Ballet Dictionary

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(n) a bend of the knees   (v. plier- to bend; one of the seven movements of dancing) 


stretched; to extend the leg and point the foot with the toe on the floor;
(v. etendre- to stretch; one of the seven movements of dancing)



disengaged; another name for battement jeté;  (in the British system is another name for tendu)

Battement Jeté   

a thrown beat of the leg;  to brush the foot off the floor  slightly with an extended leg and close again

Rond de Jambe

circle of the leg 


melted;  a plié on one leg- should have a fluid quality


risen;  a rise on the toes or half toe.  May use plié or not.   (v. relever-to rise; one  of the seven movements of dancing)


struck;  a sharp strike of the foot against the floor from the ankle  extending the foot and leg  out; may be taken with the foot flexed to start  or pointed.  


developed;  an unfolding of the leg from bent to straight 

Grands Battements    

large beats of the leg;  the leg is brushed up to 90 degrees or higher

Port de Bras

Carriage of the arms; there are set patterns of moving the arms in both the Vaganova method and the Cecchetti method of ballet.


Slow movements connected together so that all the movements  flow into each other.


a moorish ornament (shaped like the Nike symbol); a ballet position in which one leg is extended behind.  There are four arabesques in the Vaganova system of ballet and four in the Cechetti system which are slightly different.


a small jump; (v. sauter- to jump; one of the seven movements of dancing)


Pas de Bourée  

Running step; a combination of three steps taken up, up, down 

Pas de Chat

Step of the cat; a jump in which the back leg comes to passé, and then as the dancer springs into the air, the other leg also comes to passé


 a rocking step with the pattern down, up, down (similar to a ball change)


a turn on one leg with the one foot touching the knee.   May be taken en de dans (inside turn) or en des hors (outside turn)


chained; a series of linked turns in first position

En Croix

in a cross; the pattern often used at the barre of doing an  exercise front, side, back and side.


crossed; a position of the body in which the body is facing the corner and  the downstage leg is in front.




shaded; a position of the body in which the body is facing the corner andthe upstage leg is in front.


a step traveling across the floor that brushes the foot front as the other leg  steps into a plié, then two steps on demi pointe are taken after


a sign of respect at the end of class or performance in which the dancer  curtseys; in a performance the audience claps; in class the dancers clap  and then individually thank the teacher

For more Ballet terms here are some other links: