and en dehors. En dehors can be remembered with the phrase "En dehors, out the door.




• en face ahn fahss
To face; a basic position that calls for the dancer to face the front.




• en l'air ahn lahr
In the air; a term used to describe a jump or leg position.




• en tournant ahn toor-nahn'
To turn; turn in a circle; a term that can denote many jumps and movements to be executed by turning.




• epualement ay-pawhl-mahn'
Shoulder; a term used to describe one of three positions: croise, ecarte, or efface.
Rotation of the shoulders and head relative to the hips in a pose or a step. This term refers only to the movement of the body from the waist up. Head generally looks over shoulder that is forward.




• failli fah-yee'
To nearly fall; a movement that has the body supported on one leg, lean off-balance, then quickly pass the other leg in a given direction and catch the fall.
"To give way". The dancer springs into the air, landing on the front foot with the back foot raised. The back foot then slides through to the front. During the spring the body is turned slightly inwards towards the front foot with the face turned away.




• ferme fehr-may'
To close; a term used to describe numerous jumps that requires the dancer to close the working leg after the jump ends.




• fish dive
This is a term used in partnering for various lifts in which the danseuse is supported by the danseur in a poisson position. He may hold her above his head in a horizontal fish dive or she may fall from a sitting position on his shoulder and be caught in a fish dive...




• fondue fohn-dew'
To melt; a movement that calls for the dancer to stand on one foot, bending and extending both legs at the same time. Example: the working leg extended to the side, bring the working leg's foot to the ankle of the supporting leg as both legs bend at the knees, extend the working leg to the side with the knee bent, then stretch both legs at the same time.
Literally "melted". bbreviation for a battement fondu, a lowering of the body that is made by bending the knee of the supporting leg. Saint-Leon wrote, "Fondu is on one leg what a plie is on two.




• fouette fweh-tay'
To whip; a movement on one leg that requires the dancer to change the hip and torso direction while maintaining the leg direction and position.
The term indicates either a turn with a quick change in the direction of the working leg as it passes in front of or behind the supporting leg, or a quick whipping around of the body from one direction to another. There are many kinds of fouette: petit fouette (a terre, en demi-pointe or saute) and grand fouette (saute, releve or en tournant). Similar to a frappe. an introductory form for beginner dancers, executed at the barre is as follows: facing the barre, the dancer executes a grand battement to the side, then turns the body so that the lifted leg ends up in arabesque.




• fouette jete
Literally "whipped throw".
A leap which starts as a fouette and then the second leg also kicks in front.




• fouette rond de jambe en tournant
A turn made by using a fouette.
For each turn the dancer stands momentarily on flat foot and in plie, as the working leg is extended in fourth position en l'air (or a la hauteur) front then whipped around to the side as the working foot is pulled in to touch behind the supporting knee. That creates the impetus to spin one turn as the dancer executes a releve, rising onto pointe. Done properly, the dancer remains in place. The famous 32 continuous fouettes in the coda of the "Black Swan" Pas de Deux from Swan Lake are a bravura performance designed to express the strength and triumph of the character. In the Vaganova method, the leg is extended a la seconde instead of fourth position front. Battement frappe is hitting the floor or an ankle with a moving foot.




• frappe frah-pay'
To strike; to strike powerfully; a quick action of the leg.
Example: the working leg's foot is placed in the front of the supporting leg's ankle, quickly throw the foot forward then softly bring it back to the ankle. This movement can be done front, side, or back, and can also be done with beats.




• gargouillade gahr-gooee-yahd'
Water spout; an advanced jump from one foot to the other, and can be done en dehors or en dedans. Example: right foot front 5th position, brush the front leg quickly to the side and jump up, off the other leg; while in the air, first execute a ronds de jambes en l'air en dehors with the right leg and as the right leg lands execute a ronds de jambes en l'air en dedans with the left leg, then close the left leg 5th position front.




• glissade
Literally, a glide.
This is a traveling step starting in fifth position with demi-plie: the front foot moves out to a point, both legs briefly straighten as weight is shifted onto the pointed foot, and the other foot moves in to meet the first. A glissade can be en avant, en arriere, dessous, and dessus; start in fifth position plie, push off back foot moving the front foot forward and bringing the back foot that you pushed off on in the front landing in fifth position.




• grand grahn
Large.




• grand ecart
Literally,a great gap.
also known as 'spagat' in German or 'splits' in English, is when the dancer opens his/her legs in 180°, front or sideways.




• grand jete grahn zjuh-tay'
Large throw; to fling; a large jump that is done from one foot to the other; it can be done either ferme (closed) or ouverte (open); there are many forms of grand jete such as: grand jete attitude croise en arriere (large jump on the diagonal with one leg extended forward and the other leg extended to the back, slightly bent at the knees).
long horizontal jump, starting from one leg and landing on the other. Known as a split in the air. It is most often done forward and usually involves doing full leg splits in mid-air. It consists basically of a grand ecart with a moving jump. The front leg brushes straight into the air, as opposed to performing develope or "unfolding" motion. The back leg follows making the splits in the air. It can be performed en avant (forward), a la seconde (to the side), en arriere (backward), and en tournant (turning en dedans).The dancer must remember to hit the fullest split at the height of the jump, with weight pushed slightly forward, giving the dancer a gliding appearance. Very likely or commonly used in modern ballet, as well.




• grand Pas and Grand Pas d'action
Literally, big or large step. Grand pas is a suite of individual dances that serves as a showpiece for lead dancers, demi-soloists, and possibly the corps de ballet. In the context of a full-length ballet the Grand pas is considered a Piece de resistance. The Grand pas is merely a display of dance, and in no way contributes to the ballet's story.
If the Grand pas does contribute to the ballet's story, then it is known as a Grand Pas d'action. When a Grand Pas is referred to as a Grand pas classique, it simply means that classical technique prevails and no character dances are included. Two famous examples are the Grand Pas created by Marius Petipa in 1881 for his revival of Joseph Mazilier's ballet Paquita, known today as the Paquita Grand Pas Classique, and the one just called Grand pas classique, choreographed by Victor Gsovsky with music by Daniel uber, derived from the opera-ballet Le Dieu et La Bayadere. Both are danced by many companies throughout the world. A Grand pas usually consists of the Entree, the Grand adage, occasionally a dance for the corps de ballet (often referred to as the Ballabile), optional variations for the demi-soloists, variations for the lead Ballerina and/or Danseur, and a final coda (sometimes referred to as a Coda generale or Grand coda) which serves to bring the whole piece to a grand conclusion. A rather elaborate Grand Pas is taken from the 1862 Petipa/Pugni ballet The Pharaoh's Daughter, which was revived in 2000 after decades of being absent from the stage. The dances are presented in Marius Petipa's original order: Entree, Variations for 3 demi-soloists, Grand adage, Waltz for the corps de ballet, variations for the three lead soloists, and the final Coda generale. There are many famous Grand Pas d'action as well, one being from the first act of the 1890 Petipa/Tchaikovsky ballet The Sleeping Beauty. This consists of the famous Grand adage known as the Rose dagio, a Dance for the Maids of Honor and Pages, the Variation of the Princess urora, and the Coda, which is interrupted by the evil fairy Carabosse who gives the Princess urora the poisoned spindle. In the context of the full-length ballet, this particular Grand Pas d'action helps contribute to the action, with the Princess urora choosing between her four prospective princes and receiving a rose from each. Many Grand Pas and Grand Pas d'action are often extracted from full-length works and performed independently.




• grand pirouette grahn peer-whet'
Large turn; a turn with the leg extended to the side that is usually executed by the male dancer as a virtuoso movement in a series of turns; in its single form both males and females practice it.




• grand plie grahn plee-yay'
a large bend; a movement that requires both knees to fully bend at the same time, and the body is lowered very close to the floor.




• grand preparation grahn pray-pahr-ah'-zjohn
Large preparation; a term that describes a large circular movement with the leg as the body is bent forward then backward; this movement can be done inwards (en dedans) or outwards (en dehors).




• grands ronds de jambes grahn rohn deh zjahmb'
A large movement of the leg; a movement of the leg that requires the dancer to either have the leg travel from the front to the back in a large half-circle (en dehors) or circling in the rear.




• huit weet
Eight.




• hortensia
saut-de-chat in the Cecchetti school
The dancer while in mid-air, bends both legs up (two retires) bringing the feet up as high as possible, with knees apart sideways forming a diamond shape.




• jete zjeh-tay'
To throw; to toss; a sharp movement that either describes a throw of the leg or a jump with a throw of the leg. There are many forms of jete ferme, jete ouverte, grand jete, grand battement jete, jete entrelace.




• jete entrelace zjeh-tay' ahn-trah-lah-say'
A large advanced movement from one leg to the other. Example: step forward on the right leg, throw the left leg forward and jump in the air, switch the torso and hips to face the opposite direction and throw the left leg forward, then land on the left leg with the right leg held off the floor in the back.




• jete passe zjeh-tay' pah-say'
A movement that basically begins in 5th position and after the jump ends in one leg to the back. Example: left leg front 5th position facing the diagonal, sharply lift the back foot to the ankle of the front leg, close it back in 5th position as the left leg is thrown backwards with the knees slightly bent, as the left leg returns to the floor, jump up with the right leg and throw it backwards keeping the knee slightly bent, then, land on the left leg in the back with its knee slightly bent.




• manege mah-nez'
Merry-go-round; a descriptive term for a series of steps that travel in a circle around the stage.




• neuf nuhph
nine.




• ouverte oh-vehr'
Open.
This may refer to positions (the second and fourth positions of the feet are positions ouvertes), limbs, directions, or certain exercises or steps. In the French School the term is used to indicate a position or direction of the body similar to efface.




• partnering
In general, partnering is an effort by both the male and female dancers to achieve a harmony of movement so that the audience is unaware of the mechanics to enjoy the emotional effects. Also known as pas de deux, or dance for two.
For a male dancer, partnering includes lifting, catching, and carrying a partner, also assisting with jumps, promenades and supported pirouettes.




• pas pah
Step.
In ballet, the term pas often refers to a combination of steps which make up a dance (typically, in dance forms such as jazz, hip-hop, tap, etc., this is called a routine). Pas is often used as a generic term when referring to a particular suite of dances, i.e. Pas de deux, Grand Pas d'action, etc., and may also refer to a variation. The use of the word pas when referring to a combination of steps which make up a dance, is used mostly in Russia, and much of Europe, while in English speaking countries the word combination is often used.




• pas couru pah koo-rew'
Step to travel; to pursue; a movement that is quick and light, travelling across the floor.




• pas de basque pah-duh-bahsk'
Step of the Basque, a country that lies between France and Spain. A step that can be performed as a sliding movement on the floor or as a jump. Example: right leg front 5th position; extend the right leg to the front as the supporting leg bends at the knee (demi-plie), make a quarter circle clock-wise (ronds de jambes a terre en dehors) moving the right leg to the side, step over on the right leg and bring the left leg's foot to the ankle of the right leg (sur le cou-de-pieds en avant), step forward (temps lie) on the left leg and extend the right leg back, close the right leg back to 5th position.
Halfway between a step and a leap, taken on the floor (glisse) or with a jump (saute); it can be done moving toward the front or toward the back. This step can also be found in Scottish highland dance. The dancer starts in fifth position croise and executes a plie while brushing the front leg out to tendu front. The front leg does a demi rond de jambe to the opposite corner in the back while the dancer turns to face the other front corner. The weight is quickly transferred onto the working leg (the one that was front). The dancer brushes the supporting leg through first position and then executes a chasse forward onto the supporting leg and closes in croise.




• pas de bourree pah-duh-boo-ray'
A movement done as a series of three steps. Example: right leg back in 5th position, pick up the back leg (coupe) to the back of the ankle of the supporting leg (sur le cou-de-pieds en arriere), step up on the right leg, step side on the left leg, close the right leg to 5th position front.
It consists of three quick steps. demi plie with extension of the first leg, closing the first leg to the second as the second rises to demi pointe or pointe, extending the second leg to an open position while both legs remain on demi or full pointe, and closing the first leg to the second in a demi plie. If the pas de bourree is very quick or is the final step of an enchainement, the concluding demi plie may be omitted and the step will end with stretched knees. It means 'Step of Bourree', Bourree being an uvergne dance. The name also translates as "stuffing step" with the initiating foot "stuffing" itself into the space occupied by the other foot and thereby forcing the other foot to move away. There are different kinds of pas de bourree: -pas de bourree devant - "in front" -pas de bourree derriere - "behind" -pas de bourree dessus - "over" -pas de bourree dessous - "under" -pas be bourree en avant - "travelling forwards" -pas de bourree en arriere - "travelling backwards" -pas de bourree en tournant en dehors - "turning outwards" -pas be bourree en tournant en dedans - "turning inwards" -pas de bourree couru - "running" also "flowing smoothly as a river" -pas de bourree ouvert - "open," this is an "open->closed->open" sequence -pas de bourree pique - "pricked




• pas de chat pah duh shah
Step of the cat; a jump from one foot to the other, and when in the air both feet are off the ground. Example: right leg front 5th position, pull the leg up sharply to the knee and then extend it to the side with the knee slightly bent, jump off the left leg, bringing it up to meet the right leg with its knee slightly bent, land on the right leg, and then bring the left leg to front 5th position.
"the step of the cat". The dancer jumps sideways, and while in mid-air, bends both legs up (two retires) bringing the feet up as high as possible, with knees apart. The Dance of the Cygnets from Swan Lake involves sixteen pas de chat, performed by four dancers holding hands with their arms interlaced. Italian pas de chat - lso called grand pas de chat, one where the front leg extends with a developpe and the back remains in passe until landing.




• pas de cheval pah de shuh-vahl'
A step of the horse; a movement that can be done on the floor or as a jump, and at 45°, 90°, or 120°. Example: right leg in front 5th position, pull the right leg up sharply to the supporting leg's ankle, extend it forward and touch the floor with the toes, then, close it in 5th position.
The dancer does a cou de pied then a small developpe and tendu back into starting position.




• pas de ciseaux pah deh see-zjoh'
Scissors; step of the scissors; a jump from one leg where both legs pass each other forward in the air and landing on one leg. Example: step on the left leg, pass the right leg through 1st position to the front 45° or 90° off the floor, jump up with the left leg passing the right leg, then, land on the right leg and pass the left leg through 1st position to the back 45° or 90° off the floor.




• pas de deux
Meaning "step of two". Pas de deux is a duet usually performed by a female and a male dancer. A famous pas de deux is the Black Swan pas de deux.




• pas de poisson
"step of the fish". Same as temps de poisson. This is a type of soubresaut, or a jump without change of feet. From fifth position, the dancer executes a deep demi plie and jumps arching the back with the legs straightened behind, so that the whole body is curved like a fish jumping out of water.




• pas de valse
"waltz step". A traveling step done to music in 3/4 time, either straight or while turning (en tournant).




• passe pah-say'
To pass; a position and/or movement that requires the working leg to have its foot pointed to the side of the supporting leg's knee.
As a position passe means when a foot is placed near, on, below, or above the other knee. As a movement passe refers to the working foot passing close to the knee of the standing leg. When the foot arrives by the knee, it passes from the front to the back or back to front, and continues either to return to the floor by sliding down the supporting leg or into an arabesque or attitude etc.




• penche pahn-shay'
To incline; a movement where one leg is extended backwards and the other one is standing on the floor, from that position lean forward.




• petite puh-teet'
Small.




• petit saut
A small jump, in which the feet do not change positions in mid-air; also called temps leve saute in the Vaganova vocabulary.




• pique pee-kay'
To prick; a movement that calls for the dancer to quickly step out on one leg to the half-toe position.
movement in which the strongly pointed toe of the lifted and extended leg sharply lowers to hit the floor then immediately rebounds upward. Same for some as the term pointe. lso a movement in which the dancer transfers a stance from one leg in plie to the other leg by stepping out directly onto pointe or demi-pointe with a straight leg; for example, a pique arabesque.




• pirouette peer-whet'
Whirling; a generalized term used to describe a turn; in the Russian method they usually refer to turns as tours.
controlled turn on one leg, starting with one or both legs in plie and rising onto Releve (usually for men) or pointe (usually for women). The non-supporting leg is held in Passe. The pirouette may return to the starting position or finish in arabesque or attitude positions, or proceed otherwise. A pirouette is most often en dehors turning outwards toward the back leg, but can also be en dedans turning inwards toward the front leg. Although ballet pirouettes are performed with the hips and legs rotated outward ("turned out"), it is common to see them performed with an inward rotation ("parallel") in other genres of dance, such as jazz and modern. Turning technique includes spotting, in which a dancer executes a periodic, rapid rotation of the head that serves to fix the dancer's gaze on a single spot. Spotting is particularly important in traveling turns such as tours chaînes or piques because it helps the dancer control the direction of travel while keeping balanced. Pirouettes can be executed with a single or multiple rotations.




• plie plee-yay'
To bend; a fundamental movement that requires the bending of the knee or knees.
This can be grand-plie, a bend to the deepest position. For demi-plie the dancer bends knees until just below the classical hips while maintaining turn-out at the joints, allowing the thighs and knees to be directly above the line of the toes without releasing the heels from te floor. The intention here is keep the heels on the ground as long as possible. In either instance, the motion is fluid and does not stop in downward bend. As soon as the bottom of the bend is reached the bend is reversed and the straightening of the legs is begun, equally as smoothly.




• pointe work
Performing steps while on the tips of the toes, with feet fully extended and wearing pointe shoes, a structurally reinforced type of shoe designed specifically for this purpose. Most often performed by women.




• poisson
Meaning fish. A position of the body in which the legs are crossed in the fifth position or the working leg is brought to a retire position with the back arched. This pose is taken while jumping into the air or in partnering when the danseuse is supported in a poisson position by her partner.




• port de bras pohr duh brah
Carriage of the arms; a term used to describe a movement of the upper torso and arms; in the Russian method there are six port de bras.
Sometimes misspelled "porte-bras". n exercise for the movement of the arms to different positions, it is considered a simple movement but a dancer works hard to make it seem graceful, poised and seamless. The basic port de bras exercise moves from fifth en bas to first arm position, to second arm position, then back down to fifth en bas. A full port de bras moves from fifth en bas to fifth overhead and back down but a variation of sequence is common.




• porte pohr tay'
To travel; portage; to carry; a descriptive term used for a number of jumps calling for the movement to travel smoothly and close to the floor.




• pose poh-say'
To pose; a term used to describe a specific position.
term of the Cecchetti school. From a fondu, the dancer steps with a straight leg into demi-pointe or pointe, then brings the working leg into a coupe, so that, if the step is repeated, the leg will execute a petit developpe. This can be done in any direction or turning (this is also known as tour pique).




• positions of the arms
There are two basic positions for the arms. In one, the dancer keeps the fingers of both arms almost touching to form an oval shape, either almost touching the hips, or at navel level, or raised above the dancer's head. In the other, the arms are extended to the sides with the elbows slightly bent. These positions may be combined to give other positions. Different schools (training methods), such as Vaganova, French, and Cecchetti, Russian often use different names for similar arm positions. For example, a third Russian position is the equivalent to a Cecchetti fifth position en haut.




• positions of the feet
The basic five positions of the feet on the floor were set down by the dancing master Pierre Beauchamp in the late 17th century. (Beauchamp, dance master of King Louis XIV, is also credited for having contributed the barre to ballet.) Two more positions were introduced by Serge Lifar during his career as Ballet Master at the Paris Opera Ballet (1929–45, 1947–58); their use nowadays is mostly limited to Lifar's choreographies.
In all positions the legs are 'turned out', rotated outwards in the hip socket. In first position the dancer stands with the heels together, toes outward, creating as close to a straight line with the two feet as possible. In second position the dancer stands as in first position, but with heels approximately one foot length apart. In third position the dancer stands with the feet crossed, so the heel of the front foot is touching the arch of the back foot. In fourth position the front foot is approximately one foot length away from the back foot. If the heel of the front foot is in line with the heel of the back foot, it is called an "open" fourth position and if the heel of the front foot is in line with the toes of the back foot it is called a "closed" fourth position. In fifth position the feet are fully crossed, with the toes of the front foot aligned with the big toe of the back foot.




• preparation pray-pahr-ah'-zjohn
To prepare; a term that describes a movement before the ronds de jambes a terre exercise; this movement can be done inwards (en dedans) or outwards (en dehors).




• promenade prohm-nahd'
walk; an excursion.




• pulling Up
Pulling up is critical to the success of a dancer because without it, the simple act of rising up would be extremely difficult. It involves the use of the entire body. The feeling of being simultaneously grounded and 'pulled up' is necessary for many of the traditional steps in ballet. To pull up, a dancer must lift the ribcage and sternum but keeps the shoulders relaxed and centered over the hips which requires use of the abdominal muscles.
In addition, the dancer must tuck their pelvis under and keep their back straight as to avoid arching and throwing themselves off balance. Use of the inner thigh muscles as well as the 'bottom' is very helpful in pulling up. Pulling up is also essential to dancer en pointe in order for them to balance on their toes.




• quatre ka'-trah
Meaning four, it is often used to indicate the number of something in ballet, such as entrechat-quatre and pas de quatre.




• quatrieme ka-tree-em'
Fourth.




• releve rehl-leh-vay'
To rise; a term used to describe a rise from the whole foot to demi-pointe.
Rising from any position to balance on one or both feet on at least demi-pointe which is heels off the floor or higher to full pointe (commonly for girls) where the dancer is actually balancing on the top of the toes, supported in pointe shoes. Smoothly done in some versions, a quick little leap up in other schools.




• renverse rahn-vehr-say'
Reversing; overturning; a circling movement of the leg and the co-ordination of the torso; can be done on the floor or as a jump.
n attitude presented on a turn.




• retire position
The working leg is raised to the side, turned out, with knee sharply bent so the toe is pointed in front of or behind the supporting knee. Common pose during standard pirouette, intermediate position for other moves.




• retire devant
The working leg is raised just in front of the knee cap (but can be raised higher) and is sharply bent and "turned out" to the side. It is a common pose during standard pirouette both en dedans and en dehors, and an intermediate position for other moves, such as battement developpe front.




• reverence ray'-vay-rahnss
Reverence; bow; curtsy; a term used to describe the last exercise of a class.




• revoltade ruh-vohl-tahd'
To fly back; to revolve; a jump that begins on one foot and lands on the same foot.
bravura jump in which one lands on the leg from which one pushes off after that leg travels around the other leg lifted to 90 degrees.




• rond rohn
Round.




• ronds de jambes rohn duh zjahmb
Circling of the legs; a movement that calls for the dancer to move the leg in a circle; this can be done on the floor (a terre), or off the floor (en l'air) at 45°, 90°, or 120° and either outward (en dehors) or inward (en dehors).
Means "leg circle". actually, half-circles made by the pointed foot, returning through first position to repeat; creating the letter 'D' on the floor. From front to back rond de jambe en dehors, or from back to front rond de jambe en dedans. -Rond de jambe a terre: straightened leg with pointed toe remaining on the ground to sweep around. -Rond de jambe en l'air: in the air. The leg is lifted to the side, movement is only below the knee. If the thigh is horizontal, the toe draws an oval approximately between the knee of the support leg and the second position in the air. If the thigh is in the lower demi-position then the oval is to the calf of the support knee. -Rond de jambe attitude: the leg is swung around from the front around to the side into attitude position behind as the supporting foot goes en pointe. (see also ttitude) -Demi-grand rond de jambe: the leg is straightened and sustained horizontal to make the circle to the side. If not reversed, foot returns past the knee. -Grand rond de jambe: the leg is straightened and sustained at grand battement height, with the foot making the circle high. Requires advanced "extension" flexibility and strength. If not reversed, foot returns past the knee.




• royale rawh-yal'
Royal; a beating jump.




• san sahns
Without.




• saute soh-tay'
Jump; a jump off the ground with either one or two legs; also referred to as temps leve.
as adjectives, saute (masc.) or sautee (fem.) are used to modify the quality of a step: for instance, "'saute arabesque indicates an arabesque performed while jumping.




• saut de chat
jump similar to a "grande jete" where the front leg extends with a developpe.




• second position, seconde
Second position of the leg - The dancer stands with feet turned out along a straight line as in first position, but with the heels about one foot apart. The term seconded generally means to or at the side, Second position of the arm - raises your arms to the side. Keep your arms slightly rounded. Lower your elbows slightly below your shoulders. Make sure your wrists are lower than your elbows. Keep your shoulders down, your neck long and your chin up.




• sept set
Seven.




• serre sehr-ay'
Close; compact; tight; a movement that escribes a fast beating of the foot against the ankle of the other leg.




• sickle
A term that refers to the reverse of a winging of the foot. If a dancer sickles the foot on pointe or demi-pointe, the ankle could collapse to the outside resulting in a sprained ankle. If it is the working foot sickled, it will make the dancer look amateurish and untrained. Working foot to the side should be straight and mildly winged when foot is to the front or back.




• sissonne see-sohn
A jump from two feet to one; this jump can be done closed (ferme) or open (ouverte), forward, sideways, or backwards, and over (dessus) or under (dessous).
jump done from two feet to one foot. Named after the originator of the step. In a sissonne over the back foot closes in front and in a sissonne under the front foot closes behind. Exceptions to the traditional sissonne include sissonne fermee, sissonne tombe, and sissonne fondue, which all finish on two feet.




• six seess
Six




• soubresaut sew-brah-soh'
Sudden leap; a jump from two feet to two feet with the legs held tightly together; the movement can be done with the body held straight or with the upper torso bent backwards (de poisson).




• sous-sus soo-sew'
Below; above; a term used to describe a very tight 5th position on demi-pointe.
Literally under under. lso, perhaps more commonly, sous sus [under over]. Typically executed from fifth position, a dancer rises up onto the pointes or demi-pointes with the feet touching and ankles crossed in a particularly tight fifth position releve, so that the two legs look like one, and resemble a sword or an exclamation point. It is a striking pose achieved without much difficulty, since both feet are directly beneath the spine, and is much used in choreography. The action can be performed in place or traveling forward, backward or to the side. At the barre after the plie exercises, is part of the warm up for center pointe work. Sous sous is a term of the Cecchetti school.




• soutenu soot-new'
To support; to sustain; a movement where one leg is evenly drawn to the other; it can be done in place, with half or whole turn either outwards (en dehors) or inwards (en dedans).




• soutenu en tournant
Similar to tours chaînes, a soutenu is a series of turns in quick succession. The dancer must first execute a demi plie while extending the leading leg in a tendu position and then stepping up on a tight leg and beginning the turn while simultaneously bringing the other leg up to a raised position while finishing a full 360 degree turn.




• split
A split is a configuration of the legs to a straight 180 degree (or more, oversplit), they can be done in right, left, or center positions, the ability to do a split also demonstrates the flexibility of the dancer. Splits are usually done as floor work, barre work or incorporated into dances; the ability to do splits is critical to ballet dancers as it allows for proper execution of certain movements, for example, the Grand Jete, rabesque Penchee and many other movements. Proper execution of a ballet split includes turned out legs from the hip and pointed feet, without proper technique it may be harmful or impossible for the dancer to perform a proper split. notable difference between front splits in ballet and gymnastics is the turnout of the back leg, in gymnastics the back leg faces downwards, in ballet the back leg faces to the side.




• sur le cou-de-pieds surh leh koo'-deh-pehay
Upon the neck of the foot; sur le cou-de-pieds side, back, or front.
Literally, "on the neck of the foot". The working foot is placed on the part of the leg between the base of the calf and the beginning of the ankle. On the accent devant (front), the heel of the working is placed in front of the leg, while the toes point to the back, allowing the instep (cou-de-pied in French) of the working foot to "hug" the lower leg, thus giving the position its name. On the accent derriere (back), the heel of the working leg is placed behind the leg with the toes point to the back. The action of alternating between devant and derriere is seen in the petit battement.




• sway back
Arching the back too far, resulting in an appearance of bad posture.




• temps tahn
Step; in time (time-step); though the action is similar as saute, the saute action is usually even in its jumping form where the temps denotes a sharper, springy action.




• temps de cuisse tahn duh kweess'
Step of the thigh; quartering of the thigh; a movement that places a foot in front of another, then jump with two feet and land on one foot.




• temps de fleche tahn duh flesh'
Step of the arrow (fleche); a jump from on e foot to the other, and in the air they pass by each other with bent legs.




• temps leve tahn lah-vay'
Step to lift; a term used to describe a sharp jump either on one foot or two.
A term from the Cecchetti vocabulary, meaning 'time raised', or 'raising movement'. This is a hop from one foot with the other raised in any position. The instep is fully arched when leaving the ground and the spring must come from the pointing of the toe and the extension of the leg after the demi-plie. In the Cecchetti method the term also means a spring from the fifth position, raising one foot sur le cou-de-pied. In the Russian and French schools this is known as sissonne simple.




• temps leve saute
A term from the Russian vocabulary, meaning 'time raised jumped'. It can be done in first, second, third, fourth or fifth position. The dancer, after a demi-plie, jumps in the air and then lands with the feet in the same position as they started. It can also be performed from one foot, while the other keeps the same position it had before starting the jump (e.g. on cou-de-pied).




• temps lie tahn lee-yay'
Step to connect; to thicken; a movement where the legs transfer the weight of the body from on eleg to the other; it can be done front, side, or back.




• temps releve tahn rehl-leh-vay'
Step to releve; a movement that calls for the dancer to extend one leg while the supporting leg is bent, then to rise up on the supporting leg to demi-pointe as the other leg moves to the side.




• tendue tahn -dew'
Stretched; held-out; tight; a classic ballet movement where the leg is extended straight out from the supporting leg with the foot fully pointed; it can be done front, side, or back.
Literally, "stretched"; a common abbreviation for battement tendu. Usually done as an exercise at the barre from first or fifth position, the working leg is extended to either the front, side or back, gradually along the floor until only the tip of the toe remains touching the floor (tendu a terre) or even further stretched so that the tip of the toe comes up off the floor a few inches (en l'air). A tendu can also be used in preparation for other more complex steps, such as pirouettes, or leaps.




• tire-bouchon teer-boo'-shon
Cork-screw; ringlet-like hair; a description of a turn where the working leg is slowly drawn up the sides of the supporting leg as a turn is executed.




• tombe tahm-bay'
To fall; a movement that requires the dancer to fall with all the weight of the body onto the other leg.
Typically a beginning movement. In the Vaganova school, its complete name is sissone ouverte tombe. For a tombe en avant, the dancer begins with a coupe front and then, after extending the leg from the coupe in fourth position front (or second or fifth back, if the tombe is to be done on the side or backward), switches the weight distribution and leans on the extended leg, which is placed on the floor in a deep plie. This leaves the working leg straightened but lifted slightly off the floor. Often this movement is used before executing traveling steps such as a pas de bourree. It is also possible not to perform the coupe at the beginning of the movement, but rather reach the fourth position front directly from fifth position with a little 'sliding' hop.




• tour toor
To turn.




• tour en l'air toor ahn lehr
Turn in the air.
A jump, typically for a male, with a full rotation. The landing can be to both feet; on one leg with the other extended in attitude or arabesque; or down to one knee, as at the end of a variation. single tour is a 360° rotation, a double is 720°. Vaslav Nijinsky was known to perform triple tours en l'air.




• tour lent toor lehnt
Turn evenly; slowly; a term that describes a slow turning movement on one leg.




• trios trwah
Three.




• triple Runs
One big step, followed by two little steps, can be done in a circle.




• troisieme trwah-zee-em'
Third.




• turnout
A rotation of the leg from the hips, causing the knee and foot to also turn outward, away from the center of the body. This rotation allows for greater extension of the leg, especially when raising it to the side and rear.
Properly done, the ankles remain erect and the foot arch remains curved and supporting. Signs of improper turn-out are the knee pointing forward while the foot point sidewards (turning out from the knee), and rolling in of the ankle. Every single step in classical ballet is performed with hips, knees and feet as turned out as possible, except when otherwise specified by choreography. Turn-out is a defining characteristic of classical ballet which distinguishes it from other forms of dance. A perfect turn-out would be the ability to effortlessly rotate the legs from the hips so that the feet and knees pointed, not straight ahead of the body, but directly to the outsides of the body. Not all dancers have a perfect turn-out; but it is definitely a measure for selection in the competitive world of ballet. In beginner classes, a less-than-perfect turn-out is tolerated to save stress to knee joints until the ability is acquired. But as students progress to pre-professional and professional levels, perfect or near perfect turn-out is almost always a requirement for employment and success.




• tutu
The classic ballet skirt, typically flat at waist or hip level, made of several layers of tulle netting or tarlatan. Classic Romantic tutus are longer.




• un uh
One.




• vole voh-lay'
To fly; to take wing; to soar.
Live out of your imagination, not your history.-Stephen Covey


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